Actionable Gamification [Yu-Kai Chou] P82

Post Length: 3 min

In Review: Actionable Gamification

Author: Yu-Kai Chou

Length: 12 hrs 29 min

Reco: yes [5/5 bananas]

WTF! Audible won’t let me buy more credits until next month?! That’s bogus, must be a mistake-

A few times a month I hit the button: Buy 3 extra credits. But this time a message popped up that I have to wait until May 13th to buy more credits.

Yu-Kai would say this hits on core driver #6, Scarcity and Impatience.

The result, it will make you want it even more … and in my case, it worked.

I tried 10+ more times to buy credits, thinking, this has to be a mistake. Nothing worked. Closing my browser, refreshing my browser, logging out and then back in again, trying a new tab, nothing.

They ended up getting my money, and they got it when they wanted, on their terms.

Gamification is design that places the most emphasis on the human in the process. In essence, it is human focused design. - Chou

Using multiple games and businesses as examples, Chou explains the best framework for human focused design.

We seek meaning in life, a sense of accomplishment … but that is only part of the story. We also need status, tension, risk and a chance of missing out … think, the one that got away.

Below are the 8 core drivers the need to be present for people to take a requested action. If none are present, there is no real motivation to do the action.

  1. Epic Meaning - a calling bigger than you, destiny

  2. Development with Accomplishment - do this, level up

  3. Empowerment of creativity with Feedback - mentorship, evergreen

  4. Ownership and Possession - avatar creation, you own it more

  5. Social Influence and Relatedness - your friends have it, jealousy, competition

  6. Scarcity and Impatience - missing out, come back

  7. Unpredictability and Curiosity - like gambling

  8. Loss and Avoidance - prevent something negative from happening.

Think of the original Betty Crocker cake mix that had powdered eggs already mixed in. People didn’t feel like they were making a real cake, so it struggled to get traction.

By removing the powdered eggs and requiring two raw eggs to be added by the cook, it gave everyone the sense of accomplishment. Look, I baked a cake, one that I had to mix the ingredients for. Pure magic.

The design elements don’t have to be complex, or groundbreaking, it just has to incorporate one of the 8 core drivers.

Points, badges, and leaderboards [PBL]. Most people think that if they just add those then they have gamified whatever they want. - Chou

This is in line with a post I wrote a few months back on The Power of Moments, creating memorable experiences by design. Coupled with Yu-Kai’s 8 drivers, that would make for some powerful framework for achievement.

Since I am learning these things as I go, all I can say is that I am a victim of their genius.

To help protect my brain from marketing practices, I disabled the web browser on my phone. Epic move.

Now, without access to the web, I can only buy books on Saturdays when I sit down to write this blog on my desktop. In other words, I can’t stop their tricks, but I can control when I deal with it. Take that AI, who’s in control now?

As I learned in door to door sales, always leave on your terms when a homeowner is a jerk. Until next week-

Love, Ando