As MOBSoft continues its mission to bring understandable gamification to companies, we run into a large number of clients who are very, very confused about what it all means.
This is not unexpected. Any way of thinking, and in particular specialized areas such as gamification, may seem opaque to those on the outside. Personally, I have seen this in pretty much any field in which I have worked, from SharePoint to game development to businesses in general.
Let us try to explain a bit what kind of questions you want to ask by reviewing some questions you definitely should not need to ask.
Can You Do Gamification on This Platform?
Of course we can.
Let me ask that question with a different setting, to a designer or artist: Are you able to do art or design with this pencil?
The artist will, of course, answer yes. The pencil is just a tool the artist use to draw something. Asking them if they can use a particular pen or pencil is not necessary at least until you have very specifically defined what you want them to create.
Instead, for example, tell the artist, or us, what you want to accomplish. From an artist, maybe you want a portrait of your family, or a new logo for a product, or a concept piece for a new football stadium. for gamification, maybe you want to attract more users, or make your current users spend more time on your platform, or make it easier to understand you platform. Your platform, or which pen you have, however, is rarely important.
What Kind of Gamification Can You Do on Our Intranet?
Look, gamification is about solving problems and making things fun. Your intranet, or other platform, may or may not be a useful tool, but it never defines what we can do. The key thing is that you know what you want to achieve.
Again, asking the artist what kind of art they can create with your chosen pencil isn’t going to give you the art you want. The artist needs to understand your vision and goals, and from there, maybe come up with ideas to accomplish those goals. Maybe it’s a company mascot to illustrate your vision of a tiger attitude or maybe it’s showing investors your amazing vision for that football stadium through a series of action drawings.
Instead, as before, focus on your outcomes and what you expect to happen once your project is completed.
How Much Does Gamification Cost?
It costs whatever you think the investment is worth.
Asking what art or design cost isn’t going to get you an answer. Try googling it. You won’t get results unless you look for specific things, such as a logo design, and even then, the results are pretty unclear. How much does art cost? Well, nothing if you make it yourself and quite a lot if you want a famous artist to make a grand statue of the founders of your company.
Gamification is similar. You will need to know exactly what you look for before anyone can give you a reasonable estimate. You can get hourly quotes and estimates based on your needs, but nobody sane will tell you that gamification costs $2000 before knowing exactly what problems you are trying to solve.
Ask a construction company how much building costs. Without telling them exactly what kind of building you want, you won’t get a clear answer.
Gamification, like building houses, is a process, not a product. How long that process takes or how much it costs depends on what you want to build or which results to you want to get.
But It’s Software and Software Programs has a Price!
Gamification is not a product you download and install. Sure, you have platforms, such as MOBSoft’s FunStuff platform, that have a specific price. You can purchase it, download it, and install it, just like you can with Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop.
However, getting that software isn’t going to get you the letters you write with Word or the photos you edit in Photoshop. You still need to write those letters or hire someone to do it for you. The value of Harry Potter isn’t in the price of the software or hardware used to write it.
For gamification, the software used is just a tool, like a hammer for a builder, a pen for an artist, or Word for an author. You don’t value the fixing of your engine problems based on the cost of the tools the mechanic uses so why would you expect to price gamification in the same way?
So What Should I Ask?
If you want to get clear answers about gamification, you need to start with yourself. Understand your situation and what troubles you. The most important question is the one you ask yourself. If you can snap your fingers right now and remove one problem in your organization, which is it?
Second, imagine for a moment what the result of a solution to your problem looks like. Don’t worry too much about how to solve it, just imagine the outcome. What is it that you want to happen once your problem is resolved?
The answer to those questions is what you need to bring to us. Here are some examples:
- “I can’t seem to get my users to stay in my stores. I want them to spend twice as long so they see more of my merchandise.”
- “My users only use half of the software package they have purchased. I want them to learn all features to they get full value and are more satisfied”
- “My clients are really happy but never refer any new users to me. I want them to tell their friends about my products so I get more customers”
- “My students spend far too much time learning how to submit homework. I want them to learn quickly how to do menial tasks so they can spend more time learning”
- “My employees are always very late for work in the morning. I want them to show up on time.”
These are just examples, however, but they give us a better understanding of how to solve your problem with gamification. It allows us to work with you to evaluate what resources you have, what techniques to apply, and eventually what you can expect from the results.
Throw us a line if you want to learn more or get started! We’re always happy to hear from you.