Opinion of Ilya Kurylev, an expert in the field of gamification, CEO of the Gamification.Now studio:
“The majority of modern online products are built on the mechanisms of unfinished gestalt. The task is simple: the user must constantly come back, and remember the product. For example, a person came to learn English. He does not yet speak it fluently, therefore, he remembers what needs to be learned. The system gives him regular tasks and the user returns to complete them. These are natural psychological reactions that were discussed earlier. The reward system problems are also solved through gamification.
But where is the gamification here? In new things that the user had not previously guessed. Consider our example of learning English. The user came to learn the language. Gamification informs him that in addition to completing tasks, the user upgrades his specific skills and levels up from such and such to such. That is, new virtual pending actions are created.
This helps the user to constantly monitor their progress and see the closest results of each step. Learning a language is long and difficult. Almost all products now require a certain amount of time, no matter what the user does: development, study, and so on.
Even if I signed up for a crash course, I have to spend at least two hours on it to see the result. Gamification and virtual unfinished activities help the user track a closer goal: within half an hour after the start of the course, I can raise my level. A certain micro activity is created: the user has a real sense of progress, step by step, step by step. This is especially good for products where there is little progress. And this is almost any modern training.
The discoveries of Zeigarnik and Ovsyankina are the basic principles of gamification on which almost everything is built.”
Ilya Kurylev, addition:
“We are not trying to manipulate the user, although this is a good opportunity. Imposing or inventing absolutely unnecessary virtual tasks for the user is not about gamification. Rather, we are trying to help him.
The user is not a child. He perfectly understands what is happening to him, he is aware of the tasks that are put before him. Gamification helps to complete a new scenario, and add reinforcements that may be missing in the product: a sense of progress, and immediate goals.
When a person studies with a real teacher, he is likely to notice small successes – for example, a learned word – and praise the student more. The application cannot follow the student in such detail. Gamification, on the other hand, provides constant, almost non-stop feedback.
The student (aka the user) is constantly gaining points, increasing his level all the time, and moving somewhere. First of all, it is done for the benefit of the student. Yes, we achieve the task of the service: the user remembers and returns all the time, sometimes even feels discomfort if he has not completed the plan for the day. But, at the same time, the user himself is interested in returning.
Gamification supports the user when his intrinsic motivation ends, and allows him not to burn out halfway through. This is a very important difference in applying psychology to user manipulation. Still, probably, he continues to return not only because and not so much because he has some kind of unfinished action but because the user still has the energy and interest to continue it. Gamification tries to emphasize the same thing to him, but from the other side. On some psychological level when it comes to loyalty program examples.”