I'm trying to match my previous experience with InSided's training session. And I have some mismatches related to badging. Learning Gamification I kept the rule that all rewards should be reachable for every member and the way to get each one should be clear. There were a lot of researches of it.
All my previous experience makes me sure that:
- A member of community should see all possible badges somewhere within his private profile to know which ones he can reach and how. Badges which are not reached yet are shown inactive, reached ones are active.
- A member should understand what is the badge he has just earned for.
As for me, I see I earned 3 badges for yesterday but I even don't know for what are those badges. Okay, I can guess "Ideation guru" is for several ideas posted. But "Smart cookie" and "Sprinter"... I have no idea. I feel myself confused by this. I have achievements which I cannot know. I was rewarded for something that I cannot even guess.
Could you please share why do you think your vision of badging is right? Did you have any researches on this topic? I just want to understand, may be it is really an awesome approach to engage members or drive them to discuss actively, etc.
Many thanks for your kind explanation!
Best answer by JulianView original
thanks a lot for sharing your question here with us!
I completely agree with you that all rewards on the community should be reachable. Even though sometimes Community Managers give special super users "limited edition" Badges (like a "Founding Member" Badge), this is more the exception.
I also like your feedback for the Badges! In the case of the Badges on inSpired, I am probably able to shine some light into this.
All of these Badges are old, from before they were self-service... I think they might be up for a review! ;)
If we look at your other comments about Badges, you are making some good points:
I like this thought, you know probably from PlayStation and Xbox that they also show you all the achievements / trophies you can earn (and how).
A piece of research which actually recommends not to mention the types of Badges explicitly is included in our Gamification white paper (also attached below):
Of course most of our users are not children, however it might mean that directly showing them what they can earn (a Badge) could not be the best motivation for users after all!?
Would be very interesting to hear from others how they are thinking about this!
Going to your next statement: Should we not show the users what exactly they need to do for a Badge?
Well... thinking about the example of Playstation / Xbox, I can see why showing the actual rules could stimulate users to do something, so that they will earn that Badge. However I am a bit afraid that, after a user has earned a Badge, he/she would not continue as the Badge was the ultimate goal.
We actually have even helped doing some research around this with the VU Amsterdam (Benefitting from virtual customer environments: An empirical study of customer engagement; attached below), and also collected some studies which we used to design our Gamification approach.
Another interesting study that is related to this (also attached) is called "Is it all a game? Understanding the principle of Gamification". In there, you will find the following:
An this is, in my opinion, a very important statement. A Badge must be the reward for an action that contributes to the goal of a community, and not the goal itself.
So, in our community context, users might create fake accounts for fake activity, in order to earn a Badge. I have seen this happening before already with likes etc...
All in all I still would rather not show users what they need to do to get a Badge. The risk of abuse is lower and users will have a positive surprise. Also the goal will not be the Badge itself, but to actually help others. :)