For this product we need 3 things: people asking popular questions, quality replies and social interactions to rank content in a way that resembles to collaborative filtering.
We were planning to include gamification features to the app. Why would we miss it, almost everyone is experimenting with it.
What most people do is that they force these elements into their products. And that’s what we did at first. We added all the standard game elements, points, badges and leaderboards. Then we did what we usually do with our client’s products at UX studio, tested it with real people from the target group. And we got miserable results. During the tests we modelled these situations where they earned points. They were not just surprised, but genuinely happy. At first. And then people started to lose interest in earning those points. Which is perfectly normal on some level, but it was happening way too fast. We realised that it’s not enough, it’s not going to take us where we wanted to be.
We went back to the basics and analysed gamer types. Researchers found that there are 4 basic type of players in RPGs: The Killer, Socialiser, Explorer and Achiever. These players have different motivations for playing. The Achiver’s goal is focused on achiveing status, the Killer is focused on winning in direct competition. The Socialites interested in making new friends and also enjoying the benefits of theirs existing connections. The Explorers have an internal drive to discover the unknown.
How is this beneficial to us? Based on these attributes we created 3 skills (Contributor, Trendmaker and Socializer) to provide each user the opportunity to see their individual progress in these competencies. Users can see their own skills on their profiles:
The Contributors are our Killers, they compete with each other to provide useful answers and therefore helping other users. In this context Achievers are influencers, Trendmakers as we call them. They make sure there is always something worth answering. The Socializers are our Explorers, they are casual users, exploring their personalised feed, as they go through it, they give direct (up-vote) and indirect (such as views and shares) feedback on the different questions and answers. This way we have motivated people asking and replying questions, and a mass of people giving feedback to them. The most important thing is they can see how good they are in what they like doing, instead of just getting meaningless points.
Pretty sweet symbiosis, huh?
Check out the whole design story, with all the screens and nice little details on our Behance project.