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Gamification: A Winning Design

Posted February 16, 2017 by Jonathon Jackson



There’s a lot more to implementing a gamification process in your workplace than simply coming up with some game-like activities for your employees and expecting productivity to magically increase.

As with any project you’re engaged in, you have to consider the motivation behind what you’re doing. And not just your own motivation, but also that of your prospective users.

Design is a major key to whether or not your gamification process will succeed. It’s design that gives us vital information about the system and those who use it, and ultimately it is design that allows us to use that information to help maintain the system.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be rocket science.  In their 2013 book Gamification at Work, authors Janaki Kumar and Mario Herger came up with a five-step system to allow designers of a gamification process to understand the users of that process, and their motivation.

  • Know your player
  • Identify the mission
  • Understand human motivation
  • Apply mechanics
  • Manage, monitor and measure


There’s a similar six-step process in a 2012 book called For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business, by authors Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter. Their method emphasizes engagement and enjoyment.

  • Define business objectives
  • Delineate target behaviours
  • Describe your players
  • Devise activity cycles
  • Don’t forget the fun!
  • Deploy the appropriate tools


These two examples provide linear paths to success, but not every process needs to go in a straight line. Another expert, Scott Nicholson, came up with the acronym RECIPE to help designers come up with a winning system:

  • Reflection
  • Engagement
  • Choice
  • Information
  • Play
  • Exposition


What these methods have in common is that they all offer a window into who the users of a system are, their motivations, and how they can engage with the system in order to reach their goals.

Game experts like Werbach and Ethan Mollick point out that successful gamification efforts can make positive differences in a workplace. Among other benefits, they relieve tedium and lead to increased levels of satisfaction and performance.

We are keenly aware of the benefits of gamification at ODScore Inc. We can help you to understand gamification and how it will allow you to succeed at setting goals and ultimately in attaining goals – both yours, and those of your employees.


To learn much more about Gamification, please download our White Paper titled“Turning Pleasure into Business – Gamification in the Workplace.”



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