I remember, some 12 years ago when Nokia phones were the trend, there used to be a game “Snake” in nearly all of them. Everyone in our school was playing Snake during the lessons, lesson breaks, while going back home from school, while eating, walking, and of course, while doing the homework. We were obsessed with that game, and we were showing our scores to each other and bragging and bragging and bragging….
A few years later, this Candy Crush fever came up, and a lot of people got obsessed with that, too. Everyone seemed to be playing Candy Crush. Even today, there are a lot of people who play Candy Crush via the Facebook app and who forget to make the app private so that no one sees what they are doing during their working hours (lol).
So, there is no doubt that a lot of games are like a hook. They can make you play all day all night. They do have that power. This article is thus going to be about the ways you can leverage that power to make your app users more engaged.
What is app gamification?
In fact, gamification is gaining its momentum in app development. Let’s see the definition first, so you get the idea of it more clearly.
“The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.”
A lot of our favorite apps have been designed with gamification in mind. Let’s take Duolingo as an example. It’s like a game, isn’t it? There is the all-favorite progress bar which shows how many questions/tasks you have next. And there is this favorite level unlocking thing which is a typical game element.
Duolingo has introduced gamification to make learning a new language a more engaging experience for its users. We always get excited when we get points, extras, awards, aren’t we? With this in mind, a lot of makers design their apps to hook us and to make us more engaged and loyal.
Another example is Google Primer. It’s another educational app designed to teach people all the tricks related to digital marketing and sales.
See the progress bar or the “Sort the tiles” game where you have to find out which answers are right and which are wrong? That’s pretty much like in a game, right?
You even have a writing task to complete to get to the next level of your lesson. This is done to make sure you have read and understood each lesson well enough. But note that there is nothing mandatory or stressful about your learning experience. It’s fun since it’s pretty much like a game!
Implementing gamification into app development can provide you with the following benefits:
N1: Increase user acquisition and engagement
People like game-like stuff and whatever they like, they share it with friends most of the time. So, if your app is gamified the right way, it will drive word of mouth user acquisition.
N2: Increase user retention
Remember the golden rule of app development? The more engaged your users are, the higher your app retention rates will be. That’s simple, yet VERY accurate!
With gamification, you can be sure to have enough levels of user engagement. Games are like a hook, gaming elements, and game-like features can ensure the stickiness of app users. With some sweet rewards and badges, you can have real chances to reach your goal of engaging and retaining as many users as possible.
N3: Provide great UX
People have been playing games since long ago. The game UX is typically very familiar to them. So, if you ever decide to implement gamification, don’t forget about the UX which is paramount. Make your app UX as seamless and game-like as possible. A lot of users are going to love it!
Measuring the results
App gamification is excellent indeed. But don’t get carried away by it too much. Anything you do in your app, any changes you make in its functionality and design needs to be validated by market and user research. Once you have confirmed those ideas and made the corresponding moves, make sure to measure the outcomes. Otherwise, how are you going to see whether your work has paid off or not?
Use UX measuring tools and in-app analytics that will help you understand whether you are on the right track or not. Inapptics is a real-time in-app analytics tool that allows app makers to measure user behavior and see what further changes they need to make within an app to boost engagement, reduce churn, and increase app retention rates. So, make sure you give Inapptics a try!