Engaging with users and creating long-term loyalty is a real challenge. Do you have a following of users but don’t know how to keep them loyal? Or people start losing interest in your app and abandon it after several uses? To keep users hooked on your app and ensure long-term success, you might want to consider gamification. Let’s find out how our team added a “fun” element to the app and managed to solve the problem of app abandonment.
Our client came up with an idea of a lifestyle application that can help people to track mood and find out what personal factors are associated with greater happiness.
The factors that affect it vary depending on what is important for each person and these factors are exactly what the app wants to discover.
Every day, the users track indicators about what they are doing and feeling at the moment. Provided that the users regularly track the determinants of happiness, they will get an accurate picture of their life so they can recognize exactly what makes them feel the happiest.
We worked on the project from the very beginning and developed the first version of the app. Based on iTunes statistics, we tracked how users managed to interact with the application and realized that there is the following problem.
The users didn’t understand the value behind the application and abandon it after one or three uses.
To understand the value of the app, it was necessary to use it throughout the month by entering the data daily.
This was crucial for the application to receive the right amount of information that would be filled out at regular intervals to track dependencies and ultimately issue the information the user needs.
So, the challenge was to encourage users to enter data regularly by coming up with a solution that is simple, enjoyable, and engaging.
We wanted to make users enter data into the app every day for the first week. We knew that to achieve this, users needed the motivation to return to an app every day. After a long brainstorm session, we decided that the most powerful motive which encourages people to do something is a desire to prove that they’re able to handle any challenge. So our goal was to make good use of it and create user engagement in the existing app.
To enhance the challenge effect, we decided to apply some kind of rewards, so that users could feel even more motivated. When someone installed our application they were told that in order to get their reward they needed to track the indicators. In a test mode, we took a time period of a week so that users started to systematically enter data and thus developing a habit.
Initially, the idea was to draw a progress bar, where the first week is 100 percent of the task. The progress bar is understandable from the point of view of the first week, but it’s not quite scalable, so we decided to go for motivational badges.
Gamification in our app is simple.
Users are awarded “motivational badges” the 1st, 3rd, 7th, 14th, and 30th continuous days of adding the information into the app regarding their mental state and factors that make them feel happy.
Thus, the user understood that to receive the award it was necessary to fill in the data for several days in a row.
Initially, it was difficult to determine the balance of the number of badges. After testing within the focus group and receiving feedback, we chose the most optimal intervals: the first, third, and seventh days to receive badges.
One of the challenges was to implement the solution as soon as possible since it was an article about the application scheduled to publish in the top U.S. newspaper. Thus, we had to launch a new version of the app in time before the release of an issue of a newspaper.
It took us less than two weeks to effectively gamify the mobile app.
We released the new version of the app, having backward compatibility with the previous version.
During the first three days, the number of new users who systematically entered the data has increased up to 11%.
During the first week after introducing the updated version of the app, the number of active users has grown from 0.2 % to 17%.
This project made us realize that game mechanics play a vital role in increasing user engagement.
Using gamification in digital product design doesn’t mean just turning things into games, rather implementing or enhancing motivational factors that help users through their journey and adding some fun.
Users should feel fulfilled by seeing their progress measured visually and if there is a disconnect with the gamified experiences provided, your product can end up feeling hollow.
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4a bakulina st. Ste. 48
Kharkiv, Ukraine 61000