Lately there has been lots of conversation about the usefulness of gamification. This is understandable, since though practically everything be gamified the end result is not always necessarily good: it is not possible to make a bad product into a great one by just giving the buyers rewards for buying the bad product. Yesterday there was a great article in the gaming business review by Steve Bocska about the most common pitfalls of gamification.

Practically it’s the same thing than in advertising: if the product looks pretty and is advertised well but still sucks, the consumer most likely feels disappointed (no surprise there). The main point in gamifying things should be the added value that it brings to the customers (and what the service provider can accomplish via this added value) – not just “let’s give our customers some soulless extra badges”.

The gamified service / product should be a well-built solid package put together with good thinking – so that it gives its users something extra (other than just badges). Adam Kleinberg, the CEO of Traction, gives here some practical tips about how not to do your gamification.