Web design is an area becoming more and more competitive by the day. The things that worked several months ago can easily become history, with a blink of an eye. It is an ever-evolving industry that always seeks effective and confident ways to get the attention of Internet users’. New and innovative methods help website owners lead users down their sales funnels in evolving and effective ways.
And while trends change over time, the professionals working in these areas seem to do well at taking notice and taking action before the new developments transform from novelties into necessities. Some of these new trends come from other areas of design and niches, which seem entirely distinct from web design. For example, some specialists explore and even utilize cognitive psychology and neurobiology in website design. And yet – there is only one industry today that truly caters to some of the most innate human needs and wants while entertaining them. This industry hit a stunning $120 billion of revenue in 2019. Yes, you guessed it – we’re talking about the video game industry. Though the industry has been through its highs and lows, today it is one of the most prominent and rapidly growing industries in the world.
It should come as no surprise that at some point, web designers decided to incorporate some gaming elements into websites. At first, it was a gamble. But time proved these chances correct – the results were quite encouraging. Gamification works, but only if gaming elements are used properly, consider users’ behavior, goals, and the niche a particular site belongs to. If you have a company website that isn’t successfully driving new leads and converting them to customers, then gamifying your site’s design might be a helpful solution. But, if you still don’t have a website, you might want to consider adding game elements at the very beginning.
If your company isn’t a web design company, finding a team of reliable specialists that can take care of your company’s site development and launch is critical to the success of your business. Incredible web design agencies exist in every niche imaginable, so finding the one that can create a site that reflects your brand and matches your budget shouldn’t be a problem. The better your website addresses the needs and wants of your audience, the higher the chances it will generate new leads, customers, and income. Sit down with your web design agency in San Francisco to discuss the ways to proactively and effectively gamify your future or existing website.
But, before this all happens, you should get at least some idea of how and why gamification works in web design and how it can help you get more leads and, therefore, customers.
Reason #1. The User Gets Control
When a visitor gets to your website, more often than not, they just want to get from point A to point B. Leading potential clients towards your desired goal is a part of the user journey. According to simple psychology, people don’t like to be made or forced to go anywhere. Everyone wants to be the masters of their destiny. This means it’s important to make users feel like they’re in the driving seat. Always. This is the heart and soul of gamification. Think about it like the website version of a choose your adventure book.
Online courses like Codecademy and Udemy, do this very well – they have a wide range of courses on all kinds of topics. Their gamified systems let users have control at any moment on their platforms. They can choose lectures like game levels; they can even click ‘next lecture’ whenever they want. It might sound simple, but humans get a kick out of making their own choices.
Reason #2. Maps Help Users Understand Location and Direction
Once again, this is simple psychology. People like to know where they are going. They like to know where they are in the process. Otherwise, users remain in the dark and become increasingly wary.
When players play Mario, World of Warcraft, and Zelda, there’s a clear and simple reason why they have a map! Taking this type of mapping system and incorporating it into various aspects of your website can have drastically positive consequences. Even something as simple as a progress bar can work as a map for your site visitors. Whatever it is that allows them to know where they are in the process of what they are doing is a useful tool. Your potential customers always will want to know how far they’ve gone and how far they’ve got to go. If you can – include achievement milestones along the way. This way, you’ll break up the journey and make it feel more manageable. Once again, this improves user experience.
Reason #3. Games Reinforce Good Behavior
When you are training a dog, you reward it with treats. The same happens when it behaves well. It keeps behaving well because it gets its rewards. Although humans are far more complex than this, essentially, the same thing happens when you play a game. When you finish a level, you receive a reward –a power-up or a new character, for instance. So you keep doing it again and again. This pattern reinforces a habit of behavior.
Gamified sites do the same thing. Facebook is particularly good at doing this. It is fantastic at incorporating subtle gamification. For instance, when you post an image or status, you get rewarded with reactions (likes, wows, etc.). You get a psychological reward from Facebook. So, you repeat your actions. Facebook is the real winner that keeps user engagement and user numbers high. Rewarding users at every stage of their journey reinforces what you need them to do and hopefully keeps your website’s traffic high.
Reason #4. Gaming Provides a Sensation of Achievement
Achievement is one of the strongest psychological driving factors in human behavior. Everything humans do; they do to achieve something. Your website visitors are going to try to achieve something. That could be buying a book, getting fit, learning code, or managing money.
If you can make your prospects feel like they have achieved something, they are going to return. Something like simple praise for a completed task helps create a milestone – this is an achievement. We all understand real achievements, like “getting fit,” or learning a skill, take considerable time and effort. Thus, it’s important that you break the process down and create turn achievement itself into manageable steps and intervals. This keeps people coming back for more.
Reason #5. People Enjoy Setting Goals and Competing with Themselves
By nature, humans are competitive. Most people want to push themselves further and harder. By including ‘previous records’ and ‘personal bests’ to your site, you might persuade your audience to come back and try to improve. Show people their statistics, and they will try to beat it on almost any occasion.
It can be quite difficult keeping your target audience engaged with your company website. This reality alone should make you seriously consider gamification. Of course, you don’t have to turn your website that has all the relevant information about your company, products, services, and other things into a game. But, adding just a tiny pinch of gaming can drastically improve the user experience.
You should connect your marketing team with that of the web design agency you’ve hired to make sure that all gaming elements reflect the way your brand takes care of your customers. You want to make certain that the site visitors will value your content and will enjoy surfing it when looking for information, deals, and more. Gamification in web design is a quite effective strategy – you just always have to make sure you’re doing it the right way.