You've worked hard to promote your site, and you've assembled some really useful and important information, but your users are leaving after just a few minutes. The content is simply too complicated, long and too much work to get through. Gamification may be the perfect solution to boost engagement, learning and simply keeping users on your site.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is simply taking some of the motivational elements of traditional games, such as keeping score, reaching goals and social competition and applying them to your content. Often, the concept can be applied without even creating an actual game at all. Using a progress bar, personalization and adding fun visuals or animation are gamification elements, and should be used regularly. Or, if your content lends itself to the idea, go ahead and create an actual game.
Trivia style quizzes are a great way to add a little fun to your site and won't break your budget. You can spice up a simple quiz with interesting themed graphics and basic GIF style animations.
TIP: A little music, voiceover or even video can make a basic quiz even more engaging.
Making an online board game is a great way to grab a visitor's attention. Think of the board games from when you were a kid. Board games typically have a moving marker following a clear path with challenges along the way. The randomness of a dice and/or event cards make these quite appealing to users.
TIP: 3D animation is a great way to bring the user into the game in an unexpected way.
Choose your own adventure
Video is hugely popular and gets terrific engagement. Animated or real video can be used to offer users the chance to choose from different outcomes of a video story. The games can be in the form of role playing for training purposes or just fun novel ways to use your product.
TIP: Try to personalize the video. Include the user's name or even tie into a social media feed such as Facebook Connect.
Word search, crosswords, memory, matching and mind games are all terrific little games that can get you users involved in your site without committing a great deal of money to the project. Try to think of an interesting way to spice up these games with a theme or graphic.
TIP: Make your user feel smart, provide social media sharing and they might brag how well they did on your game.
TV Game Shows
Game shows are a terrific source of material for gamification. What were your favourites growing up? Do you watch any today?
TIP: Use lots of different types of media if you are building a game show. Think of including audio clips similar to "phone a friend", a video host, theme music and lots of sound effects.
No need to compete with the big game makers, but simple animated games are great especially great for trade shows and event marketing. A simple mini-golf, billiards or pong style game can be addictive and fun if you brand and personalize it. Focus on simple physics based games, offer a prize and create a leader board and you'll be surprised at how many people will want to play. Golf and mini golf are great for business to business events.
TIP: Tie into new technology. Offer a mobile version or bring in a Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset, to make a simple game more exciting.
BONUS: Add a randomly timed count-down buzzer!
Almost any game is made more fun with a "beat the clock" style element.