Gamification is the concept of applying game techniques to engage and motivate people.
Some gamification techniques include
- competing with friends (social aspect)
Badges: reflect real learning and accomplishments. Some users value badges because they can feel more skilled or show off to their friends. They can also unlock new choices (“superpowers”) for the user.
Oversupply might lead to inflation
Points: used for progress tracking, both immediate (i.e. XP for duolingo) and long-term (i.e. goal-tracking graphs).
Coins: virtual money used for “prizes”; allows the users to access something that’s limited. One example is lingots in duolingo, which are traded for meaningful superpowers on the website.
Streaks: used for sustaining user behavior so they do not quit after a few days.
Goals: have to be at ideal levels or else they can actually decrease productivity if the expectation is too high. If you ask the user to do her best, she won’t do much, but if you ask her for too much, that does not work either.
Behavior/ Goal Tracking: Showing users real behavior vs perceived goals can cause cognitive dissonance and can cause change in user attitudes.
More info available on the Gamification Wiki:
Examples of gamified apps: