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Why Gamification Matters for Graduate of an Online Master’s in Application Development (And How to Do It)

Thu 30 Nov 2017

Why Gamification Matters for Graduate of  an Online Master’s in Application Development (And How to Do It)

What Does Gamification Have to Do With an Online Master’s in Application Development?
App Developers Can Use Gamification to Develop a Story that Draws People in
Creative App Development Grads Know Challenges Make a Game Worthwhile
Don’t Forget to Provide Gamification Rewards When Developing Your Apps

One of the main challenges app developers face is user engagement and loyalty. How do you make someone more likely to keep using your app? What can you do to maintain its “pull”? For up-and-coming app developers, these challenges present excellent opportunities to develop creative approaches to app structure, content, and flow.

Gamification is one particular method of user engagement that is becoming increasingly popular among successful app developers. Keep reading to learn more about what gamification is, and how you can use its principles to develop more enticing apps for users during your master’s course.

What Does Gamification Have to Do With an Online Master’s in Application Development?

Put simply, gamification is the use of points or collectibles to engage app users and steer them toward particular actions – especially actions that the user might otherwise avoid. For instance, a points or scoring system could be used to push a user to provide more information during the registration process, earning extra badges or future opportunities each time a form field is filled.

Gamification may not be the right strategy for every application, but it is nonetheless an important one for developers to be aware of as they conceptualise new projects. At the very least, it will force you to consider your users’ experience and motivations more carefully, and at best, it may help you craft the optimal app design and infrastructure.

App Developers Can Use Gamification to Develop a Story that Draws People in

One key component of many successful gamification schemes is the development of a compelling story to underpin the game. This could be an elaborate back story with fantasy elements and world construction, but it does not have to be.

The story can be something as simple as a ranked points system with well-explained status and meaning attached to different levels or competitive rankings. Students pursuing an online Master’s in Application Development should keep this need for narrative in mind when conceptualising their app projects.

A compelling story draws users into your app and helps them stay engaged

Creative App Development Grads Know Challenges Make a Game Worthwhile

Another important component of gamification is the introduction of a challenge or obstacle. This can be especially important if your goal is to encourage repeated use of your app, and to keep your users coming back for more.

The Duolingo language learning app is a great example of this. The app lets users set a daily points goal, which can be reached by successfully completing lessons. When a user reaches their goal multiple days in a row, they develop a “streak” that further incentivises regular use of the app. Points are earned through achievement, which requires regular engagement. Students working on apps in online university programmes may find it useful to integrate challenges into their app designs.

Successfully overcoming challenges will help users find a sense of purpose in your app

Don’t Forget to Provide Gamification Rewards When Developing Your Apps

Finally, one of the most powerful incentives you can provide in your app – and this incentive can even be useful without gamification – is tangible rewards for repeated use and engagement. Depending on your app’s monetisation setup, the intensity of the app’s gamification, and your target user base, you may find different types of rewards to be more or less effective.

For an app like Duolingo, the reward inherent in levelling up may be enough, while others might require more material incentives like prize draws or exclusive content. No matter what kind of app you are developing throughout your Master’s in Creative App Development, you can use insights from gamification approaches to inform your work.

Do you want to know more about effective app development techniques?

Contact Falmouth Flexible to learn more about our online Master’s degree and online PGDip in Creative App Development!