Gamification of Online Surveys

Researchers have found that integrating gamification into traditional online surveys yields better results for the researcher and can be more enjoyable for the survey taker. Is this the new face of online surveys?

Photo by: Brad.K,

More Fun with Better Results?

If you haven’t already heard, gamification is the application of game design to non-games in an attempt to make them more fun and exciting. While online surveys have become more aesthetically pleasing over the years and frequently involve media, the standard checkboxes, radio buttons, etc. still heavily prevail.

The Guardian recently ran an article on online market research and the results of gamification, Improving online market research through gamification. It showed that researchers saw higher online survey completion rates and respondents enjoyed taking surveys more when studies had more of a lighter, game-like feel to them.

The Video Game Controller is Dead

Video game consoles have come a long way from the days of Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers, as systems like the Xbox Kinect now allow player’s movements to be tracked for controller-free gaming. Turn on the device, follow the on screen game instructions, and your body movements become part of the game! Pass levels, collect points and win matches playing tennis, soccer, or even dancing. With increased health benefits and a new fun twist on video gaming, the virtual gamification of sports on video game consoles has completely changed the way our kids spend time in front of the TV.

A New Way to Ask Questions

In the world of online surveys, researchers found that by rewording questions to be more of a game-like, survey results improved:

“A question such as “describe yourself” yielded on average 2.4 descriptors and effectively 85% of respondents answered. When that question was adjusted to deliver the challenge of, “describe yourself in exactly seven words” the descriptors increased to 4.5 and the response rate rose to 98%.”
   The Guardian, Improving online market research through gamification

Everyone Likes Getting Rewarded

Incentivizing part of the survey can also increase response rates. Would you take more surveys if they were more fun? Or would you respond more carefully to a survey that provided an incentive for each question you answered correctly? (assuming there are some) Market researchers have the tough job of finding the answers to the questions their clients may have and if awarding points for certain parts of a survey, or creating a survey community with avatars is what it takes, they will do it.

More Fun in the Future?

Using gamification techniques puts an interesting new twist on the problem of getting more people to participate in surveys without boring them. With mobile surveys slowly changing the landscape, it will be interesting to see how gamifying traditional online surveys, or mobile surveys, is just a temporary trend or something that will survey takers will experience more of in the future.

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