Gamification and why your mobile app needs it

You don’t have to look far to see how gamification has accelerated online websites and apps.  Take the Facebook “Like” for example.  This game mechanic has driven the success of the Facebook platform.  If you already have or are thinking about building an iPhone or Android app, you should give some thought to what’s going to keep your users coming back.  Applying principles of gamification can be just the thing to make your app successful. Watch the video now:

In this first episode of Mobile App Development TV, we talk to Danny Maco, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who frequently serves as an advisor to startup companies here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has worked recently as the General Manager of the digital division of University Games.  Even if you don’t have a game app, you can still apply the principles he outlines to nearly any type of app.

Gamification is all around us. I remember in kindergarden, we would get a series of stars for completing various tasks in the classroom. Those stars really drove our behavior in class. I’m amazed at how people respond to airline mileage programs. I know some people who take unnecessary flights at the end of the year, just to maintain their mileage status. Mileage programs not only generate loyalty, but they help airlines maintain a minimum spending level for their customers.

In this video, Danny explains that there are four variables that drive a successful app:

1. Discoverability
2. Large audiences
3. Retain users
4. Generate revenue

These four variables are driven by gamification.  Danny also provides examples of gamification, citing LinkedIn and how they display a progress bar as you complete your profile.  LinkedIn also provides the ability to see who has looked at your profile, which keeps people coming back.  Another great example is endorsements.  When people receive things, they feel like they should give back, and this provides stickiness and a sense of community.  All of these game mechanics work to continually bring users back to the app to generate revenue.

(srticle by J.Houghton)


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