A gamified app turns everyday activities into a competition, either with yourself, between friends, or even among your co-workers. We've explained the trend to gamify everything, from workout goals (Nike Plus) to frequented after-hours hotspots (Foursquare), so now we're showing you 10 shining examples of how gamification can turn each part of your day into an engaging system of points and awards.
An employee-appreciation game designed to recognize everyday work efforts, DueProps deploys gamification to incentivize and reward coworkers. The system makes use of “Props”—tokens of gratitude that are represented by icons and displayed on employees’ online profiles—which represent a job well done on various tasks. Each Prop comes with a description and points value, and can have labels ranging from “Awesome Blogging” to “Huge Heart.” Along with karma, points and leaderboards, giving “due props” to each other can help employees improve their standing within the game and simultaneously increase work productivity and raise morale around the office.
EpicWin goes the extra mile in task management by bestowing you with an RPG character to represent your progress. The app presents your goals in list form, and when you’ve completed something, you can watch your avatar beat the task’s description into oblivion. With each level up, the RPG character also improves his XP stats and can earn riches and morph into a stronger creature.
A Bloom (Free)
Touting itself as a “digital inspiration app,” Bloom* lets you combine selected photos and music into inspirational “Blooms”—short videos that serve up nuggets of encouragement that can be played on the spot or scheduled to trigger at a certain time in your day. Blooms can also be used as gentle reminders nudging you to do things like call a family member or work out. The app connects to the Mindbloom Life Game, a website where users can create a virtual “life tree,” which is a visual representation of your priorities and progress in areas such as your health, lifestyle, finances and career.
Share what you’re currently reading, watching and listening to with GetGlue’s social network, and get rewarded with free stickers and discounts. The app lets you check into any movie, TV show, song or book you’re currently digging and lays out your friends’ activities, Facebook-feed-style. For a more-involved experience, you can like or comment on these individual posts, or get further suggestions on media or reading material using the app’s algorithm, which caters specifically to your taste.
Platform: iOS, Android
Mint.com Personal Finance (Free)
Dressing up your financial accounts in progress bars and checklists, Mint lets you visualize how much more you need to save for that Hawaiian cruise vacation. The app’s function is to consolidate all your financial information into one place to help you track, budget and manage your money. But its powerful motivational tools end up being the main draw: You get scores for how financially fit you are, a list of tasks and specific points you need to consider in order to achieve this fitness and bars showing how far along you are in your budget for the month.
Platform: iOS Android
MyTown 2 (Free)
A sequel to the hugely popular location-based game, MyTown 2 employs the same tried-and-tested strategy of the original app, marrying city-building gameplay with geolocation to let players design a personalized town filled with their favorite real-life haunts. MyTown 2 uses the iPhone’s GPS to detect a user’s current position, then displays local businesses that players can toss right into their virtual city. Of course, the requisite “check-in” is also available, but now it gives users the added ability to collect rewards for their town (coins, XP points and special bonuses). If you’ve ever enjoyed those PC Sims games of old, you’re already primed to love MyTown 2. Its twist of a real-life exploration element takes the app above and beyond the ordinary city-building experience, making it thoroughly addicting.
Nike Plus GPS ($1.99)
This app motivates you during your runs by letting you set PowerSongs to boost you through to the finish line. You can also use the app to post a status on your Facebook wall and hear mid-run cheers in your earphones every time one of your friends likes or comments on it. Do you have a competitive spirit? The app’s built-in game of tag should slake your thirst. The feature lets you battle it out with other runners to see who holds the title of fastest.
RedCritter Tracker (Free)
This app turns project management into a game. When a worker completes an important task, he or she earns a badge, which is displayed proudly on his or her online profile. RedCritter also lets you earn rewards points you can spend on special offers in your company’s Rewards Store. Perhaps there is such a thing as a free lunch after all—that’s one of the rewards available in the virtual store, in addition to discounts, gift cards and more. Free 30-day trial; Enterprise upgrade has a one-time license fee of $1,799 with multiple-user licenses
That it was recently acquired by business software company Salesforce.com is a testament to just how well Rypple works as a social performance platform. Although the service is primarily web-based, there’s also an app available for the iPhone that lets users take performance management mobile. The idea behind Rypple is to allow managers to recognize their teams’ achievements via a Facebook-esque, real-time feed: They can express their thanks using custom badges, give live feedback to improve everyday work and engage in a continuous dialogue to coach employees through their goals and priorities. Rypple is a powerful tool with the potential to greatly improve performance-feedback culture around the office.
Platform: iOS, Web-based
WiseStep is a social network that lets you earn points and rewards for referring your friends to new jobs. Members earn points for inviting friends, colleagues and classmates to the website, and referral rewards (of cold, hard cash) are doled out whenever your referral is successfully placed on the job. You’re rewarded with the amount specified for the opening, but that amount also varies with your membership—Gold and Platinum members get higher rewards than a Silver member, for instance.