Octalysis: From Gamification to Human-focused Design II
This is the second part of our epic interview with one of the top leaders in Gamification worldwide, Yu-kai Chou. If you want to read the full interview check out the first part of it here: http://www.epicwinblog.net/2013/05/epic-interview-octalysis-from.html . This second part is more focused on his Octalysis framework and some questions related to his daily job, motivation and happiness or other stuff related to Gamification. Let´s see what Yu-kai tells us!!
So Yu-kai, what kind of problems do you usually solve and how is it to be you for a day? What is a Gamification expert in real life?
My work varies from day to day. Generally I work 80-90 hours per week, but I still do not have enough
time to get things done! Many people find me based on reputation of having a focus on actionable gamification, my framework Octalysis on my blog, or through word of mouth and press. The typical problem that they face is low user engagement and motivation. Often time they want me to teach them how to use Octalysis and create gamified campaigns to use on their own.
Since my hourly-rate is quite high, it is generally a bit expensive for most companies to have me complete work for them, but they usually hire me to give them guidance, teach them the tools to run Octalysis, and make sure they are on track and making things fun and engaging. The value I add to clients is often measured in saving their time - not in hours but in months or years.
It might take them years of trial and error to figure out what actually engages users, and many technology startups simply don't have the capital to waste that much time.
We have talked about the power of “Gamification”, but, can we actually apply it to every field? When and why shouldn´t we use it?
I firmly believe you can apply gamification into every field that involves human motivation, outside of games. You can't gamify a game just like you can't "liquify liquid." You can, however, implement better game design into a game, which is what I do from time to time. That also means that gamification cannot be used in fields that just deal with automated processes. When an industry is just done by bots that have no human motion, obviously gamification is pointless. Finally, it's important to not apply gamification into malicious fields of manipulation. If a company was to apply heavy Black Hat Gamification, then they need to let the user know that, and opt-into it.
In epic win blog, we also have a post related to this topic that you can check out here: http://www.epicwinblog.net/2013/04/when-not-to-use-gamification.html
Following this former topic, would you be able to tell us the first steps that we should follow to start applying gamification in our business?
The first step is to play a few games that simulate the work in your business (there are simulation games about every profession these days!) Concentrate on "feeling" what makes this game draw you to play more, and then apply an Octalysis to it. Then you analyze your own business and learn how to make it more fun. Also, it is very important to identify a few things before any gamified campaign: Business Metrics, Players, Win-States, Player Stats, and Incentives.
To conclude this interview in a truly EPIC way, I would like you to tell us how did you come up with the 8 core drivers and what is their relation to the motivational and well-being theories?
I came up with Octalysis after years and years of being addicted to games, and years and years of studying that and understanding why games were so addicting. When I was younger, I wasn't good at many things, but I was exceptional at playing games. I then noticed that many others were brilliant at games too but not good at other things in life.
I started researching a variety of games, from action-packed Diablo to Strategy games like Starcraft, to social relaxing games like Farmville. I then concluded that (besides Sensation - the 9th hidden drive), there are 8 Core Drives that are pushing and pulling us towards a certain direction.
I then documented it down into an octagon shape to see if it could be organized in a pattern that could provide visual insights at a glance, which is how I applied left/right brain and whitehat/blackhat gamification ends of the octagon into my framework.
Deci/Ryan and Seligman's works are incredible and awesome. I think my framework is a bit more inclusive, as they tend to focus mostly on the Whitehat Gamification Core Drives but not things such as Scarcity & Impatience. You can actually apply what they taught into Octalysis and become a better Octalysis gamifier. Companies have also told me that Octalysis makes it easier to make things actionable - something that is a challenge in today's industry, as there are a lot of inspirational talks and case studies, but few know how to apply it to their own businesses very well.
At the end of the day, all these frameworks and tools are useful, but the key is how well you can apply them to make your life better.
So Yu-kai, what is in your opinion, the key point of this interview?
At the end of the day, Gamification is not a cookie cutter solution to solve all the problems in the world. It requires careful and diligent design. ALL games have game mechanics, but most games suck. Only a few WELL-DESIGNED games become awesome and EPIC. And this site is a great place to learn how to get there!