For the developers of mobile apps, the art of gamification has become a basic prerequisite for success. Gamification, or the practice of applying elements of game playing to other types of activity, is far more than just a buzz word within the world of app development.
Comprehensive studies have shown that incorporating gamification elements into apps increases engagement by 33% while making users 22% more likely to share an app on their social media channels.
With numbers like that, it’s clear that gamification is a winning strategy. If you’re a budding mobile app developer hoping to create the next big app, check out these stellar examples of app gamification to inspire you.
Gamified Learning: Duolingo
If there is one app that has perfected gamification, it’s the world’s largest language learning application, Duolingo. This app, which features dozens of languages to learn, has incorporated the core tenets of gamification from its early beginnings. Users wishing to learn a language must advance through levels, collect gold coins called ‘lingots’, and play themed language games with various virtual scenarios. In addition, there is a strong competitive element, provided through local leaderboards and the possibility to ‘vote’ on the best player translations.
Gamified Personal Finance: SmartyPig
Budgeting can be a dull and difficult process. That’s why the SmartyPig app seeks to turn the road to financial responsibility into a fun, interactive game. Users connect their bank accounts to the app so that it can monitor your ‘progress’. From there, users receive points for every dollar saved or every expense that they cut out. The progress bar grows as users increase their savings, with special points counter features that allow users to ‘advance’ when they hit a saving milestone.
Gamified Casino Betting: Casushi
Rather than simply offering an app where users can access virtual slots and card games, Casushi goes one step further. In seeking to turn every facet of the casino experience into a game, Casushi offers a range of elements that are designed to keep users interested. One of the most innovative of these is their ‘Sushi Train’ progress bar, which users can fill by accruing loyalty points. Once they have filled the bar past a certain point, the app dispenses rewards points that can be used to access free spins on a range of slots.
Gamified Fitness: Fitocracy
Mustering up the motivation to hit the gym is one of life’s eternal struggles. Fortunately, the fitness app Fitocracy is here to help. This smooth app can provide custom workout plans and fitness routines for users. It then keeps users on-track by providing bonus points, level-ups, and virtual rewards and coins for success. There is also a strong competitive element, as users who have made the most progress in their fitness journey will be profiled on the app’s global leaderboards, where people can give praise in the form of ‘hearts’ or coins.
Gamified Coffee: Starbucks App
The beauty of the official Starbucks app is that it seamlessly integrates the real-world activity of its users to transform the everyday experience of purchasing coffee into an exciting and genuinely rewarding game. The app allows you to connect your Starbucks card and will begin recording the loyalty points accrued with each purchase. The design of the app features sleek progress bars and ‘levels’ that can be reached the more users visit Starbucks. The result of reaching certain levels is that users are gifted with in-store credit or just straight-up ‘prizes’ in the form of free drinks and snacks.
Gamified Productivity: Habitica
If you’ve ever struggled to meet a deadline or complete your household chores, then you may need to gamify your approach to productivity. That’s exactly what the Habitica app aims to do. The app turns your everyday goals, chores, and responsibilities into a fantasy-style RPG quest game. You create a character just like any other RPG, but you can only advance in the mobile game by ticking items off your to-do list. Only the most productive players can rise to the top, defeat bosses, and advance through each level, providing a powerful incentive to get your chores done.
These innovative apps have gotten gamification distilled into an art form. Any aspiring developer would do well to follow their example.