The key to gamification is understanding motivation, and no game company demonstrates this understanding more than Zynga. Game, Education, Healthcare and Fintech Entrepreneurs can learn a lot by following the motivation techniques exhibited in Zynga products. Don’t believe me? Think of it this way: In a few month Zynga motivated over 50 Million new people to learn how to run a virtual farm, and have fun doing it. Try motivating 50 people to sign up for a class on farm management and you will appreciate their accomplishments.
Gabe Zichermann had a great post yesterday where he described a two branch taxonomy for understanding motivation. (Intrinsic and Extrinsic). It’s a start, but insufficient. The Mad Men of Madison Avenue sometime refer to a three branch motivation taxonomy: get paid, get laid, or get made. This too is insufficient. Entrepreneurs and product managers need a more robust framework, if they hope to create breakthrough products.
The good news is I believe a “unifying” motivation framework is coming!
Motivation has always been an elusive concept. Economists, Managers, Marketers, Psychologists and Anthropologist have wrestled with the topic for centuries.
I believe thanks to click and social graph data, the motivational social sciences will take significant steps forward in the next four years. Big Data to the rescue!
Four years is an eternity in internet time, so in the interim I propose a five node framework/taxonomy:
A. Intrinsic Process: Derived from fun or enjoyment during the task
B. Instrumental: Derived from expectations of tangible rewards
C. Self-Concept External: Derived from a desire to improve one’s reputation and image
D. Self-Concept Internal: Derived from a need to meet personal standards and achieve
E. Goal Internalization: Derived from a deep-rooted belief in the cause or principle
Sophisticated web application developers can look at all their work flows, screen design and user stories through the lens of “motivational profiles”, and whenever possible, customize the UI, UX and messaging based on the predicted/observed motivational profile.
Hope this proves helpful, especially if you are about to use "social gamification" to change education or healthcare. Good Luck!
I will elaborate in Part 2..