Gamification entered the world of L&D with a huge explosion of excitement and promises of behavioural change, increased engagement and boosting employee motivation. But there’s been mixed results. Gamification is just another tool in the L&D toolbox, not a one size fits all approach to training. It’s not going to solve all your problems, but with the right application, it can solve some of them. Let’s look at the common gamification mistakes that have been made.


Badgered by badges

Badges are often used to show achievements and give people a feeling of progress. However, they’re often overused or given away for meaningless accomplishments.


Pointless points

Points are a great way of creating competition among people and motivating them to work towards something (often a badge). But if points aren’t used in conjunction with a good gamification strategy, they become quite…pointless.


Leaderboards that make you feel like a loser

Seeing your name up in lights can feel great, but not if you’re at the bottom of the leaderboard. Quite often leaderboards will result in a lot of engagement for the people in the top 5% and demotivate everyone else. So you need to design the right mechanics behind the rankings first.


Games to make things more fun… that aren’t all that fun

It may be tempting to “break up the training” with some games to make the training more engaging, but this will just can just be a useless distraction – and usually the games aren’t all that fun.


Games to improve learning… that don’t improve learning

Usually these are dressed up quizzes, adding a “game” appearance over the top. For example, it could be racing cars by answering quiz questions. Or climbing a mountain by answering quiz questions. Or finding pirate treasure by… you guessed it, answering questions.


Let's make better learning games and focus on effective gamification.

Gamification isn't inherently bad, it just needs to be used properly. It's also not the solution for everything.

We understand gamification, but more importantly, we understand good learning design. If you need advice about implementing, improving or just deciding if you should use gamification or game based learning, then get in touch.