App Idea: Productivity Gamification
If you could turn your job into a game, imagine how much more productive you’d be. Better yet, if there was an app that gamified your job, imagine the usage of that app. This process of turning something as boring as a chore or job into a game is known as “gamification.” More specifically, it is the use of game elements, or game play mechanics, for non-game applications and is a trending subject of interest for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs alike.
With $600 million invested in 2009 (1) and over a billion in 2010 (2), and incubators like FBFund and Y-Combinator (3) eyeing gaming startups, you can’t help but wonder what the interest is. Perhaps Brad Feld sums up this interest the best, ““Life is one big game that machines are making us play. Therefore, I want to make sure I invest in the technology enabling the machines. I want that edge.” With venture capital flowing in the direction of gamification and even platforms like iactionable.com, badgeville.com, and bigdoor.com that have sprung up to support this budding space, perhaps mobile productivity applications with a gamification twist could pique the interest of consumers and investors alike.
Making Dish Washing Fun
So how do you make dish washing fun? For starters there are a number of apps and app-like products that can give you an idea of how to design your next mobile gamified productivity app:
– Fitbit – www.fitbit.com – Fitness web app that visualizes your daily physical activity and enables you to make small changes that lead to big results.
– Momentem – www.momentem.net – a smartphone app and service that prompts you to tag your emails, calls and mobile activities (4).
– Nissan Leaf – Nissan recently created a leaderboard for “hypermilers” that ranks drivers according to their fuel efficiency (5)
Bigdoor.com has even enabled websites like icanhascheezburger.com and buddytv.com with gamification aspects that are designed to increase user traffic and interest. However, at the end of the day, these are websites and not necessarily mobile apps. With the user traction that gamified websites have seen and if you take into account the user uptake on the Momentem app, a mobile productivity app that is gamified could be that much more popular. Now if the fuel efficiency leader board that Nissan created could be turned into a mobile app, think about the potential there.
Deep Dive With Momentem’s Gamified Mobile App
We took this opportunity to interview Momentem about their product and was able to get Terry Hughes, Head of Market Development at Momentem’s parent company Wmode, to explain more about their product: “We knew the service we were providing to our users was valuable as it allows them to capture billable time they would otherwise find hard to recover and track. What we didn’t expect is for our users to tell us that Momentem is quite addictive. When we asked why, they told us it is because they feel a sense of power and achievement with the app as it lets them click and book a bunch of billable time directly to a specific client. Like in a game where the object is to collect as many tokens or points to redeem for rewards, our users are capturing all of their small daily interactions on their smartphone and charging it to their client or company.”
“After discovering this game mentality of our core group of users – IT Consultants, Lawyers, Accountants, and Business Consultants – we realized that not only were they competing with themselves to see how much time they could tag, but that teams within organizations were competition with each other to see who could win the most tags for the month,” said Hughes.
Hughes further remarked, “Taking this information into account we decided to run a contest in 2010 to identify the Top Tagger – the winner used the app for 32 hours a week throughout the year, which was incredible! Our Top Tagger for 2010 has illustrated what I have been saying for so long; that busy people will embrace an app like ours as long as we deliver something that’s easy to use, fun, and which provides an outstanding return on investment.”
“With the success of our Top Tagger contest we plan to further gamify our app by including a gaming element to our web portal. One of the more game oriented measures we are looking at including is the ability for a user to evaluate how they are doing with the numbers of tags compared to other users in their social network. We are also looking at including metrics that will let our customers track and analyze their usage to see when they are the top tagger for a specific month and see where they are at in the tagging rankings. Thus, like with a game, they can measure their success and calculate how many more calls and email tags they need to make to reach the top ten ranking. These measures are exactly what we used to figure out who our 2010 Tagger of the year was. To him it is definitely a game to tag as many activities on his smartphone as possible, as well as business – his ROI from Momentem provides him with huge value,” Hughes summarized.
Momentem, powered by parent company Wmode, has received several awards and appears on many “Top 10 apps” lists including IT Pro, MSN Tech and Gadgets, and Fierce Wireless. As well Momentem was a regional finalist in the 2010 BlackBerry Super App contest.
Go Make That Gamified Productivity App
Gamification is a simple but powerful concept that injects fun into an otherwise mind-numbing chore. Regardless of the mobile application that you are creating, gamification, whether simple or complicated can provide that addiction to your application that drives repeated usage. Know that whichever route you choose, there is venture capital interest and entrepreneurial activity abuzz in this space and platforms like iactionable.com, badgeville.com, and bigdoor.com make the process of app gamification even easier.
Perhaps your next app could be a gamified productivity app!
(4) http://www.wmode.com/index.php?section=wmode&topview=news&subview=press_room&additional=momentem_app_announces_top_tagger_for_2010(5) http://productivitygames.blogspot.com/2010/12/nissan-leaf-rates-you-against-other.html