The Octalysis Method
Annalie, one of my fellow students in the gamification unit I’m doing, recently posted a Ted Talk by Yu-Kai Chou on Gamification to improve our world that is well worth a watch. In this talk, Yu-Kai breaks down his gamification design framework he calls Octalysis. Essentially, within Octalysis there are eight core drivers:
- Epic Meaning - Motivation through the feeling you are part of something bigger than yourself
- Accomplishment - Motivation through the feeling of improving yourself or achieving mastery
- Creativity - Motivation through creating new things
- Ownership - Motivation through owning or accumulating or improving something
- Social Influence - Motivation through what others make think, do or say, essentially competition
- Scarcity - Motivation through trying to get something you can’t have or is scarce
- Unpredictability - Motivation through not knowing what is coming next, such as lotteries etc.
- Loss - Motivation through trying to avoid losing or losing something
Yu-Kai’s methodology suggests that it’s through these eight core drivers that elements of gamification can be applied to make doing things fun and rewarding for end users.
But gamification is just badges and leaderboards right ?
As Yu-Kai explains in his video, gamification is more about dropping badges or leader boards into an application and calling it done. If possible, to get the most out of gamification, you should be aiming to hit as many of the eight core drivers as possible. This will not only allow you to reach all types of users, but also make a more complete, fun and engaging experience for them.
There have been countless articles around what makes a game fun, game designers and developers have been searching and testing this topic for many, many years through board games, video games, war games, pen and paper games etc. The same questions are being asked, and have similar responses, from a gamification stand point as well and I think the Octalysis method is a good framework for planning out the gamification of an application.
So What ?
Most application designers and developers are looking for ways to make more engaging and fun experiences for the users of the applications. The application landscape is flooded with both good and poorly executed implementations of applications covering almost every subject. If you are looking at setting your application apart, try adding a gamification spin by using a theme, genre and the Octalysis method to turn your normal application to a gamified one.