Gamification Assignment (3) – Design Document


Now that you know the essential concepts about gamification and game design, it’s time to use them. For this final task, we ask you to bridge this gap as you meld creativity and structure to match peoples’ needs with technical feasibility and business realities.

You are approached by Cheyenne Kendrick, the CEO of Go Digital Press (GDP), a global publisher of electronic books for devices such as the Kindle, Nook, and iPad. She knows you are one of the top experts on gamification, which she has heard can revolutionize publishing. She asks you to present a proposal for a gamified system to take her business to the next level.

GDP concentrates on the trade segment of the book market, i.e. non-fiction publications that would traditionally appear in bookstores, rather than mass-market paperbacks. Approximately 50% of its titles are targeted at business professionals; 25% are educational resources on technical topics such as computer programming; and the remainder address a variety of different subjects.

As a pioneer in e-book publishing, GDP faces the challenge that many users, even in the U.S., do not yet own reader devices. As of April 2012, only 21% of American adults reported that they had read an e-book in the past year, although those numbers are increasing rapidly. Kendrick tells you that another concern is that the device manufacturers and their associated distribution platforms control the sales process, making it difficult for publishers such as GDP to obtain data or develop direct customer relationships. On the positive side, an e-book is a flexible digital asset, which can offer interactive features beyond any physical book. Kendrick asks you to propose a way to gamify the distribution or consumption of e-books, or both.

Provide a detailed description of your proposal, organized according to the design framework described in the lectures in Unit 7:

1. Define business objectives
2. Delineate target behaviors
3. Describe your players
4. Devise activity loops
5. Don’t forget the fun!
6. Deploy the appropriate tools

A summary of each concept is provided on the Gamification Design Framework page.


The fact that not many users own an e-book device is the core reason to the issue that GDP is facing when they have obstacle in distributing/selling e-books.

A gamified system is one that should be designed to address this issue, bring values to both consumers and GDP and finally achieve the below business objectives.

1. Create awareness for the use of e-books and e-book reading devices.
2. Boost the distribution and consumption of e-books, especially in the non-fiction publication department.
3. Make reading fun and interactive. Promote reading as a good habit and everyone should read. Encourage readers to share the love for reading with their friends.

Aforementioned are the business objectives that GDP wants to achieve. In order to meet the objective, consumers of GDP are expected to:

1. Read/buy e-books (the platform can be on home computers, smart phones, tablets or dedicated e-book reading devices such as Kindle, Nook.)

2. Share e-books with their friends or the community on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) or on a personal level (by word of mouth)
3. Enjoy reading book on mobile devices

We then identify traits that a typical consumer of e-book or a GDP customer has

1. Love reading
2. Love looking for new knowledge which can be triggered by information or knowledge
3. May or may not own an e-book reading device

4. May or may not own a smart phone or tablet.
5. Have high concentration
6. Love to discuss or find more information/knowledge on their interest topics. Love sharing their knowledge with others who have common interest.

The gamified system can contain elements out of e-book reading devices themselves which include interactive machine/information from a local physical library or indication on websites where customers frequent at. In this capacity, we will also develop a Book Cloud which restores all information relating to reading by customers. As such, customers can search for books, stored their reading information, save books, continual reading across all devices, see what their friends are up to, recommended books for them based on read books or enjoy deals exclusive for Book Cloud customers.

The idea of the gamified system is: reward customers points based on their reading performance. Customers can accumulate points and redeem those with physical rewards such as purchase discount on the next books, exclusive access to limited information. The system also encourages customers to share reviews, book information to their friends or participate in reading community on Book Cloud.

The system can be gamified as below:

– Reward points to customers for their activities:
+ When the purchase/download a new book (engagement loop)
+ When they start reading a new book (engagement loop)

+ When they finish half of the on-going book (engagement loop)
+ When they complete a book (engagement loop)
+ When they write a review on the book and post it to Book Cloud (engagement loop)
+ When they tweet about the book and share the book on Facebook (engagement loop)

+ When they send their book recommendation to their friends. (engagement loop)
– The system recommends related books for consumers to check out based on the history of their read books
– The system shows a leaderboard displaying the scores that each reader has compared to their friends.

– The system is integrated in the e-book device and allows readers to highlight a quote of the book and share the quote on Book Cloud and other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter). Likewise, readers will also be able to highlight a written paragraph/chapter of the book and discuss it on Book Cloud. (engagement loop)

– The system gives readers a reading quest. An example: if a reader has just finished “The lost symbol” book by Dan Brown, the quest given can be: Discuss Robert’s analysis. And by joining the discussion on Book Cloud, users will be rewarded with points. On the other hand, they are encourages to join the community to share their thoughts or reflection upon the book. (engagement & progression loop)

– Accumulated points can be used to redeem a free book of the same genre or a discount when reader purchases the next book.
– The system will provide “Do you know” fact about the book during the reading process but not while reader is actually reading. “Do you know” factbox can be popped up before the reader resume reading or after he/she finishes reading. It can also be displayed between chapters or parts of the book. Reading can be designed to be more interactive when readers have chance to be exposed to more knowledge

– The system can provide badges to readers based on their level of reading. For example: “Baby reader” badge for those who read less than 10 books, “Serious reader” badge for those who read more than 100 books and “Book worm” for those who read above 200 books. (progression loop)

In order to get the whole system works, the execution should be implemented across devices and not limited to only reading devices which include smart phones and tablets. That said, readers can access Book Cloud anytime anywhere and they can resume their reading as well as take part in other activities such as write a review, participate in discussion, check out what their friends are up to or get recommendations for the next books they should read. This cross-channel implementation gives users a convenience to access their books. E-books are not only for those who own e-book reading devices now but anyone who has a home computer, who gets a smart phone or a tablet can download/purchase and read books from GDP. Users can use the system at all time at their convenience.

This system is believed to motivate readers to read more and often. The reward for their reading serves as an extrinsic motivation while the participation in a bigger community to exchange their knowledge and reviews is as an intrinsic motivation. With this, GDP can expect to boost the love of reading for everyone and one will be more initiative to read on. As referral and recommendation scheme is also introduced, it’s expected that the distribution and consumption of the e-books will also be improved.




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