Audible – subtle gamification

Audible is a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming on the Internet. Audible sells digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. Through its production arm, Audible Studios, Audible has also become the world’s largest producer of downloadable audiobooks. (Source: Wikipedia)

In this era of social media and gaming, every millennial and gen Z is addicted to gratification.
So, no matter what the app is about, making it fun, gamifying it has become the need of the hour.

Your app is good, users will use it once, your app is great, users will use it a few times.
But if you want users to use your app again and again(engagement), if you want to make users habitual of your app, you need to incorporate game elements in its design.

Now, we’ll see how audible used gamification to make the simple feature of listening to books more appealing to users and how it got users habitual of its app.
The very basic reason for habit formation is progression, why will you keep doing something again and again over a period of time? Progress.
When one sees progress, it acts as a positive reinforcement

Here are three screenshots of the audible’s stats interface.

Listening level

Incorporating levels gives a sense of progression to the user. The concept of Rank/level is a display of hierarchy, i.e. how good you are at the game of listening.

Badge collection

Now, levels are delayed gratification, as you can see it take 74 hours for a newbie to become a pro and 474 hours to become a master, but badges act as incremental rewards between different levels so as to keep the user rewarded from time to time, i.e. as you can see I am just at the newbie stage but I have unlocked 4 badges already.

Listening time

Listening time gives a measure of daily, monthly and yearly progress so that you can keep a track of your listening habit. You can see which days or months you were more active and which days or months you slacked off.

Gamification is a very effective tool, it may look easy but it is very hard to execute.

Just adding leaderboards, badges, and avatars won’t make an app interesting.

One needs to have a specific purpose for incorporating game elements and a strategy to effectively use it.

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