Fourth workshop of the Growth Track: Nudging & Gamification

by Else Herrebout
Posted on April 29, 2019

Using behavioural science insights to increase your user engagement. A collaboration between the TFI Research Hub and the Growth track was established to get the startups going with ‘Nudging & Gamification’.

Leveraging research insights to empower consumers is a crucial element of the Think Forward Initiative. As the insights from research on behavioural science is of high value for the startups in the Growth Track, the Research Hub and the Growth track decided to join forces and organize the workshop around nudging and gamification.

The workshop was hosted in the new co-creation space of Deloitte ‘the Garage’, which is housed in the iconic Citroën garage next to the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. This location will be the place where new businesses, ventures, propositions and experiences are re-imagined and established – a perfect place to improve and design solutions with our startups!

But first, we need to take one step back. What do we exactly mean with ‘nudging’ and ‘gamification’? We provided all our startups with the book Nudge written by Nobel prize winner Richard Taler, wherein he describes: ‘Nudging is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. Gamification on the other hand is ‘the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals’.

Working with this theoretical background, Michael Fillié, gamification expert at &Ranj, gave an inspiring talk about gamification. &Ranj is a company that has over 20 years of experience in achieving behavioural change by using gamification. Fillié shared that gamification has the biggest impact when it is aimed at stimulating lasting behavioural change. When the first validated insights emerge from your user data, you can design more specifically for motivation, and then: test, test, test.

“A game is fun, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard”

The next presentation was given by Linda Couwenberg, a behavioural scientist at Google. The cool fact, she explained, is that our brains are quite predictable and that small cues can already have a big impact on our decisions. She highlighted various insights such as the ‘the power of now’, ‘loss aversion’ and ‘friction and choice overload’. Apps like ‘Duolingo’ perfectly show the power of applying these techniques to your app.

“Biases are systematic and predictable”

Just before lunch, Laura Straeter (ING, Research Hub) explained the practical side of this day, which meant that the startups were going to design nudges for their app solutions together with a behavioural science expert and a UX designer.

The afternoon was all about these working sessions, sometimes shortly interrupted for some theory. It started with understanding the barriers and problems of their users. Further working from those assumptions, various nudges were identified and selected by the use of ‘nudge cards’, on which all type of nudges were shown. Finally, when the nudges were selected, UX designer drew the new user flow and pitched it to the rest of the audience.

Of course, the day ended with drinks in the sunny weather of Amsterdam near the Olympic stadium! Up next is the fifth and final workshop of the Growth Track 2019, this will be all about ‘Operational Scaling’ and shall be hosted at ING.