I’m just back from the Insight show at Marketing Week Live in London. It’s a great opportunity to see what the latest trends and approaches are in the market research world. Among the the many interesting talks I attended was one by Jon Puleston on the gamification of surveys. The idea is that surveys are boring for most people to complete so by making a survey more like a game better quality data can be obtained as people have more fun and are motivated.
So how does it work? Well first of all a game is defined as any form of thinking we do for fun. A game also needs some core elements to be called a game, these include rules, skill/effort and reward. Now a survey may have these elements but to make a game successful it needs to be fun, so how do we make surveys more fun?
Jon suggested the following:
Inject some humanity: Personalise the questions, allow for projection, emotionalise the questions. This could mean rephrase a question, instead of asking what could be improved in the hotel, ask the following, you are the hotel manager and you have €50,000 to spend on hotel improvements, how would you spend the money.
Application of Rules: Instead of asking think of a word ask think of a word with just three letters.
Turn it into a quest: By devising a motive to answer a question you turn the survey into a quest, an example in games is Minecraft where people spend hours doing meaningless chores in return for points.
Get them scenario playing: Our brains are developed to scenario plan so ‘What If’ questions work well.
Make it competitive: From our survival of the fittest instinct we like a little competition.
Give them rewards: This doesn’t have to be monetary either. What are the rewards on Farmville?
Jon gave many more tips including binning question grids. These are boring for respondents and encourage what’s called ‘straight lining’ where a respondent just ticks the same box down the whole question grid. With some smart programming instead of grids the use of drop and drag interfaces that are much more fun can be created. He also suggested adding a scoring mechanic, so you create a profile based on responses like what a personality profile would do.
Jon summed up by saying gamification of surveys will change your data for the better as you’ll get more data and better quality data.