I think we all are ready to recognize known patterns and happy to use them along different platforms or paths because we know where they lead us to. The Motivator-Object of desire list as basic motivators (power-influence, curiosity-knowledge, acceptance-be part of a group, saving-collecting things, status-social standing …) that footprint them somehow can be applied to other platforms and situations.
Some social networks experiences just turn business into games. Sometimes in a social network site, in work mode, not looking for any kind of game experience, just aiming to touch base with people on a professional level, maybe just because I was in business hours, I think I was compelled to finish up the to-do list asap. I filled out my profile as well as my basic work history until my progress bar filled to a respectable level. Then I realized some people were apparently better connected than myself. No way ! I thought, and straight away I invited everyone in my contact list. Even people I barely knew had a juicy network of their own. It was just as if someone designed a game just for business people like me to win at (#gamification).
Also, every time people upload a video they´re expecting to see that number shoot for the stars. But the sharing game on YouTube is also very carefully crafted so that people get rewarded for feeling that they are good at finding that new content before it has risen to fame.
A clear communication of goals can be established through tools such as stories, achievements, and effective user interfaces. Much of what you do in everyday life can become more fun when you restructure the task into something that integrates part of the game philosophy. It seems obvious that games are transforming a wide range of applications beyond entertainment, as so, some game aspects can convert tasks and goals into fun experiences, applying the techniques of social games to many non-gaming experiences can really make them fun and rewarding. That´s why it´s so important to critically evaluate the content of games and social media experiences. Many social games have used elements of games such as imagination, emotion, clear progress and goal-setting to create compelling, fun experiences.
Some social aspects may enable you to involve other people to help you achieve your goals providing a means of cooperating as a team. For example, to be invited to participate and “level up” on various forms or clear pathways for understanding what to do next and for feedback mechanisms for communicating how close you are to the next phase.
You can also take advantage of the elements of customization or creativity that enable people to individualize their experiences.
Recognition. One of the reasons why games work so well is that they involve you in a learning process. And learning is extremely fun when it happens naturally through a process of exploration and discovery. As many people experienced in school, it is far less fun when it´s about being taught as opposed to learning.
Consider how game mechanics are applied to some of the real life problems, advancing through successive levels or interacting with a 2D graphical interface can be clear examples of a better online user experience. Show progress as percent, show visual progress with cartoons or images, show a particular and concrete progress with numbers (x of total steps), think of games when on a creative brainstorm and how any of these features can help your online presence improve and stand out.