Day 61 — Gamification

Today was Day 5 of my 7-day design challenge. Today’s theme was gamification.

Haha — I love the “gamification is exciting because it promised to make the hard stuff in life fun”

But first…Am I qualified to do this?

Absolutely not!

But are kids “qualified” to use their imaginations?

If you’ve ever met my family, you’ll know that we play a lot of games — and most of the time we either make up the rules or make up entire games (lime ball is still an all-time favorite).

So, as is the theme of Invincible, I’m just going for it. This first iteration will probably suck, but it will most certainly get better through iteration.

Today’s Design Challenge: Gamification

How might we incentivize mastery through the app?

One thing we must get right to make this worth it

Develop a system that engages users to progress through lessons, achievements, and missions that improve skills and confidence. Living, not learning is our goal — so whatever type of point system / rewards / etc. we come up with should match this value.

What worries me

Developing a cheesy game. We’ll never compete with real games and even trying to will leave our app feeling clunky and outdated.

Design Inspiration

My primary inspiration for today’s efforts was Duolingo. They’ve done an amazing job at making learning a language fun (and 300 million users can’t all be wrong).

Today’s Output

Creating a points system

The main concept behind today’s work was a point system where users can level up (represented by the lightning bolt) by earning experience points (represented by progress between levels).

Accessing points from the Training Screen

We can award points in a lot of ways, but here was how Duolingo does it so we’ll probably start with something similar:

  • Individual lessons = 10 XP (+possible bonus XP)
  • Skill practice (when you reach all 5 levels in a skill!) = 10 XP*
  • Practice (accessible via the barbell icon or hearts tab) = 10 XP
  • Skill Test-out (when you tap the key icon to level up in a skill ) = 20 XP

The Rest of the Flow

As for level-ups, to keep the point system consistent across the UI, I imagined there would be a variety of places we would represent rewards, including:

  • End of lessons: Simple rewards for a job well done once a lesson is completed.
  • Level-Ups: Rewards for progress toward a goal. Our ultimate goal is the user’s goal, so perhaps we’ll represent this in some way. For now, I’m using the superhero theme to build out the user’s avatar.
  • Profile: Show the user their own progress and give them the ability to see other user’s progress, too.

Here’s the flow:

Example end-to-end flow

What’s Next?

Tomorrow I’ll continue on with “Progress.” There are a lot of overlaps to today’s work which should provide a good opportunity to iterate on this version 1.



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Bob Weishar

Bob Weishar

Startup founder surviving in his parent’s basement.