How games can accomplish what other survey formats can’t
Survey Gamification Benefits
Repeatedly developing surveys, only to be met with meager response rates, is frustrating for any researcher. Fortunately, it’s possible to encourage your target audience to respond, complete your survey, and provide you with more accurate data through gamification of surveys.
Gamification turns boring multiple-choice surveys into fun, interesting games that encourage participation and honesty by tuning into a basic human desire: People like to play games. Games are competitive, allow players to earn rewards, and give participants a sense of accomplishment. New online services allow you to drop your own questions into pre-existing game interfaces, greatly reducing the costs commonly associated with developing, programming and testing a custom game interface. Following are a few examples of how gamified surveys are a superior alternative to text-based surveys.
Improving the quantity of respondents
The impact of gamification on the number of qualified respondents who complete the survey varies somewhat, depending on your target audience. For example, different degrees of improvement are achieved if the survey is polling high school students, enterprise CFOs, tech workers, or bankers. However, in study after study, gamified surveys generate more respondents than do traditional text-based surveys. In fact, gamification of surveys is so successful that an estimated 70 percent of the top 2000 companies in the world are employing the practice.
Using a game-like format also encourages respondents to share the survey with others, which can effortlessly expand the recruiting frame. Gamified surveys are more likely to be shared via social media, more likely to be found online via search engines, and more likely to generate comments. All of these factors work toward improving completion rates.
Improving the quantity of completed surveys
Of course, even if participants begin a survey, actually completing it is another matter. Gamification helps with both of these challenges. Depending on the type of survey conducted (B2C, B2B, student surveys, etc.), gamification can improve survey completion rates by more than 60 percent. Dropout rates are lower, even when the content of the survey is longer. In fact, gamified surveys are sometimes longer due to the content needed to explain the interactive, game-like atmosphere, but because participants report more enjoyment while playing gamified surveys, this increase in length does not negatively impact survey completion rates.
Improving the quality of survey results
More survey data isn’t helpful if the responses are straight-line answers (like all Bs or Cs), or other lazy answers. Gamification can help with data quality, too. Respondents reportedly take more time to answer the more thoughtful questions posed in a gamified survey. For example, if you ask respondents whether they prefer wearing business suits or casual attire to work, you may not get very thoughtful answers. However, if you ask them to pretend they’re going on a job interview with their dream company, response rates increase, because the respondents are more engaged in the questions. Gamification causes respondents to put more thought into their answers, because the questions are more thought-provoking. Additionally, adding time limits or offering rewards can boost both the quantity and quality of survey results.
Gamification works across nations & cultures
Gamification is not limited to Western audiences. The quantity and quality of responses improves with gamification across cultures and national boundaries, according to studies conducted around the world, including Europe and Asia.
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