Proposal: Gamification

Gamification is on-topic on topic on User Experience and pretty much all of the answerable/constructive example questions would be perfectly on topic on User Experience (while stuff like "who are the experts" really aren't fit for Stack Exchange in general).

Is there value in having this as a separate proposal?

rather than proposing new examples, it would be great to look through existing examples that have less than 10 points and see if we can vote for an expert niche – Cel Feb 23 '13 at 0:52

Topics can frequently fall under multiple sites. For example, many proposal sites would be on topic for StaockOverflow but break off in to their own more specific communities. I don't think people working in gamification are always UX people either. In fact, most of the people we talk to about it focus more on business processes, ROI, and analytics. The UX portion is an important element, to be sure, but it's really just the most outwardly visible piece. I think the real question is if this topic is big enough to be its own proposal, and personally, I think it is.

My main concern is more about whether the questions will become too subjective.


I feel like the UX SE is more focused on the details of the user experience - the top tags there are website desgin, forms, GUI design, navigation, mobile, etc. Gamification overlaps with UX, absolutely, but it is not a subset of UX. It goes beyond the user experience in web apps and starts to encompass behavioral psychology, business strategy, HR issues, employee performance, user retention, etc.

I don't see it as the place to ask questions about what strategies to consider when trying to boost dials made by lead gen reps or if monetary rewards end up being detrimental to a customer support teams' goals. It's not the place to ask what low cost gamification techniques can be applied to a workforce that lacks access to a computer. Is gamification about making things fun or about driving business goals? How valuable is recognition when it is granted automatically through a system rather than by peers or managers? What are the motivators that drive behavior and which is most powerful?

This is a very broad topic, of which the way to display the outputs is a narrow piece. Most of the experts in the space have backgrounds in game design, psychology, and community management. Most of these people could happily answer gamification questions but wouldn't be able to address any of the other questions on the UX site with any kind of authority. They can talk about the merits of a point based system but probably don't know the answer to "What is best practice for designing form error messages?" or "Which comment sorting order makes more sense on blogs?"

I just don't feel like the topic can be fully explored if it's limited to the UX portion. There are currently only 17 questions regarding gamification on the UX site. Salesforce recently had it's own proposal move in to the beta stage and StackOverflow had nearly 1700 questions tagged for salesforce. It's been a great way to get very specific answers from knowledgeable experts and has attracted a number of Salesforce MVPs.

That's what I was looking to accomplish when I started this proposal and I don't think it's possible if it lives under the UX umbrella.

Business goals are a big part of UX, as are analytics. Even ROI can be a factor if a business is attempting to improve the ROI via improved UX or gamification processes. Topics can fall under multiple sites but topics for new sites really shouldn't be completely/almost completely fall under those of an existing site, that just causes fractures and confusion. – Ben Brocka Oct 16 '12 at 16:36
My response to this was far too long for a comment so I added it to my answer an edit. – Ryan Elkins Oct 16 '12 at 17:36
Good question, great answer! I totally agree that Gamification is more than UX so a new site is a nice idea. – Joqus Dec 6 '12 at 12:36
Wouldn't the lack of relevant questions despite their being on-topic actually be an argument against the creation of yet another tiny site? – Gala May 30 '13 at 9:48
@Gaël Laurans Only if it is reasonable to expect that people would think to go toa site about UI to post these kinds of questions. In my experience, most people don't address this as a UI issue, especially when dealing with enterprise gamification. If I'm trying to motivate employees or change their behavior, "UX" is part of the thought but not the main part. – Ryan Elkins May 30 '13 at 13:42
My take on this is that UX and UI are certainly not the same thing and ideally the UX SE would be a site about human factors, the psychology of HCI, and user-centered methodologies where gamification would fit right in and not merely a collection of narrow UI question and subjective opinions. Understanding and motivating behavior is in fact precisely what UX is and should be about. Consequently, under this definition, UX is the main part of the thought. But of course, if (potential) users don't perceive the UX site in that way, that's a problem. – Gala May 30 '13 at 14:00

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