Some users respond to opportunities of winning and collecting awards that in turn can be displayed to other community members in order to increase engagement.
Reward users for certain kinds of behavior, for reaching specifically defined goals within the community
Some users respond to opportunities of winning, earning, and collecting awards that can be displayed to other community members. Construct a consistent family of collectibles that is achieved through mastering a healthy mix of difficulties. Unlock new achievements as easier ones are accomplished.
Let your users specialize in certain types of behavior and show it off to fellow community members. If there are too many users for a single top 10 of the entire site, then create multiple top 10 lists that celebrates different specialities.
If you’re running a photography website and are rewarding users for uploading great photographs, consider creating specialized awards for different types of photographs instead of just having a best-of-the-best award. It takes different sets of skills to respectively create a great portrait shot and a great action shot. So why not just reward each type?
Similarly you could award users with a series of different awards focusing on giving feedback: “Best comment in this month”, “Highest rated reply in this month”, or “Elite reviewer”.
The Yahoo Design Pattern Library talks about “fetishizing” the awards1. Users should strive to receive a trophy, badge, or achievement – both because it is a challenge to be awarded, but also because it just looks great!
Give people something to drool over; let people know what can be won. Let them know what are available for them, what they have to unlock, and what they have achieved already.
Attractive awards work better. Develop attractive trophies with beautifully designed icons. Some games use actual ‘game-pieces’ to represent each achievement.
Users should be proud to show their awards off. They should be proud to put them on display and be able to play around with their “show room”. If there are enough achievements to play with, you can enhance the user’s experience by letting him or her customize his or her “show room”.
Make some achievements very easy to accomplish, so that the user won’t loose momentum. Combine these with harder challenges that require more time and effort to achieve.
In games, it is often seen that new achievements are “unlocked” as easier ones are accomplished. Being awarded an achievement that is not readily obtained by a newcomer adds to the user’s feeling of status in- and belonging to the community.
There are several types of achievements to reward your users with:
What is your website about? And what object are you awarding? Are you awarding the user’s actions or his or her creations? Are you awarding the user or his or her objects?
At amazon.com and ebay.com, awards are used to indicate the trustworthiness of a user giving a review, selling or buying. At the Danish car-website vmax.dk, it is each car that can be awarded and not in particular the user. The owner of each car then gets to display his or her achievements for cars owned.
Achievements reflect a user’s reputation in a community. They are “both a history of one’s actions within that community, and a value judgment about the worth of those actions”2.
Collectible achievements gives the user a feeling of ownership and belonging. It gives the user an opportunity to build an online presence that can be shown and admired by fellow community members – thus providing a sense of status in the community.
As the user collects achievements, he or she invests time in the community and builds up a history. This history with your site creates a barrier for the user to leaving, as what has been built up will be lost upon quitting. Translating the investment into visible collectible achievements helps the user to build and emotional bond the community that will reward you plentifully in traffic and loyalty.
This and others patterns are available and ready to use in this massive Wireframe Bundle. Suitable for a wide variety of projects: Website and landing pages, Ecommerce, Dashboard, Flowchart and iOS.