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  • Writer's pictureOfer Zeevy

Gamification is the name of the game for product managers

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

Albert Einstein was once quoted that “life is just like a game. First you have to learn the rules of the game, then play it better than anyone else”. As games provide us with many different emotions, such as excitement, winning or losing, tension and relief, many product managers not only started to take notice but embedded game-like features in their physical items and even services.

Gamification is described as a strategic attempt to assist systems and services in order to create similar experiences to those recorded when playing games. This is done in order to better engage the users of the product or service and even motivate them more. Gamification is usually mentioned in non-game products and services, whenever designers and developers embed game-like features inside them. Some general examples of gamification usage in products can be the collection of redeemable points or badges for doing a task (answering a survey) or adding meaningful stories to other boring tasks in order to lighten up the customer’s mood.

Two dice in blue background.

When product users encounter a gamification feature, in many cases it will arouse their curiosity and motivation to participate, advance, and get some rewards. It may also offer them a sense of control in how they choose to advance and keep using the product. Finally, it will enhance their competition and accomplishment motivations, since they invest their time and effort in trying to gain something.

Product managers in different areas consider embedding gamification features in the development cycles. Gamification, as used by apps, can take many shapes and forms and it’s in the hands and minds of those product developers to determine just what part of the product will contain what sort of gamification. Duolingo, for example, in the world of E-learning, offers many fun game-like features all aimed to make it easier and more entertaining for users to learn a new language. Organization apps, such as Todoist, contain planning and reminder features that are all designed in a game mode. And people who suffer from diabetes, in the fitness and health areas, can use MySugr to track and manage their daily sugar intakes. This app is also very colorful, user-friendly, and is built in a way that helps the user easily keep score of his or her situation.

Gamification examples for product managers vary. They are now considered the norm among many brands. Take mobile-network Giffgaff for example. To register as their member, one must purchase a sim card from yet another Giffgaff member. In this community-like service, members earn points for their participation which they can later convert to cash in order to pay for their phone bill. They also have a choice of donating their earnings to charity.

Whether in pre-development, the planning and design itself, or right after the launch, Affogata is able to help product managers in their employment of gamification features. Since research and testing always take place, as well as launch campaigns and “after-the-fact” examinations of how customers felt when using the product, The AI platform can easily collect their open web feedback and analyze it for further assessment and improvement of all production processes.

Using gamification, in general, may not be enough, since product managers must gather specific intel from customers about various aspects of the product. How easy was it to use? Were there any problematic steps along the way? Are the characters or figures likable? And did the gamification really help make the app better? All these and more can be tracked and analyzed for the benefit of product developers, and since the data is collected in real-time all the time, managers can get their much-needed feedback quickly and efficiently.

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