Gamification – putting out the welcome mat

I love IBM Connections. It’s a great way to connect and share information and it allows me to broadcast my opinions and ideas within our company. Out of the box though IBM Connections can be a bit sterile. Yes, there are some templates and yes you can customize it of course but it’s still all a bit aloof. It can take some time to really feel connected with it, which means getting the adoption going can be a struggle.

Cue gamification: We recently became a partner for Kudos Badges, a gamification module that helps drive adoption of IBM Connection and implemented it within our own environment to try out. Suddenly everyone was talking about the badges and checking out their scores. The overall usage picked up immediately.
Ok yes, I work with mostly males and regardless of what you say…. THEY ARE MORE COMPETITIVE than females (although I’m usually worse then most of my male co-workers but that’s really the exception). So there was a definite surge in activity visible and it caused most of my co-workers to really start exploring and using IBM Connections.

But apart from the competitive element it adds something else: A visually appealing effect.
It personalizes the for some relatively overwhelming digital social tools environment and adds a bit of humanization and color to it. Making it less sterile and less intimidating. It’s like putting the ‘Welcome’ mat out and a pot of flowers in the windowsill to invite people in.

Now yes, I am competitive but that is secondary to visual for me. When I look at something I notice style, color, layout and navigation first and functions second. The better the visual appeal and logic the better I understand and recognize the functionality and the more I am inclined to explore it further.
And I am not alone! Why do you think Apple products are so appealing to so many…? Their way of putting design on an equal level to the functionality clearly works. Gamification for IBM Connections, if done right taps into that as well.

So in a quirky way Kudos Badges is livening up IBM Connections in more then one way. On the one hand with a competitive element, offering leaderboards and scores and on the other with a bit of visual appeal and logic, offering clues and tips on usage, colorful achievement badges and challenges and goals to strive for.

Does this mean it is something that will entice everyone or that this is an end to it self? No, but it’s a great onboarding tool, something that can help you get that initial adoption going and get people interested. Helping them overcome their initial hesitation of using IBM Connections.
So use it to put out the Welcome mat and give your users a warm welcome. Let’s get them over the threshold! 


2 thoughts on “Gamification – putting out the welcome mat

  1. Thx Femke 4 inspire me again. I admite that I did not know "gamification" so I looked at wikipedia: "…is the use of game design techniques, game thinking and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts."And I thought, how should this work, but the examples you show in your brochure are easy to understand. Yes I think this will be very helpfull for a rollout of Connections to help departmens or companies to share knowledge. As "gamification" is new 4 me, I would have called it >>knowledge bonus system<< but I enjoy this "way".Thx 4 "lying on my couch listening to #TWIL with a hot water bottle in my neck while writing a blog.."Kind RegardsWerner

  2. Hi Werner, yes gamification can certainly help drive adoption. Let me know if you need more info!And yes, that tweet was about writing this blog 🙂 The warm water bottle did wonders for the strained muscle in my back, feeling a lot better today.

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