Games at Work Part 2: Gamification and Enterprise Applications

Gamification and Enterprise Applications


In part 1 of this article, we explored why people are motivated to play games so much. Now, let's think about what that means for Oracle applications user experience.



(Even the coffee is gamified. Acknowledgement @noelruane. Check out the Guardian article Dublin's Frothing with Tech Fever. Game development is big business in Ireland too.)

Applying game dynamics (gamification) effectively in the enterprise applications space to reflect business objectives is now a hot user experience topic. Consider, for example, how such dynamics could solve applications users’ problems such as:


  • Becoming familiar or expert with an application or process
  • Building loyalty, customer satisfaction, and branding relationships
  • Collaborating effectively and populating content in the community
  • Completing tasks or solving problems on time
  • Encouraging teamwork to achieve goals
  • Improving data accuracy and completeness of entry
  • Locating and managing the correct resources or information
  • Managing changes and exceptions
  • Setting and reaching targets, quotas, or objectives

Games’ Incentives, Motivation, and Behavior


I asked Julian Orr, Senior Usability Engineer, in the Oracle Fusion Applications CRM User Experience (UX) team for his thoughts on what potential gamification might offer Oracle Fusion Applications. Julian pointed to the powerful incentives offered by games as the starting place: “The biggest potential for gamification in enterprise apps is as an intrinsic motivator. Mechanisms include fun, social interaction, teamwork, primal wiring, adrenaline, financial, closed-loop feedback, locus of control, flow state, and so on. But we need to know what works best for a given work situation.”

For example, in CRM service applications, we might look at the motivations of typical service applications users (see figure 1) and then determine how we can 'gamify' these motivations with techniques to optimize the desired work behavior for the role (see figure 2).

Typical motivators, description follows

Description of Figure 1

Desired behavior of role, description follows
Description of Figure 2


Involving Our Users
Online game players are skilled collaborators as well as problem solvers. Erika Webb (@erikanollwebb), Oracle Fusion Applications UX Manager, has run gamification events for Oracle, including one on collaboration and gamification in Oracle online communities that involved Oracle customers and partners. Read more...

However, let’s be clear: gamifying a user interface that’s poorly designed is merely putting the lipstick of gamification on the pig of work. Gamification cannot replace good design and killer content based on understanding how applications users really work and what motivates them.


So, Let the Games Begin!


Gamification has tremendous potential for the enterprise application user experience. The Oracle Fusion Applications UX team is innovating fast and hard in this area, researching with our users how gamification can make work more satisfying and enterprises more productive.

If you’re interested in knowing more about our gamification research, sign up for more information or check out how your company can get involved through the Oracle Usability Advisory Board. Your thoughts? Find those comments.

Comments:

Ultan.

Thanks for the update on your efforts and this important work at Oracle in this fast-moving space. I am working in Oracle's global education group where we are working with K-12 schools and universities on the enormous potential to gamify education and learning including a few highlight projects:

i. Immersive Education Initiative - http://www.ImmersiveEducation.org/
2. OpenWonderland - http://www.openwonderland.org/
3. SIIA Games for Learning - http://www.siia.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=244
4. Oracle iLearn - http://www.seertechsolutions.com/learning-management/ilearning-plus/

It would be great to see how we could potentially collaborate with schools/kids on the next-generation of Fusion Learning and Application experiences if you and team have any cycles to investigate.

Thanks much.
Kevin

Posted by Kevin on November 16, 2011 at 10:34 AM GMT #

Hey Kevin,
thanks for these kind words. Yes, be assured we (Apps-uX) are active in the kids/millenials/Gen-Y/whathave you space too! I'll send you some information on that offline (will blog about that at some point in the future).

Cheers

U

Posted by Ultan (Oracle Applications-UX) on November 16, 2011 at 11:09 AM GMT #

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Oracle applications user experience (UX) assistance. UX and development outreach of all sorts to the apps community, helping to design and deliver usable apps.

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Ultan Ó Broin. Director, Global Applications User Experience, Oracle Corporation. On Twitter: @ultan

See my other Oracle blog about product globalization too: Not Lost in Translation

Interests: User experience (UX), user centered design, design patterns, tailoring, BYOD, dev relations, language quality, mobile apps, Oracle FMW and ADF, and a lot more.

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