Gamified Dashboards for Peak Productivity

Updated: Jan 5

A dashboard designed using gamification and key performance indicators (KPIs) allows for real-time display of data and information. Not only does a dashboard enhance visibility, increase timesaving efficiency, and facilitate real-time analytics, but it also enables you to make informed decisions by performing better forecasting and generating insights.

In addition, a dashboard is a powerful user interface that showcases stats, messages, schedules, analytics, KPIs, and other data, allowing you to streamline functions and execution on a website or app.

Designing and developing a dashboard using gamification techniques and KPIs lead to better data visualization. The question is: How to create such a dashboard?

The Importance of Gamification

According to Global News Wire, the gamification industry's global sales revenue will reach $32 billion by 2025. Optin Master Reports that 93% of digital marketers use gamification to achieve their goals. Besides, research shows that gamification techniques increase user engagement by 48% and 72% of employees' productivity.

Small Biz Trends highlight that incorporating gamification elements in products or services can help businesses increase user engagement and drive more traffic to their corporate websites. According to Learn Dash, gamification increases motivation and engagement levels via goal tracking, knowledge retention, and valuable feedback.

Gamification is the combination of game mechanics, game dynamics, and incentives or aesthetics. Game mechanics refers to rules, actions, behaviors, and control mechanisms to gamify an activity.

These are powerful tools to engage users in a particular experience, such as using a dashboard. Common examples of game mechanics are points, levels, leaderboards, challenges, progress bars, and virtual goods.

Likewise, game dynamics refer to emergent behavior that arises from engaging in mechanics and desiring incentives. The purpose is to increase focus, identify and recognize incremental achievements, and achieve boosted performance.

Incentives/aesthetics focuses on rewarding the user for more engagement in a task. Common examples of core incentives are status, reward, achievement, competition, self-expression, and altruism. Remember, gamification is not a game or simulation.

The Importance of KPIs

Continuous measurement and analysis of KPIs are crucial to your performance, leading to improved life and work. However, choosing the right KPIs requires extensive knowledge and an understanding of essential elements.

A KPI is a metric that lets you measure your activities for achieving a specific goal. In this case, your KPIs are everything that improves your life and work. For example, time management is your KPI if you want to complete a project within a specific period.

Remember that KPIs are useless if they fail to identify and recognize the necessary actions to improve your results and do not align with your life and work goals. Many individuals and companies spend a lot of time and energy creating a dashboard with KPIs.

While you may think of the KPIs as effective, you may end up with vague metrics, data, and information. Therefore, it is essential to identify and track the right KPIs to create a user-friendly dashboard. The KPIs you determine must align with gamification elements to ensure you achieve your goals.

Designing a Dashboard – Tips and Tricks

Gamification has become an integral component of a high-quality and functional dashboard. It is an excellent way to motivate yourself or your employees, leading to higher productivity and increased returns on investments (ROIs).

Gamification is not only about adding performance feedback but also engaging yourself by adding rewards for good metrics. In addition, gamification requires metrics and data you can use to document your success.

You can track the performance data in real-time to analyze your growth and progress. So, an essential step to designing a dashboard is to decide on KPIs and methods to measure and evaluate them. Here are a few tips and tricks you can use!

1. Start Small

There are numerous reasons why you should start small and learn before attempting an advanced approach to KPIs measurement. It is crucial to understand the "Why" factor before the "How." You may not care about measures, but you care about your problems and fixing them efficiently and quickly.

Starting with a small approach is seamless and less time-consuming in the complex world you live in, so it is better not to jump through bureaucratic hoops. You can learn faster via action learning cycles instead of focusing on getting it all right the first time.

You can quickly become cynical about investment in a dashboard system if you don't get value from it. The primary reason is that you haven't chosen the right KPIs for measurement. Remember, excellent reporting of misleading KPIs is an easy trap, and you can risk falling into it.

2. Define Your Goals

A good measurement of KPIs is as crucial as having clear goals. Therefore, choosing the right and relevant KPI to improve your life and work is essential. You can track these KPIs through time and look for signals you can respond to, leading to success. I recommend starting the process with one or two specific goals. Here are steps to get started:

  • Choose a goal you want to achieve

  • Ensure your goal is measurable

  • Use sensory-rich language to define your goal or desirable result

  • Choose potential KPIs that give evidence of your goal and result

  • Evaluate the potential KPIs and choose the meaningful ones

  • Name and describe each KPI

  • Define methods to calculate your KPIs and their values

  • Collect data and make it organized and ready for analysis

  • Calculate your KPIs values

  • Select the presentation method that best describes your KPIs message

  • Make an informed decision and take actions to move closer to your objective

3. Identify Motivational Factors

Motivation is an essential aspect of gamification that encourages you and your team (if you lead a team of professionals at work) to continue the game and improve their learning through the dashboard.

Focusing and employing scientific motivational theory is an excellent way to motivate yourself and your team members. According to Abraham Maslow, there are five things that motivation action:

  1. Psychological: It is the first level of motivation that addresses physical needs for survival.

  2. Safety: It ensures your and your team's security, safety, and overall wellbeing.

  3. Love and Belonging: The third level of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs focus on socialization, love, and belonging.

  4. Esteem: It allows you to feel valued, appreciated, and attain recognition.

  5. Self-Actualization: It is the highest level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, allowing you to reach your full potential.

You can use Maslow's theory to streamline your gamification strategy and build a dashboard that aligns with the needs. According to Maslow, one must satisfy the lower level needs before meeting the higher levels of need.

You can apply various other scientific theories and models of motivation to gamification, leading to a user-friendly and up-to-the-mark dashboard. According to Scientific American, there are three essential elements:

  1. Autonomy: It gives you a sense of independence and increases the likelihood of accomplishing your goals and objective over a specific period.

  2. Value: You can achieve your goals by measuring KPIs and generating value from data and actions.

  3. Competence: When you see improvement by making progress, you are more likely to continue with the program.

I recommend using these and other theories of motivation that align with your identified KPIs when designing a dashboard with gamification techniques to go a long way in sustaining your success.

4. Select Suitable Rewards

Rewards play a crucial role in designing and developing a successful intuitive dashboard with a successful gamification program. Not only do rewards provide milestone goalposts to you and your team members, but they also motivate you to continue the game and achieve the final objective.

Some gamification experts recommend providing simple games with frequent and small rewards. However, if your team members are new to a dashboard designed with gamification, throwing frequent points, rewards, and badges at them can negatively impact their performance.

At the same time, you must not risk the value of incentives and rewards because it can cause your team members to lose interest in the dashboard, leading to de-motivation and reduced productivity. Therefore, I recommend mixing up the kinds of rewards and incentives you offer.

For example, you can offer fixed action rewards, meaning you can give these rewards to your team members for a specific action. For instance, if you run a digital marketing company, you can reward your team for achieving a 3% lead conversion rate.

On the other hand, I recommend focusing on paced rewards because they work excellent when you want to keep your team members engaged. For instance, your team members can collect five tokens and trade up a $20 gift card or a free lunch.

Moreover, you can include unexpected rewards in your dashboards for deep user engagement. Unexpected rewards are a reliable gamification technique because they are spontaneous, provide word-of-mouth excitement for your software/dashboard/program, and are appreciated for longer. A typical example of an unexpected reward is that your team's achiever spins a wheel and determines their prize.

5. Think Long-Term

When designing a dashboard with gamification and KPIs, you should start small. However, it is crucial to develop a long-term strategy. Remember, you don't need to employ all aspects in the dashboard initially, but it is vital to give some thought to modifications in the dashboard from time to time to keep yourself, and your team motivated and engaged. I recommend:

  • Keeping Gamification Fresh

If you want to keep gamification fresh in your dashboard, make sure you continue challenging yourself and your digital marketing team (For example). Introduce multi-tiered goals and scorecard targets. When your team completes specific tasks, you can provide them with a new challenge.

Leveling up from time to time can improve your performance and the productivity of your team. Make sure you leverage the power of game mechanics to up the goal. Not only will this increase engagement, but it also will help you enhance your work/business bottom line.

  • Focusing on Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation factors have different effects on human behavior, cognition, and action. One example of extrinsic motivation is encouraging your team members to participate in a contest and win a prize. Likewise, you can define objectives with KPIs and make efforts to achieve them to receive a bonus.

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation focuses on making progress toward achieving your personal growth goals and recognition for your work. Remember, if you work with a team using an integral dashboard, your goals require you to collaborate with your team members. So, this requires you to focus on intrinsic motivation.

Remember, your gamification strategy should include a mix of both personal/individual and team goals and a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Other ideas you can use for creating a dashboard with gamification are:

  • Creating different groups

  • Changing the goals over time

  • Introducing new targets

  • Categorization of new targets

  • Expansion of each goal or strategy

6. Create an Engaging Dashboard with User-Friendly Dashboard

Good dashboard design with a relevant gamification strategy is essential to create a positive user experience (UX). Ensure the user interface is human-focused and complements the gamification elements to promote goals, productivity, progress, and achievement.

In addition, your dashboard design must encourage you and your team members to keep playing for more rewards, points, or incentives. Ensure the dashboard design is simple, clean, minimalistic, and intuitive and provides easy access to whatever you or your team needs. Here are a few things to consider when building a dashboard with gamification elements. Continue reading!

  • Sense of Accomplishment

Incentivize yourself when you know how to overcome challenges. The same principle applies to your team at the workplace. Similarly, when you know you are making progress and developing meaningful skills, you can improve your life and work. That way, you can serve as a stepping stone to your personal and career goals.

  • Feedback

One of gamification's hallmarks is the perpetual feedback element in your dashboard. Based on your team members' actions, each individual can receive real-time feedback and the next-best-action strategy.

Receiving feedback on their progress via the dashboard compared to others can help your team members analyze their previous performance and work toward achieving their respective goals.

  • A Sense of Ownership

When your team members feel a sense of ownership, you instill motivation to play more and continue improving their progress. Offer badge collections on the dashboard to keep users engaged.

In addition, you can create a sense of ownership by allowing your team members to customize their desktops, from backgrounds and colors to adding content to things that display on their dashboard.

  • Employ Creativity

I recommend allowing your team members to choose some of the gamification elements or create their custom badges. When users infuse their creativity into the dashboard's gamification elements, they will feel more encouraged and engaged.

Gamification is an ever-evolving experience. When your team members first start to use a dashboard based on gamification, they must encounter a few tutorials. That way, you can direct your team and let it move on to basic missions.

Remember, highly engaged and seasoned users will interact in more complex ways. Therefore, provide an easy way for your team members to give feedback on their likes and dislikes about the dashboard. The purpose is to improve the dashboard and make it more user-oriented.

7. Use Analytics to Track KPIs and Attain Goals

Your dashboard is useless if it does not track KPIs through analytics. Features like analytics play a vital role in gamification success. For example, on the front end, it reveals areas where your team members can improve their interactive skills.

Let us continue with the same digital marketing example. If you supervise a team of digital marketers, make sure your dashboard's analytics feature monitors the following key performance indicators.

  • Web traffic sources

  • Organic and paid traffic

  • Brand awareness

  • Website traffic leads

  • Returning visitors

  • Lead conversion rates

  • Cost per lead

  • Click-thru rate

Because analytics can capture your team members' interactions with other departments in the company or customers via different communication channels, it provides data you can analyze to identify areas of improvement and streamline the entire process.

Once identified, you can gamify the necessary behaviors to boost your team members' abilities to achieve goals. On the backend, analytics in your dashboard provides a sophisticated mechanism that involves tracking and measuring your team members' behaviors.

That way, you can determine progress, data analysis strategies, and goal attainment. These KPIs will help you understand factors that work or not work with gamification. Moreover, analytics provide you with information you can use to determine when to gamify a new set of goals for your team.

Final Words

You can leverage the power of gamification and KPIs to design an intuitive and engaging dashboard. Not only does such a dashboard allows for an effective onboarding and training solution for changing users' behaviors, but it also improves your company's bottom line.

If you want to keep the dashboard active, engaging, functional, fresh, and relevant, make sure you evaluate the dashboard from time to time and make necessary updates. It is crucial to track what is working and what needs improvement to optimize your productivity.

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