Friday Dec 21, 2012

Moving gamification from concept to design

In the last few months, the UX team has been busy--very busy--working on gamification of a few key enterprise flows.  And the process we've been following is one of the reasons I think we aren't going to fall into the trap that Gartner described in their recent report on gamification.  In that report, Gartner predicts that by 2014, 80 percent of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives primarily because of poor design. 

80%.

And I'm guessing that's a pretty reasonable prediction.  Part of the reason for that is that many companies are gamifying applications because it's the hot thing to do and they aren't thinking about why they should gamify those applications.  In our user experience group, we are regularly reviewing some key points about gamification.  First and foremost, you need to start with a business objective.  What are you trying to get people to do differently?  Why are you trying to get them to change?  Can you measure whether or not you are, in fact, changing the behavior you want to change with game mechanics?  And are you willing to redesign if it turns out your gamification design isn't effective?

A good portion of gamification, in my estimation, is just effective usability made more transparent to the user.  For example, in usability, we know that people want feedback--they want to know what to do and then they want feedback that they are doing it right, that things are progressing, that they are successful.  Good usability and good gamification just make that more transparent to end users.  And end users like that.

Some gamification is a bit more complex and can drive users to activities or actions that they are less inclined to do.  But you are still using good principles of usability to get there.

So what are companies doing that makes them fail?  They aren't following a good user experience process.  In our organization, we put a lot of emphasis on testing our designs with users.  Most recently, we were testing gamified designs with potential end users at the UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG)  meetings in Birmingham UK.  We presented gamified flows and the same flow without gamification and got feedback on what worked and what did not.  We use that information to revise and modify our designs, prior to coding and delivering as a product. 

Real users, testing our designs, modifying.  Then you develop.

That's the key to not ending up part of the 80%.

Sunday Jul 01, 2012

Welcome to the Gamification Blog!

#GamifyOracle

If you are here, you have probably been hearing about gamification and game mechanics, and wondering how it all fits into the enterprise space.  Although I've been leading some efforts in the Fusion Apps UX team on gamification for a while, I have left it to a couple of others to blog on it.  For example, check out the links below from Ultan Ó Broin if you haven't seen these already:

#gamifyOracle: Oracle Applications Gamification Worldwide #UX Design Jam

Oracle Applications UX Gamification Worldwide All Hands Day

Gamification, Schamification: Reality Isn't Broken. Your User Experience Is

I've been tweeting to #GamifyOracle for a while but I'll try to use this blog to put a little of my own thoughts on the matter together.  In the meantime, I spoke at the GSummit in June on the things we're working on and I'll be leading a workshop and speaking on Enterprise Gamification at the Enterprise Gamification Summit in September.  Oracle peeps, let me know if you are interested in attending, since we can get a group discount for the workshop/summit.  We're also planning to conduct some more research on gamification in the enterprise space at Oracle OpenWorld this October. 

In the meantime, let me know if there are issues you are interested in and I'll try to put some things together here.  I'd love to know who all is working on gamification in Oracle--I know some of you but I'm sure there are others!


About

All things gamification, mostly focused on the Enterprise space but occasionally on other issues related to gamification. Written by Erika Noll Webb, Senior Manager User Experience from the Fusion Applications User Experience group. Thoughts are my own. Picked the fish theme because the fish are orange and blue. Go Illini. Twitter @erikanollwebb and @GamifyOracle

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