How Cynergy used motivational design in an ebay mobile app

Cynergy is a consulting firm with an expertise in  “motivational design”. I met up Cynergy director of media strategy Kes  Sampanthar at the gamification summit where he was demoing some of their work  for clients.

Most interesting of these was the work they’d done for Ebay mobile where they reduced the problem of adding a new product to the auction site down to a 4 step process.

“Wherever people are uncertain” Kes explains “we want to provide a motivational heat map” (like a child’s object finding game where you call ‘hotter’ or ‘colder’ as they get closer to their target object) ” so people feel more and more confident that they are doing the process correctly.”

For example, the app encourages users to add photos of their products by giving them “social feedback” as to what others have done and what worked – “90% of products that sell well have photos” is one such example.

A heat map eh?

Overall I liked the concept of a heat map – it sounded very much like a simple game mechanic to me and there are clearly many uses for it in the workplace. We don’t always want the exact answer but we like knowing if we are going in the right direction.

I tried to think of a gamification enterprise plugin that we could build to use this approach:

What about a salesforce plugin which showed which leads were getting hotter or colder simply by comparing the level of sales activity (calls, emails, visits, contacts and so on) against the mean for opportunities of a similar size and stage. It would require lots of data to feed the system and could never be 100% accurate (any one sale  is never totally predictable).  But, it could  provide a fast sales barometer which would certain help inform sales people, especially relevant to those new to the organisation, as to whether a deal is going well or badly.

Good idea? Anyone want to build it?


Toby Beresford

Toby is founder and CEO of Rise the success tracking network to track, publish and share success. He was the 2013 chair of - the International Gamification Confederation and organises the UK Gamifiers meetup. As a gamification leader, he speaks at conferences and hosts workshops. Follow him on twitter @tobyberesford and Subscribe to this blog at Gamification Of Work blog feed

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