Surveys are games: Why survey gamification?

Surveys are games: Why survey gamification?

Surveys are already gamified. They aren’t gamified particularly well, however.

Seriously. Surveys are games. They have the three things a game needs: goals, rules, and a feedback and rewards system.

  • Goals. The objective is to progress through all of the “levels” (questions) and reach the end of the survey.
  • Rules. Each question type has different rules that must be followed to advance to the next question.
  • Feedback and rewards. Surveys promise something at the completion of the survey. Rewards could be good karma for sharing opinions or points that can be redeemed for gift cards or credits. For example, Google Opinion Rewards is a mobile app for Android devices that gives participants Google Play credits for completing short surveys. Respondents can then purchase apps, music, or movies in the Google Play store using those earned credits.

Yes, surveys are games. Why is this important? An Insights Meta RapidPoll found that over 50% of Americans play games, including 75% of Males 18-44. Games provide structures for achievement, creativity, and socialization. These structures can bring about strong engagement, if implemented properly.

Making surveys better games

However, surveys don’t feel like games. They aren’t fun–most of the time, they are rather boring. That’s because surveys are not taking advantage of game design principles to create a more engaging user experience.  Surveys, then, are poor games. There are many issues that make surveys bad games. How can survey gamification be better?

  • Visual design. Most surveys do not put effort into its presentation. They are boring jumbles of text as questions and answers. Interactive elements and eye-pleasing visuals can make a respondent want to engage more with your survey.
  • Offer choices. Typically, there is one path through a survey. As a result, respondents see predetermined questions in a predetermined order. Non-linear pathways can give respondents a feeling of choice and control.
  • Tell a coherent story. The purpose of the survey is often either unclear or there is no unified theme around the survey. It’s a series of questions that may or may not relate to each other, with limited transitions between any subject changes.
  • Keep it clear and simple. Use standard question types and interfaces that are intuitive. If you are doing anything outside of the norm, be sure to give clear instructions of what is expected. Respondents should not struggle with or get frustrated by the input mechanics.
  • Reward appropriately. They are either not enticing enough to convince people to take your survey, or it is too easy to take advantage of the platform in order to maximize the rewards while minimizing the effort (and, consequently, the quality of data). If users can find a way to speed through your survey to reap the rewards faster, they will take advantage of it.

Surveys are games with Datagame!

Datagame is the DIY survey gamification platform. Replace boring survey questions with engaging games to capture better data. Click here to sign up for a free Datagame account and build your first Datagame today.