Invision 4.6 new feature: "Achievements" (gamification :))

tony45

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
190
:cool::love:




1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg
 

haqzore

Devotee
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,556
Love this. Gamification has huge potential for modern communities.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,646
"Login streaks" used to be a hugely missed opportunity to encourage new users to keep showing up after that first login/post. Good to see vendor mentalities adapting to non-standard industry needs beyond the basics forum software is technically required to fulfill. Wondering if other vendors will follow.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,638
Another nice addition to the platform which should help keep members engaged. Little things like this can make a lot of difference :tup:
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,984
"Login streaks" used to be a hugely missed opportunity to encourage new users to keep showing up after that first login/post. Good to see vendor mentalities adapting to non-standard industry needs beyond the basics forum software is technically required to fulfill. Wondering if other vendors will follow.
I will when I get round to finishing a few things... RL has gotten in the way of my development a lot lately :(

But I have an achievements thing on my roadmap, it’s actually more insane than what IPS is doing but then again so is my niche...
 

Joel R

Fan
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
864
I've only watched the video one time and need to dig into it more, but some thoughts:
1. This is not to knock the IPS Achievements (which is really quite impressive, more on this later) but gamification in professional community management circles is very much looked down upon now. It's way over saturated, usually not well done, and driven by general engagement which is not a reflection of a members (useful) contribution.

2. This is well done. This is very well done. It's based on a rules system that's comprehensive to the scope of the suite. A long form blog post just isn't worth the same as a status update.

It's nuanced, it allows for multiple pathways of member journeys, captures the breadth of the entire suite, and captures actions that are unique to IPS.

3. This was stated in the comments, and I do believe IPS needs to address this, but there needs to be a place for more explanation to be given.

Badges are okay if you simply say the level. Badges are great if you explain the value, the competitiveness of achieving that value, and what you need to do to earn the next one.

4. Member login streak ... Do members actually log out?

5. There needs to be backwards compatibility to existing achievements during upgrade or rules creation.

6. IPS had a third party app called Rules Automation, which was far more powerful in it's rule-making ability. That unintentional power (which could cause major site-wide disruption from improperly crafted rules) is why IPS quietly steamrolled the author and pushed him out of the Marketplace. Bye Kevin!

It's unfortunate that had to happen, but that probably taught IPS safer ways to build this rules system.

7. I'm going to return to my first point.

Gamification is incredibly over saturated at this point. The concept has been around for 20 years, and it's been mainstream for 10. Every system, platform, and fitness bike wants to give you a gamification badge. There's a genuine onset of gamification fatigue. When you're winning everything, do you actually feel like winning is important anymore?

IPS community leaders are going to need to be extra thoughtful in designing smart, intelligent gamification systems that stand out from the crowd.
 

Zelda

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
123
I genuinely am loving where Invision's development seems to be heading. The new achievement (with badges) system is something I am delighted to see. I am sincerely hoping I can define some achievements for users to follow while having other achievements a bit less transparent to prevent anyone from gaming the system. That would nearly seal the deal for me (having the best of both worlds).

A feature I would like to see, but I suspect I may need to have it developed by a 3rd party, is purchasing reactions. I would then like to incorporate a system that allows others to vote up and down. In short, I would like to mimic Readit if I can. It is the current business model I have been using successfully for the better part of a decade. I also have some limited ad placement with monthly subscriptions.
 

Matt M

Director Development at Invision Community
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
378
Hi all,

A few thoughts if I may.

I absolutely agree that gamification can be completely oversaturated. I set some firm boundaries when designing this feature to ensure that the achievements system is there to reward good content and act as a gentle nudge to continue contributing.

It's not designed to turn the community into the game. The purpose of the community shouldn't be to race through levels to get the shiny badges and then lose interest; or stop posting thoughtful content infrequently and start posting ephemeral content constantly.

I did a lot of reading and listening to experienced community managers on the subject.

To that end, the golden rules are:

1) Never expose the points logic to members. We don't want members gaming (yes, I realise the irony) the system. We don't want members focusing on high point items to the detriment of being a normal human in a community.

2) Make manual recognition a strong component. Automated rules to rank up are fine, but real connections come from authentic interactions, and our achievements system allows moderators (where allowed) to award content (and thus the author) for valuable contributions. These badges cannot be earned through the automated system.

1618822470678.png
3) Try and keep the system out of the way. We don't want to overly push badges and ranks as the star of the community. The ranks are beneficial to allow other members to infer a level of trust, but we don't want a small number of members to run away with the community as they have all the badges and feel infinitely more superior.

We are currently getting a lot of feedback, and we often hear things like:

"I want to see a progress bar and what I need to do to hit the next rank"
This feels natural, we all like to know when the next reward is coming. However, it's a bad idea to make this a focus because while you will see peaks in engagement, it may not maintain your community's health.

"I want to see a page of all the badges I can earn"
I'm on the fence with this one. I can see no real harm in showing available badges but again, I resist focusing too heavily on the rewards.

"I want a page explaining how points are earned"
As I mentioned earlier, I think this is a bad idea and you will regret doing it. I do not see us building this view by default, but you could add it as a pinned post or announcement if you really wanted to tell people.
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,984
So that’s something I’m working on in StoryBB, the notion of chained achievements as well as hidden achievements, such as the fact that you might get an achievement for 100 posts in a specific board with a specific sub account, but for it not to show up anywhere until you hit, say, 10% of that at which point it unlocks and then you can see progress towards it complete with progress bar.

Then you can do chained achievements, e.g. complete tier 1 of a line of achievements, and tier 2 unlocks. But I also know my demographic behaves atypically.

I’m on the fence myself about giving people loaded foot-guns so to speak, but I’d rather give them the tools and suggest how they should use it rather than necessarily compromising the functionality.
 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,216
Though I'm no fan of these sort of automated systems, the description seems to be one of the best I've seen. It offers loads of customization which could be useful in some cases.
 

tony45

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
190
Though I'm no fan of these sort of automated systems, the description seems to be one of the best I've seen. It offers loads of customization which could be useful in some cases.
Yeah. And devs are making changes after receiving lot of feedback so it´s just begun
 

Joel R

Fan
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
864
"I want to see a progress bar and what I need to do to hit the next rank"
I agree with the sentiment, but not necessarily the execution.

I agree that users need to know what is needed to get to the next step. It's important because it encourages users on the next milestone, and you've turned an award into an active journey of progress. You can, however, accomplish this by simply including it in the award's description ("Congrats on hitting the TheAdminZone's blue badge award for writing 50 topics! Write 50 more and you can win the diamond award at 100 posts!")

The problem with progress bars is that the levels should get progressively harder, which means once you get to upper tiers and you need 1000 posts between posts, a progress bar doesn't give the same amount of motivation.

A more practical problem is that, with IPS system, there are multiple pathways. So what progress bar do you even show?

"I want to see a page of all the badges I can earn"
I've thought about this in a lot of detail over the past couple of days. My commutes are long and boring.

If I were to design the system, I would offer an option per badge to show / not show on a page. The reason why is that it can be empowering for users to see certain badges that can be attained. Some users like the idea of 'collecting' badges. Collecting speaks to powerful psychological factors of organization, arrangement, and a sense of fulfillment / void. No one buys just one Harry Potter book. You gotta buy all of them.

With that said, if there are manual badges in the system, it would be important to curate those more carefully. Would I show manual badges on a page? I think it depends - common, everyday ones can be shown if it's easily attainable or assigned. For selective, rare ones, no I wouldn't show on a page.

"I want a page explaining how points are earned"
This is a tough one to address, because I think it depends on how the community manager wants to frame her awards system:
  • Does she want to reward behaviors of what users should naturally do?
  • Or does she want to more proactively push certain behaviors?
I've thought about this a lot, and while I think it's important that users can't go out of their way to game the system, ultimately the purpose of a proper gamification system is to intentionally incentivize certain behaviors. The problem with the reactive / passive approach is that you're literally rewarding users for what they're already doing which ... begs the question, why even offer a gamification system to begin with? You want to be gently pushing users to do certain actions.

With that said, I don't think you need a page explaining how all badges and points are earned. If you designed the initial badges correctly, it should affirm the behaviors that you desire. If it were me, I would periodically drip notifications that would encourage users on how to earn their first set of badges, and then let the badges promote more activity with well-crafted descriptions.


Some other thoughts:
  • This needs to be thoughtfully integrated with the Leaderboard across the suite, which is another concurrent gamification / rewards system in the IPS ecosystem .... Leaderboard page, Profiles, Sidebar widgets, etc.
  • There needs to be a log of awards in the MCP / ACP for tracking and filtering, and for logging who assigned what manual badges.
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,984
What I’m looking at doing is similar to what Steam does: let the user become invested in the achievements by letting them decide which one(s) they want to have in the poster info area. Like if you have an achievement that is rare and you are proud of it, you show it off.

Let your community be ambassadors for this.
 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,216
ultimately the purpose of a proper gamification system is to intentionally incentivize certain behaviors.
This is the important bit and the biggest reason why I don't like automated systems. An automated system is limited to things it can measure, like posts. While that can be useful in some circumstances, it puts the focus on the forum software rather than what the forum is about. This can result in members posting just for the sake of getting rewards instead of being rewarded for what they contribute to the community. The best (read most useful) gamification "system" is the one we create ourselves.
 

DanielF

Participant
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
71
That’s why we have the manually awarded badges:)
If you don’t create any rules, they won’t get anything automatically
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
1,984
It's actually interesting... I have no compunctions about using an 'automated system' in this fashion to incentivise 'posting in a certain place' (for example) because over in RP land are certain norms that are already culturally normalised without even having to rules lawyer them, let alone do much enforcement.

For example, gamifying posts wouldn't work particularly well because if you went off and made 10 posts on a given board to gamify the achievement, people are really going to be unhappy with you, given that a *short* post is typically north of 300 words in the areas we'd gamify this kind of thing. Other boards have different rules, one presumes they'd do something different with the achievements.

That's not to say that this delegitimises what IPS is doing and I think it's very interesting to see different takes on the same concept, but end of the day gamification is about incentivising behaviours you want and this is a very nice toolkit to help with that.
 

JordanInvision

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
21
Also, I see after all the recent criticism of Invision on here they've decided to hire some jacked reps with muscle to handle the haters.
That's me :superman:

Haha the muscles weren't Invision Community's idea but luckily they hired me anyway. :lol:

Just want to say hi and become more of a frequent member here.

My name is Jordan. Before I started diving into the marketing side of things on IC, I ran (and continue to run) my own community called BreatheHeavy (since 2004). It taught me so so much and helped me discover my love of marketing and community building. Been a really fun journey thus far.
 
Top