As an emerging and evolving field, people are seeking examples of gamification and proof that it works. The question is, how do we measure it?
When implementing a gamification solution, it's important to know how you are going to measure success from the get-go.
This lets you know how the gamification experience is going, alerts you to any design tweaks that are needed, and helps you demonstrate success to the gamification project sponsors.
It's easy for gamification designers to get caught up in the design side of gamification, the crafting of an engaging experience filled with badges, narrative, and the virtual world being built. While this is obviously very important, you also need to think beyond that.
The reality is that gamification is still new to most businesses and teams that are implementing it. This means that people are a little unsure and hesitant about implementing it, and want evidence that it is worth the investment and 'risk'. Find out upfront what type of metrics the people in your organisation expect to see as proof of success.
You can measure business data, platform data and user satisfaction and sentiment.
So, you need to know what sort of behaviours you are measuring and what indicators you will use to gauge this. If you are gamifying the use of a website or platform, you will be able to draw on things like Google Analytics or an equivalent. If you are gamifying an admin or manufacturing process, you will be able to track increase of output as part of your normal business measurement. If you are gamifying sales, you can measure lead conversion rates and dollars coming in.
These are great examples. And depending on which gamification platform you use (a bespoke system, an app, an excel sheet, etc), it will give you some data as well. This will typically take the form of gameplay data, such as the amount of active players, the number of quests done per week, or the percentage of people who have completed a gamified e-learning course.
The business and gamification platform data provide you with some useful quantitative measures. But there's more to the story. Gamification at its core is about a fun and delightful human experience. So you need a way to understand the impact of your gamification intervention on the user's experience. This is especially important if you are gamifying 'softer' things like collaboration, innovation and culture. These are harder to measure, but even more important.
A good way to measure this is through periodic surveys or user ratings, either as part of the gamification platform or in addition. If you are gamifying professional development, you can measure how satisfied employees are with their increase in knowledge and skills. If you are gamifying well-being, users can rate their change in attitude or perception of exercise or eating well. Or if you are gamifying culture, you can ask how much team members feel aligned with the organisation's mission.
Measurement is an important part of implementing a gamification solution, because it lets you collect data to get a holistic picture of the behavioural change you are driving. This is neccessary for the improvement and expansion of the gamification experience, as well as to share a compelling story of its impact.