Gamified training experience

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Congratulations! You have just bought a new software pack.
You had to pick between the Standard version or the Professional version which includes dozens of features you don’t really know what they are used for, but you were convinced you might need them someday and it would be useful to have them (haven't we all been there?!).

Ok, now you have installed the software and you are ready to rumble! When suddenly it strikes you… You have no idea how to work those features out !!!

In this post I want to present some products that have used Gamification for a teaching experience.
Remember clippy ?
Microsoft used this character to suggest help on all sorts of actions the user came across.
But lately Microsoft has introduced Ribbon Hero 2 for teaching Office 2007 and 2010 through a themed Gamified experience which takes the "getting to know the product" experience to a whole new level.

You are taken through the various capabilities by simplified missions and gather points, badges and titles along the way, like the following example: 

Another Software that provides a cool plug in to push you into becoming an advanced user is LevelUp for Photoshop.
LevelUp becomes part of Photoshop’s window and present you with an image that needs work.
Missions are to fix the image and you get a thorough guidance on the various tools and additional tips and tricks.
As further you advance you get points and badges to symbolize your level. Additional credit is given on timing of individual assignment and the total pace.

For top motivated users, a leaders board can be found on Adobe’s website:

To conclude this short Gamification implementation: be open minded, Gamification can be implemented in various functions in your product, by encouraging the user to learn about your product he truly understands the benefit and added value of your product.
Finally think about the hours it took to design and implement one of these advanced features – you surely want it to be in use.