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A screenshot of a profile mockup with a visible level progress bar

It's probably the one most used gamification/persuasion element across all kinds of UIs, especially apps. But in most cases it is tied to a social leaderboard of some sorts.


I've been reading this series of gamification articles and the author often uses World of Warcraft for comparisons, where community is a crucial factor. I know we humans are social creatures, but I'm wondering if this has to be tied to social systems.

Does anyone here have some form of "proof" that it works in a single user setting too? (e.g. an app for exercise or halthy eating)

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It depends on the type of user who is being motivated.

There are four broad types of user in gamification theory:

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If your target audience consists mostly of Achievers, then a leaderboard may make sense. If you have more socializers, who are more interested in co-operation than competition, you may not need a leaderboard.

If you want your app to work in single-user settings, add more features that will appeal to explorers.

For example, TripAdvisor suggests that if you add more restaurant reviews, you will unlock the next level (or something like that - they never seem to show you more information as a reward or anything).

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    I recognize Bartle's name from when I was reading about the 4 Fun Keys, they basically expanded his research on player types. But I didn't think about using these types for gamification too, interesting idea. – Big_Chair Nov 20 '18 at 9:35
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    There are a number of articles about using them for gamification - with the caveat that they are not absolute, and most people are a mixture of these types. There's even a fun online quiz where you can measure your Bartle types. – Yvonne Aburrow Nov 20 '18 at 14:39

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