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Gamifying learning the right way

Explore how we implemented gamification in Harappa Education to increase user engagement and drive skill development.

Explore how we implemented gamification in Harappa Education to increase user engagement and drive skill development.

One common pattern in educational platforms that offer self-paced learning courses of any kind is that many users never complete the courses after purchasing them. This not only prevents users from realizing the full value of their subscriptions (or purchases) but can also negatively impact the brand’s reputation. Hence Harappa Education defined “keeping the users motivated to upskill themselves through positive reinforcement” as one of key business goals when they approached us to help them design the first version of the app. This article details the approach we proposed.

What is Harappa and what do they do?

Harappa education is an ed-tech platform that helps professionals develop their soft skills. They offer short and longer certification courses across five core skills: Communicate, Collaborate, Lead, Solve and Think. Courses are made up of articles, video and audio lesson and quizzes. They also offer an assessment quiz which tests users on the five core skills and suggests recommended courses.

How we introduced gamification

Gamification is a well-established framework to help users form habits and stick to their goals. The ideas of streaks, leaderboards and badges have been implemented in various types of apps successfully. The key to success is how each of these apps adapted gamification to their features and their users’ motivations.

For example, Strava an app for fitness tracking leverages kudos from community and challenges to help fitness enthusiats stick to their goals. On the other hand Duolingo heavily empasises streaks to learn new languages. With quirky animations and features like power ups it makes learning a language almost feel like playing a game. This helps it’s audience who are mostly casual learners stick to the habit of learning everyday.

strava and duolingo.webp duolingo and strava approach gamification differently

Harappa wants their users to build the habit of visiting the app regularly and stay motivated to complete courses and upskill themselves. To address these goals we analysed the content and structure of courses on Harappa and proposed the following:

1. Daily lessons

daily lessons example of a daily lesson in story format, and a video daily lesson

Harappa’s courses consist of lessons that are usually more than 10 minutes long. A new user might not want to spend 10 minutes regularly. So, we worked with the product team to create a Daily Lesson that the user can complete in less than a minute. These Daily Lessons are nuggets taken from courses. These short lessons require a small time commitment from users every day and reward them with a daily streak and points (more details below). This helps users build the habit of visiting the app every day, and since the lesson is linked to a course, they are encouraged to start or continue with longer courses.

2. Levels, badges, and leaderboards

points and streaks points and streaks

Assessment, quizzes and lessons in courses and Daily Lessons are all mapped to the five core skills: Communicate, Collaborate, Lead, Solve and Think. Completing any of these would earn points in the respective skill. Each skill is broken down into levels and as the user earns points in each skill they level up. Each level earns them a badge. Users are ranked on leaderboards based on some of points across the five core skills. They level up and down in leaderboard level based on the number of points they earn weekly.

Levels in each core skills Levels in each core skills

Since the Harappa is a platform for professionals the gamification metaphors used and the visual language used should reflect the professional tone of the brand. We created the levels and corresponding badges to match the theme of each core skills. For example: We defined levels in Lead skill as Catalyst, Vanguard, Trailblazer, Luminary and Exemplar.

examples of badges examples of badges

in closing...

Gamification can be a powerful tool to boost user engagement, but its effectiveness hinges on proper implementation. By carefully considering Harappa's content and their users’ aspirations we designs a gamification system that motivates users to develop valuable professional skills through the platform.

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