Foster App User Engagement with Gamification

Playing with smartphone


In just a few years, the mobile industry has flourished to the extent that there’s hardly anything we don’t have a mobile application for. This, on one side, defines the ever-increasing mobile trend and prompt the brands to invest in application development, while, on the other side, indicates the tough competition in the market.

Today, it is easy to attract new users and encourage them to download the app. However, what’s tricky is to keep them engaged throughout. It has been found that 1 out of 4 mobile users abandon a mobile application just after using it once. Because of this, the app developers are putting their best efforts in exploring the dimensions of the industry and coming up with something that could keep the mobile users hooked to the app.

One such concept is Gamification.

What is Gamification?

As depicted by the name, it is the process of integrating game mechanics into a website, mobile app or software to make it irresistible for the users. It enables the mobile users to compete with others or set and surpass their own goals. This triggers a sense of achievement in them and encourages them to use the app more and enjoy the feel of being a winner. This way, it increases user interactions, crafts long-term engagement, ensures customer loyalty, and adds value to the business.

What is its significance in Mobile Apps?

Developers are adopting the mobile app gamification concept due to a couple of reasons, some of which are:

  • Taking some elements from games and adding them to the app makes users experience the same level of comfort and entertainment in the app that games offer. This is a useful factor to deal with the impatient customers and prevent them from uninstalling the app. For example: Duolingo app offers the facility to speak, listen or translate the lessons. This makes the users feel as if they’re the controller of the whole activities of the mobile app and thus, make them use the application frequently.

  • By gamifying your mobile application, you can convince the users to spread the word about your app and its functionalities.

  • On incorporating gaming elements into your app, you can give the users a good reason to share the app with their friends. For example: There are various applications that offer rewards or points on sharing the app with near and dear ones. Such activities can prompt the customers for marketing the app at their end, and even drive customer loyalty.

  • Gaming app items make the customers use the application almost every day. This makes them stick to the app, and escalate the daily/monthly active user’s ratio. The very best example is SnapChat. The app offers enticing filters, facility to share photos for 24-hours, and reward points due to which the mobile users come back to the app over and over.

The best part about gamifying your app is that you need not redesign your existing app or build a new one; you can easily integrate these elements within your app. So, are you ready?

What different gamification elements can you add to your app?

Applications belonging to different industries cater different end-users with different services. Due to this, it is quite tough to declare which elements can make your application interactive specifically in your industry, or which strategy will work for you. However, there are some elements that are primarily taken into consideration for making the app interactive, no matter which business vertical it is related to. Some of them are:

Onboard Story

Sometimes, it is hard for the users to understand why and how to use the app. They often get confused and leave the app. To overcome this, you can present a story to them. The story revolving around what your app is all about, what all facilities it offers and how to leverage them step-by-step can make the users understand the app flow. They can better use the app, which means less probability of users getting irritated and leaving the application.

While building a mobile app, keep in mind that the story must take users’ feeling into consideration. Enough visuals and hints must be added to the application to make them feel supported and valued.


Performing same activities can be boring. So, add spice to their monotonous app use, add challenges to it at different levels. With this, you can make them feel excited to win, get rid of boringness and use the app more actively.


People usually play games with the motive to achieve the highest scores or leverage the reward associated. The Same concept can be applied to your app. By assigning a prize for every task to be completed, you can keep the users hooked to your application for the long run.

For example: SuperBetter offers rewards and quests where they can unlock new challenges and reach the goals they set; and this way, become capable to deal with the toughest of life situations.


Various applications assign badges with specific goals to motivate the users to accomplish their goal and reach the highest level. For instance: Fitocracy app empowers users to log their workout and complete challenges. On completing those challenges, the app provides some badges and levels, which influences the users to continue using application.

Progress Track

There are numerous applications that display the progress of the users to boost them to continue using the app until they attain 100%. This functionality is basically observed in fitness and learning apps. For example: There’s an app called Monitor Your Weight, which displays the health information at the time of first use, the desired goal and current details so as to make the users continue practicing the same.

And at last, give them the freedom to choose from a wide range of options and revamp their experience.

How to Build Your Mobile App Gamification Strategy?

Now, as you know the need for gamification and popular gamification elements various applications are adopting, it’s necessary to have the right strategy to take the best use of the element. To help you out in the same, here we are sharing some factors to consider:

Define purpose

Firstly, it is necessary to know what is your objective behind integrating gamification elements in your mobile app. Is it to attract users at a high rate and make your app go viral, or engage the users and build long-term relationships? Do not gamify your app just because all are doing- do have a well-thought-out plan behind.

Add Value

When implementing mobile app gamification techniques, make sure that the users feel great about them.

Consider the Environment

Factors like Rewards and Badges can’t be included in all the app types. So, do research well and explore if you can anyhow add them to your app to deliver a seamless experience. If not, it is better to skip them.

You can also prefer gamifying only those functionalities of the app where you expect more user engagement or loyalty.

Identify your target user base

It is important to build your gaming strategy according to your target audience – their age, needs, interests, and expectations.

Make it Simple

The main objective of gamification is to enhance the user experience. So, ensure that gamifying do not complicate your app’s processing.

As a developer, you would be excited to include different gamification elements in the app, but it should be decided keeping the user’s perspective into consideration. One way to accomplish this is to unlock some features at the completion of a certain goal. This will keep their first experience simple, and by the time the features will be unlocked, they would find it easier to adopt them.

Give Rewards Quickly

It’s true that providing a bigger reward at the end will keep the user engaged. However, it is better to divide the rewards into smaller parts and deliver in between. This will give users a sense of achievement and keep them encouraged to continue.

Prepare Sharing Loops

Users love to share their achievements on social networks. So, provide them with features to share their achievements with their social friends. This will increase their satisfaction level as well as act as a medium to attract more users.

Gamification in a mobile application does not turn the app into a game. Rather, it makes the app more engaging and keeps the user interacting with the app on a long run. It increases the discoverability, visibility and retention rate of the application which, in turn, boost the revenue generated. So, refer the above-highlighted points, build the right strategy of gamifying your mobile app and get the perks of it.



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