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Gamification Onboarding

(Below is a manuscript snippet of my e book, Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. Please subscribe to the mailing listing on the fitting to order the e book when it launches. This put up could also be moved right into a Premium Area after a sure time period. For a video walk-through, take a look at: Episode 5, The 4 Experience Phases of a Game).

We have lined in a lot depth and particulars on the best way to apply Level 1 Octalysis and the 8 Core Drives to your tasks. While I imagine a large amount of tasks will be massively improved simply with a great understanding of Level 1 Octalysis, it does have its limitations.

This is the place we introduce the deeper arts of Level 2 Octalysis, significantly the way it pertains to completely different phases of a participant’s journey.

Treat your product as Four completely different merchandise

Most folks see a services or products as one summed up expertise – the product is sweet, dangerous, fascinating, simple to make use of, humorous or boring. That appears to be intuitive – in spite of everything, it’s one product.

However, relating to consumer engagement design, I imagine that’s an enormous mistake.

From a motivation standpoint, a consumer’s interplay and journey with a product is repeatedly evolving. The purpose why an individual is utilizing a product on day one is usually very completely different from the rationale why this particular person is utilizing this identical product on day 100 – the objective she is attempting to satisfy is completely different, and even the options she sees are completely different!

People develop into concerned with a recreation or a product, not as a single encapsulated occasion, however by means of a sequence of phases the place they develop to grasp it higher. The consumer expertise will develop step by step as familiarity with options and construction is gained.

If a product attracts folks initially, however as time goes by turns into boring and uninspiring, that’s a failure in design.

Similarly, if a recreation presents an incredible expertise solely after 20 hours of play, however previous to hitting the 20-hour mark it’s boring and torturous, then it virtually doesn’t matter as nobody will attain that stage.

A greater manner of take into consideration the product is to view it as a consumer’s journey by means of evolving phases of product notion or expertise. With every part the product seems to be completely different – in essence, a novel, completely different product.

Therefore, a great Octalysis Gamifier can break the method into 4 distinct merchandise, which emphasizes on the 4 Experience Phases of a Game: Discovery, Onboarding, Scaffolding, and Endgame.

A Level 2 Octalysis Gamifier will then gamify every of these 4 phases in an progressive manner that adapts the 8 Core Drives.

In this chapter, we are going to have a look at a short abstract of every Experience Phase.

Note that the 4 Phases in Octalysis has sure overlap with UPenn Professor Kevin Werbach’s theories of Identity, Onboarding, Scaffolding, and Mastery.

In reality, I modified my authentic phrasing to sound extra like his as a result of I choose to have a extra unified language with much less confusion within the gamification world. My framework is barely completely different on account of my very own experiences however I do wish to give Kevin Werbach credit score for doing nice evangelical and academic work within the business.

The First Phase within the Player Journey is: Discovery

Your expertise in direction of a services or products begins once you first hear about it, therefore the Discovery Phase.

The first part of a participant’s journey begin when the participant first discovers and learns about your services or products.

Much of this piece is inside the subject of Marketing Gamification, and addresses questions like, “How did users find your product? Did they hear about it from a friend? Through the news? Or a clever marketing campaign that you devised? And why do they even want to try out your product?”

Just as a result of folks see your web site doesn’t imply they’re motivated to interact with it. Just as a result of individuals are attempting out your service doesn’t imply they’re mentally ready to start out the journey. You want to consider and optimize the motivation folks have after they uncover your services or products.

As the primary expertise part in Octalysis Gamification, Discovery differs from Kevin Werbach’s preliminary “Identity,” part of a system, which is the initiation of an id inside a gamified system. This might contain the creation of an account, signing on for a service, and selecting your profile kind – mainly the “Who You Are.” Amy Jo Kim, one other revered recreation designer and gamification skilled, makes use of a 3 part system and the participant expertise begins off with Onboarding.

However, in my viewpoint, an actual expertise in direction of a services or products begins nicely before you purchase the product or join the service or create your id.

My view is that “Identity” would really qualify as a part of Onboarding, as once you “Onboard” somebody, you’ve gotten them work out what the sport is and the place they stand within the recreation.

In the Discovery Phase, most individuals often discover out about your product by means of a weak type of Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity. They have been merely interested by it, or they examine it by means of some media outlet. This is a reasonably uncommitted push to start out a participant’s journey.

Nowadays many firms work exhausting to optimize for Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness, attempting to get folks to strain their pals to check out their merchandise. Other B2B options use Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance, as employers typically pressure their workers to make use of sure software program and due to this fact customers check out your service in order that they don’t lose their jobs (however find yourself being very resistant or lukewarm about it, a results of Black Hat Gamification).

There’s loads of house to introduce innovation right here. Some firms introduce Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling into the Discovery Phase by making a charitable name linked to the corporate mission and other people check out the merchandise as a result of it’s for one thing larger than themselves.

Google HR will get skills to find their hiring course of by using Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity and Feedback with the best way they put up troublesome programming issues for folks to resolve earlier than they’ll even get their first interview.

Kiip, a startup firm that raised over $15 Million, is based totally on the premise that individuals will worth one thing extra in the event that they really feel like they’ve “earned” it. It inserts inside video games in the meanwhile of somebody successful a battle or finishing a stage, the invention of a brand new product or model with the supply of a product pattern or low cost voucher. This closely makes use of Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment within the Discovery Phase.

Gamifying the invention part is an effective way to enhance your model identify, sign-ups, and conversion charges.

This part ends when your shopper begins to make use of your product. Once the consumer tries out your services or products, s/he has formally began Phase 2.

The Second Phase within the Player’s Journey is: Onboarding

During the onboarding part, you prepare the customers to develop into acquainted with the principles of the sport, the choices, the mechanics, and the win-states.

This is what firms deal with probably the most as a result of everybody thinks as soon as prospects use their product for just a little bit, everybody would fall in love with it, if solely customers would give them the possibility!

When customers are studying concerning the steps in utilizing your product, they don’t wish to learn an enormous information to start – nobody likes to learn the manuals. Nor do they wish to watch a 8-minute tutorial video. Users wish to rapidly begin attempting it, and so they wish to really feel good doing it. The Development & Accomplishment Core Drive (#2) is important at this part.

Besides not having lengthy manuals to learn, video games often don’t present a tutorial video initially. If they do present a video or cut-scene, it’s once more about “why” a consumer ought to play the sport, corresponding to explaining a looming hazard on this planet and the participant must defeat that encroaching evil.

Generally initially of the Onboarding course of, you solely need a fast graphical strategy to introduce the worth proposition of your product, maybe 3-4 pictures with 1-2 sentences every. At most you present a 1-minute video. Keep in thoughts these movies shouldn’t be on “how” to make use of the product, however “why” they need to use the product.

Immediately after the onboarding slides or brief video, you need the consumer to immerse into your product as a substitute of doing a one-way preach.

This is greatest completed by means of technique of an interactive however step-by-step tutorial the place you get the consumer to decide to the Desired Actions you designed, and rewarding them with small High-Fives (Game Technique #17) as soon as they accomplish it.

LinkedIn’s easy progress bar is a superb instance to assist customers get by means of the onboarding course of. When customers fill in some gadgets of their profile, the progress bar will transfer as much as 30%, 40%, 60%. This makes it very clear what the positioning desires customers to do, the best way to do it, and emotionally rewards them for doing the Desired Actions.

Mastering the Onboarding Process can get your customers to start out take part in your recreation with extra pleasure and motivation.

The onboarding part ends when your customers are absolutely geared up and they’re able to tackle the journey on their very own.

The Third Phase within the Player’s Journey is: Scaffolding

The third part of on-going and common exercise of the sport is the place gamers use all the principles and choices they realized throughout onboarding to attempt to obtain as many Win-States as doable.


Because of my chess background, beforehand I referred to this stage because the “midgame,” however I switched it to align with Kevin Werbach’s time period Scaffolding. I like his time period, because it sounds extra mental and intriguing. Amy Jo Kim refers to this part as “habit-building,”, however I that simply doesn’t sound fairly as enjoyable.

In the participant’s journey, this part is supposedly the place probably the most “fun” ought to occur, and often has equal standing inside all 8 Core Drives, relying on what your product really does and for whom it’s designed for.

The Scaffolding part is the place customers come again on a daily or each day foundation to commit principally repetitive Desired Actions. We talked about how virtually all video games are doing repetitive actions over and over for hours. Candy Crush always matches 3 gems; Angry Birds always slings out birds; and RPGs always kill the identical monsters on the identical stage over and over.

So what’s the motivation for a consumer to come back again and do the very same issues over and over for hours on a regular basis? That is the query the Scaffolding Phase seeks to reply.

Once you’ve gotten a nicely designed win-state in scaffolding that appeals to the 8 Core Drives in Octalysis, you’ll begin to see elevated participant engagement and motivation.

Generally you recognize you might be profitable at this part when you’ve got a excessive engagement and retention price in your customers.

In the gaming world, many individuals like to make use of the formulation DAU/MAU (Daily Active Users over Monthly Active Users) to find out how sticky is a product and the way usually customers are coming again. Of course, that’s not applicable for each gamified marketing campaign, but it surely reveals the excessive stage of ordinary video games should endure to keep up their numbers.

The Scaffolding part ends when your customers imagine they’ve tried every thing that your product presents a minimum of one time. They are actually a veteran consumer prepared for the tip recreation.

The Fourth and Final Phase of a Player’s Journey is: The Endgame

The Endgame is when gamers imagine have performed every thing there’s to do a minimum of as soon as and are beginning to really feel like there are not unexplored Win-States.

Not spending sufficient time desirous about this final part when designing merchandise is I imagine, a big mistake. If recreation designers don’t create a great endgame, folks will get simply bored and give up the sport, when the truth is these veterans are typically the product’s largest evangelists, greatest group managers, and greatest sources for monetization.

The exhausting a part of this part is to repeatedly give that means, curiosity, and pleasure to those veterans so it by no means turns into boring to them.

Often instances that is extra simply achieved by implementing strategies that attraction to White Hat and Intrinsic Core Drives. For occasion, if the veterans have greater standing amongst their friends of a intently knit group, they are going to have a way of satisfaction and keep on this recreation for longer, versus develop into a beginner once more in one other product with no social affect (Core Drive 4: Social Influence & Relatedness).

Another instance is thru evergreen mechanics that’s described beforehand inside Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback, the place customers can take the core instruments/constructing blocks in a recreation and provide you with infinite artistic methods on their very own, in addition to having a system the place the sport producers can simply add new content material right into a system constantly. This is seen when folks develop into “veterans” of Farmville and so they begin to use their farms to supply artistic artwork, such because the Mona Lisa or coronary heart photos.

Oftentimes, one probably the most highly effective Black Hat parts within the Endgame is what I name the “Sunk Cost Tragedy” (Game Technique #50) which appeals strongly to Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance.

This is when a consumer has spent a lot time in a recreation, it turns into extremely troublesome to let go of all the degrees, abilities, belongings, factors, foreign money, and face the robust lack of having all these hours develop into nothing.

The Sunk Cost Tragedy is derived from a detrimental psychological spiral referred to as the Sunk Cost Fallacy. I’ve had many pals who acknowledged to themselves that Farmville is really a waste of time of their lives, and they actually needed to give up.

However, in the event that they give up, then the a whole lot of hours they spent on Farmville will TRULY be wasted. So gamers hold enjoying to “avoid feeling the pain of loss and the ugly sensation waste creates.” ( And as they spend extra time defending themselves from feeling the loss, they make investments much more time into the sport, creating an even bigger loss.

Hmm, how miserable.

When I give up Diablo 2 proper earlier than I began my gamification profession, I too felt the resistance to keep away from the ache of loss. The manner I might lastly get out of that lure was to suppose BIG sufficient. I believed “Okay….20 years from now, I wouldn’t be playing Diablo 2 – if I did, I would be a sad, sad fool. So if I’m not going to be playing 20 years from now, why play 5 years from now? If not 5 years from now, why a year from now? Why today?”

Thinking concerning the future is the medication to remedy you from attachment to the previous.

Facebook has a robust component of the Sunk Cost Tragedy integrated in its Endgame – if I give up Facebook, not solely will I lose contact with all my private pals that I don’t have cellphone numbers and emails to, I will even lose all of the factors, badges, and currencies I spent a lot time constructing within the Facebook Games!

This could also be one more reason why Facebook want to personal your Photos – give up Facebook, and also you danger shedding your pictures that you just didn’t backup by yourself exhausting drive. Of course, that is Black Hat and uncomfortable, however very highly effective.

If you mastered the endgame, you’ll create loads of long-term contributors, evangelists, and long-term prospects.

Applying the 4 Experience Phases into Level 2 Octalysis

Up thus far, I’ve principally been sharing about Level 1 Octalysis, emphasizing on the 8 Core Drives. Once you additionally perceive the 4 Experience Phases of a Player’s Journey, you’ll be able to incorporate that into Level 2 Octalysis, the place you’ll be able to ensure that for every consumer, there’s something that appeals to his/her core drives at every stage and ensure your customers will keep to the very finish and develop into your champions.

Level 2 Octalysis Gamification.017

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