18 November, 2022
How to improve engagement with leaderboards in gamification
"Gamification" is everywhere. You will find it in toddler day-care centers, in high-impact sales teams, in the classroom, in corporate training centers and of course in the games on your phone.
Why? Because gamification works.
Gamification is the use of game-design elements (such as points and badges) in contexts that are not traditionally associated with games. The topic has received a lot of attention beginning around 2010 and is now deeply integrated into many fields, products and initiatives. The key concept in gamification is to turn tasks into game-playing.
The goal is to enhance participants’ intrinsic motivation and engagement with the task and increases the likelihood of it being completed successfully.
By common consensus, common elements of gamification are:
Sometimes the following are also present:
Some of these mechanisms require more work to implement than others. Badges and rewards, for instance, will require a sustained effort to keep producing new content.
Example: let's say you're a fitness center that wants to introduce gamification for its members. If badges are part of your plan, then you will need to create around 10-20 badges which will usually include giving each badge a name and an icon or image. Once your members have achieved the first batch of badges, you will be under pressure to come up with a new set to keep your members interested. And then repeat.
A quicker mechanism to implement is leaderboards, because most of the effort is up-front. This means you can "test the water" and implement further gamification mechanisms once you start seeing some success.
A leaderboard is basically a high score list. It ranks players or participants according to their relative success compared to the others. Put simply, a leaderboard can be used to identify the best performer of a certain activity.
Your job is to pick the activity that you want to gamify and decide on how you will measure it.
By picking a behaviour and gamifying it with a leaderboard, you are increasing the chances that people will engage with that behaviour.
Once you have picked an activity to gamify and how you want to measure it, it's time to actually create your leaderboard.
You could try the following tools and methods:
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