This article covers the topic of How To Improve User Experience (UX) Using Gamification engagement and overall user experience (UX) for any digital product, website, or mobile app. 

We are living in a technology-driven era that is mostly power by digital products & services designed with a user-centered approach. Popular platforms like WordPressWooCommerceShopify, and others are praised for their intuitive design and user-friendly features and while we will become more adventurous with new ventures as we move along, we ask ourselves: How can one design a user-centric system?

 Experts might have a difference of opinion when answering the question. But we found User Experience (abbreviated as UX) to a common point to which everyone agrees. How to develop a better UI and enhance your users’ experience on your website. 

What is user experience (UX)?

User Experience (UX) can sum up how a person feels when making interacting with a digital product or service like a website, app, or any computer-human based system like an ATM. 

 For most websites, ensuring a smooth and high-end experience is none less than a priority not. Because it guarantees sales but it also promises customer retention and loyalty. 

 Multiple factors like faster page loading, consistency in terms of fonts, colors, and button sizes, headers, banners, fixed broken links, responsive & mobile-friendly design contribute to a successful user experience.

 Many successful “UX” designers are constantly searching for effective models to improve user experience through implementing behavioral science, target audience preferences, and logical placements (for example,

Contact Forms). It’s a proven fact that users expect a website or mobile app to be user-friendly and enjoyable in use.So the idea to add ‘fun’ and ‘engagement’ elements to the UX has already shown a positive effect on consumer behavior. 

 Creating result-oriented engagement is not a piece of cake and tempting users to revisit your website requires formulating a smart strategy. One of the best possible ways to achieve this is by implementing Gamification or game mechanics to your site. 

What is gamification?

Gamification is a vast term and has various applications but if we have to summarize it in a few words. We can say that ‘it is the process of taking the game-design spirit of participation for a specific goal and applying it to non-gaming scenarios.’

 Gamification helps increase user engagement and participation by encouraging users to interact with the website. Much like how any game works, you can gamify your website by challenging users to complete a specific task in exchange for rewards.

These tasks or challenges have to be as simple as possible to make sure that the user spends an ample amount of time on your website. 

 As per research, playing reward-based games gives humans a healthy dose of dopamine, a chemical that is released when someone is happy, joyful, or excited. It’s quite simple; the more your users experience a joyful feeling, the more they spend the time they spend on your site.  

Gamification & user experience – how do they work together?

 Hundreds of websites and applications (web and mobile) are already using gamification to engage users and utilize them in the desired manner. 

Here are some of the best examples of websites/apps using gamification for a better user experience (UX). 

What are the benefits of using gamification when designing UI?

1 Better Engagement

Integrating gamification elements with a UI design can improve your website/app’s user engagement massively. Gamification elements inspire users to interact with a website or any digital product due to the human nature of involve in an interesting task and exploring new domains. 

Once a visitor becomes a user on your website/app, they’ve successfully formed a habit of interacting with the design. If you want to make your UI addictive then you must make it habitually enjoyable. 

Example: Todoist 

Todoistapp encourages users to complete all types of tasks, from daily chores to big projects, in the following way:

Levels. A certain amount of karma points unlock the next levels.

Social engagement features. Users can share their karma score with their friends on social media.

Reference: https://blog.getsocial.im/is-gamification-the-only-way-for-apps-to-survive/

2 More Fun 

Gamification plays a vital role in creating a fun-based environment for any website/app. 

People enjoy the interactive process of fun, challenges, and competitive spirit similar to what video games have to offer. It motivates them to achieve their goals (current or next).

Example: Duolingo  

Learning languages in Duolingo is really fun, light, and motivating. The key is to provide learning to the user in a way that they don’t feel bored. This app is for people who want to learn languages for fun, travel, business, relationships, etc.

3 Productivity Through Challenges

It is human nature to accept challenges and prove your capabilities to others. That is why challenges are considered as one of the most captivating gaming elements to motivate people for certain types of actions that can play a vital role in improving user experience.

Gamification makes users compete when they have to win challenges for better spots. Not only that but it also improves motivation to solve puzzles, complicated tasks, and tasks that need concentration. 

Example: TopCoder 

TopCoder is the original platforms for competitive programming online. It provides a list of algorithmic challenges from the past that you can complete on your own direct online using their code editor.

Reference: https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/the-10-most-popular-coding-challenge-websites-of-2016-fb8a5672d22f/

After discussing brief details about user experience (UX), user interaction (UI), gamification, and its benefits Let’s find out the best methods of implementing gamification in design and how it can improve UX & UI. 

3.1 Points: 

Awarding points is a classical way to determine players’ success. websites aiming to improve user experience can adopt a similar strategy to engage visitors. 

Points can be awarded for completing the designed activities like filling out a lengthy survey form. Sharing it with others on social networks, or furthermore contributing to site content like product reviews and guest articles. 

Sites/Apps can also plan to award points to users who share their user experience with them as feedback. It will create more opportunities for websites to further improve UX.   

3.2 Badges & Stickers: 

Badges and Stickers are considered as suitable rewards when a user reached or gained a specific number of points. This type of reward is usually given in video games and it is the main reason users are already familiar with it. 

People love stickers for ages in real life and when they are award virtually with stickers. They still appreciate them wholeheartedly. Badges and stickers not only fulfill the reward purpose but also create a massive room for creative and branding ideas. 

3.3 Leaderboards & Levels: 

The main objective of a leaderboard is to increase engagement through a competitive environment and offering better levels and spots for participating users. 

Nothing can motivate a user better than the desire to be a leader. The list of the ‘players’ ranked in the order “Who’s received more badges” can increase users’ enthusiasm. 

Developing a level-based gamification strategy is fit for most digital products as it exhibits orthodox gaming principles to implement in any situation. 

4 User Journey: 

This interesting gamification technique is all about making the product interaction process easy and understandable. 

A user journey is a series of steps to achieve a specific task or objective. Contrary to the customer journey, the user journey only investigates what happens inside the website or an app. 

The fruitfulness of a user journey relies mainly on the quality of insights it provides. Keep in mind that user journeys should develop from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. 

If UX designers don’t have sufficient information to create an effective user journey. They are supposed to conduct additional research like ethnographic surveys to gain valuable insights. 

5 Scavenger Hunts: 

It is an interesting and fun way to make users engaged with a website. A scavenger hunt can take place on an eCommerce store to encourage users to view multiple pages and products available on it. 

You can initiate it by asking online customers to hunt desir products and specific items, and successful participants will reward with perks such as gamified points, discounts, and free shipping.

6 Fortune Wheel:  

What’s better than giving an option to users to try their luck, who are about to leave your site without performing any interactivity as It causes you massive bounce-rate, bad reputation, and cart abandonment issues. 

Spinning a fortune wheel strategy invites users to enter their email addresses to receive a coupon code for a discount, which will then be applied to their cart. Many online stores are adopting spin to win formulas for rewarding discounts and freebies to users. This is a very useful gamification strategy in terms of a better user experience. 

Wrapping Up!

We have discussed the best gamification practices in detail to improve user experience (UX). However, if you are planning to implement these gamification elements into your site/app to improve user experience, be fully sure that you do it carefully and elegantly. Make the users feel smarter and appreciated at every stage of involvement.

Author Bio:

Anas Dilshad is a Digital Marketing Expert atwpexperts.io. I like to spend my time reading books, and it develop my knowledge on various topics. It also helps me in connecting with the digital world. I love to create content on WordPress and WooCommerce to convert my experience into blogging.

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