A leading pharmaceutical company that provides groundbreaking medical discoveries was struggling to motivate its employees to participate in optional learning. The company faced a challenging situation when trying to create a culture of continuous learning and engagement among its employees.
The company struggled to create a learning environment that was engaging and would motivate employees to pursue optional professional development skills and encourage each other to learn. They recognized that the existing traditional design was ineffective and that a new approach was necessary. The company already had a learning website for employees; however, it was severely underused. Employees would often start the introductory learning modules but tended not to finish or did not continue to explore further modules afterward. It was therefore crucial that the website got redesigned with additional features that would motivate employees to participate more frequently.
To address this challenge, the company hired VISTECH, a UX design and custom software expert, that the company had previously worked with. VISTECH was given free rein to gamify the company’s website to create a fun and engaging learning experience for the employees. Gamification is the use of game design elements to make activities more interactive and enjoyable. This method can be used in various contexts to motivate people to perform specific actions.
As a gamification design expert, VISTECH knew to focus on competitor analysis and psychological research to target different aspects of engagement. The redesign included challenges, badges, and streaks to encourage employees to reach new goals. Visual elements such as graphs and charts were incorporated to stimulate interest and give the users greater insight into their progress.
Achievement badges were curated to target specific behaviors that would teach users about useful features on the website and reward certain behaviors. Some badges created goals for users that could not be achieved without visiting the website multiple times, to incentivize continuous engagement with the learning modules. Other badges included rewarding the completion of and interaction with learning resources.
Social engagement was targeted by incentivizing discussions about professional growth learning within the active learning community. Users were rewarded for sharing resources they found useful with their peers. They were also made aware of their sharing tendencies over time through data visualization.
Continuous use of the website was encouraged through streaks. A streak refers to a period of consecutive days where a certain activity or behavior was performed. These streaks could be personalized to each individual’s work schedule, i.e. Monday to Thursday. Users would receive positive messages and achievement badges for certain streak milestones.
It was important to VISTECH to add features and animations that added elements of joy to the experience of learning. Due to the popularity of gamification, it can sometimes be installed with little thought of the behaviors it is encouraging. VISTECH, therefore, made sure to take the time to design gamification features that acted as a supportive tool rather than an objective measure of progress. With this in mind, VISTECH focused on using encouraging messaging, thoughtful labeling, and incentivizing tools. One of the features added to do so was motivational messages that focused on supporting the effort rather than the scores. This would make employees feel more inclined to succeed, as they were encouraged for their efforts.
By focusing on psychological motivations and actionable goals, VISTECH was able to increase the engagement level on the learning website to 42% per month. The company also reported that their employees are enjoying the new features of the website. The new features not only encouraged employees to participate in learning activities but also motivated them to share their knowledge with their colleagues. This rejuvenated the professional and learning community at the company. The visibility of the website has also increased immensely as employees are sharing the website with each other.
Overall, VISTECH’s gamification design provided the company’s website with an effective way to encourage employees to want to learn new skills and share their knowledge. By creating a fun and engaging learning experience, VISTECH was able to make the company’s goals a reality.
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