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Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  770 ratings  ·  91 reviews
The new era of Gamification and Human-Focused Design optimizes for motivation and engagement over traditional Function-Focused Design. Within the industry, studies on game mechanics and behavioral psychology have become proliferate. However, few people understand how to merge the two fields into experience designs that reliably increases business metrics and generates a re ...more
Kindle Edition, 515 pages
Published April 16th 2015 by Octalysis Media
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May 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
I didn't finish the book. Where do I start in my dislikes? Just a few things I disliked about the book:
(1) 500+ pages! For a business title. The author seriously needed an editor; most business books, unless it is a narrative (i.e., books about Enron, etc) are shorter.
(2) Overly complex schema -- the "octalysis." Again, this could be simpler: his discussion of "white hat" v "black hat" game design made more sense.
(3) Although I have not yet read Predictably Irrational, I suspect that book and ot
Jurgen Appelo
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gamification
Most impressive and useful motivational model I've ever seen. Amazing. ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is pretty disappointing...and self-serving. Chou seems more concerned about padding his resume, name dropping & ego stroking (yes, I'm quite clear on your URL now) than he does adding any substance to this conversation. I mean, good lord...Octalysis? You named your "theory" after its shape? ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Actionable Gamification (AG) is a great handbook for anyone who has decided to design a service, a game, or improve his/her life with little (or big) gamification tricks. This book provides a lot of value. I mean, really a lot – a little investment in it will bring huge benefits in whatever you're creating.

First half of the book is like an epiphany – human motivations are catalogued and keys to unlock them revealed. Every story or a hint described by Yu-kai Chou took me some time to analyze and
Geir Bækholt
Oct 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book has potential for telling of good practical techniques, and the methodology framework seems almost sane. But the endless, relentless pestering from the author about how awesome his blog is, how successful he is, how he have met such and such namedropped person, and how you will learn X in the next chapter if you just listen to the rants a bit longer, makes it impossible for a thinking person to persist this pile of self-praising crap. This is mostly a narcissist project about the autho ...more
Nicholas Aune
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it
In a somewhat self righteous way, Chou wrote the blueprint for Gamification, or the process of using game like logic and methods to promote efficiency, creativity, and motivation in the workplace. A very, very, very complicated blueprint. His 8 core Game Octalysis which must be perfectly skewed to one side in order to discourage "black hat" behavior and encourage "white hat" only shows that the use of gamification in the workplace is a fun idea in the short term, but requires lots of tinkering i ...more
Chelsea Lawson
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
The textbook on gamification
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Yu-kai Chou I thought this book was very insightful. I've heard bits and pieces about how to motivate people but Yu-kai really brings it all together in a framework he created called Octalysis. The main content of the book is about what each of the 8 core drives are and how it can be applied to different situations/industries to motivate players in that particular field. He takes it one step further and gives an example of a level 1 Octalysis design by applying it to his site (creating a better ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I wanted to give this 4 stars because I so enjoyed hearing the author speak at a conference in late '17. So using the Goodreads guidance, I "liked it" but didn't "really like it." The book definitely has some good material and provides a framework that is helpful towards understanding motivation (what the author calls Core Drives). Readers of Daniel Pink and others will recognize Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation differences and legitimate research-based themes. And the White Hat/Black Hat dist ...more
Micah Grossman
Jun 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book has some interesting and useful concepts, but wraps them in a veneer of self-promotion (both for himself and his clients. I have no other way to interpret his emphasis on his clients other than pay-to-play) that really put me off. Its greatest use for me was to highlight other authors and books I'd like to read. This felt less like an encapsulated book and more like a timeshare seminar to convince you to post about him on social media and engage with his blog. I couldn't recommend this ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful and actionable

The Octalysis framework is a very powerful guide to designing human focused experiences. Highly recommended for people who build products, run programs, or manage organizations. The language is easy to understand and advice very actionable. I kept a list of ideas I could apply to my own product while reading the book, and by the time I completed the book I had over 50 ideas that were inspired by various parts of the book! This idea list alone was well worth the inve
Sumit Kumar
Apr 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is the definition of pop psychology. The author never explains how he arrived at the framework. The principles are so vague that you can not question their efficacy in real life.

Alejandro Restrepo Zea
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very good book

I think this book change my mind in different ways, the first is way that I see the motivation in my work and the second is the understanding of the human behavior, I think is a good book for all that have the responsibility to manage people
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle_unlimited
Laid out a framework of motivators and then described how to apply them. Could use better organization, less anecdotes and more practical/actionable items
Machiel Reyneke
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This isn't really about gamification, but much more about understanding human motivation and behavior. Definitely recommended - the substance is of this book is worth the five stars. ...more
Boni Aditya
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Yu Kai Chou did not invent any of the gamification drives, various researchers have independently discovered them. Here is a list of books that the author quotes and these techniques were taken directly or indirectly from their work. But, the techniques by themselves aren't the greatest contributions of Yu kai Chou, the greatest contribution of Yukaichow is that he has carefully crafted the octalysis framework mapping the core drives with the gamification features. His framework which encompasse ...more
Dinesh V
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
great book for beginners. If you're starting out adding game design to your app/service, this is a great start. ...more
Tõnu Vahtra
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good book on gamification and and again it's mostly about cognitive psychology (many examples from Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow" and Daniel Pink's "Drive"). This book definitely made me more cautious about planning gamification initiatives as it's quite easy to create bad gamification when focusing at specific actions that may not create the desired effect all instead of wider narrative and experience. Participating in gamification and in games in overall is a voluntary action and people h ...more
Lukasz Nalepa
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-work, read-best
Wow... I've just finished. This book is going directly to my short list of the most valuable work-related books I've read. It is a must-read lecture not only for those who have anything to do product design, but also anyone who is even remotely connected with designing human interactions and processes.
I had very negative connotations with the word gamification, as I was thinking about it only in terms of extrinsic motivation - "points, badges and leader boards". Author of this book completely d
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great book about the potential and far-reaching implications of "gamification" (a term that has been used so often and in so many contexts, that nobody really knows what it is anymore). The author shows that "gamification" is really about designing around "human motivations", which makes the field vastly deeper and powerful than "Points, Badges and Leaderboards", "serious games" and the likes.

Yu-kai Chou provides a comprehensive framework to analyze any product and experience from the lense of
Brent Woo
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: know-things
Flew through this, fun light romp through behavioral and motivational psychology. Why do we do stuff? and how can we get others to do our stuff? I think my favorite example was how obeying speed limits is a pretty lame 'game'.

Sounds dramatic or cheesy but I already do find myself applying a lot of the ideas to normal life. Like the reason I like making music is it Empowers Creativity and Gives Feedback, and it has a strong, infinite endgame. I haven't been onboarded to running more because I don
Øystein Nygård
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you work with ANYTHING that has any sort of customer interface or interaction this book is for you. It is a complete run-down of close to all aspects of gamification and how the human brain respond to stimuli and provocation of basicly any type. For those that is working with something remotely close to gamification this is a must-read book. It outlines a framework on how to think and work with gamification, and what to be aware of when you do implement gamification features in your product, ...more
Don Sevcik
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Yu-kai gives a nice run-through of all the pieces behind a successful gamification program. He uses real world examples, and peppers the book with research. If you are a Cialdini or Ariely fan, you'll relate to this book even more.

Read all the examples and ask yourself how you can incorporate gamification into your business.
Seth Sparks
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Long, but full of examples

This is a long book, but it's worth it for all of the examples. Good job of explaining his theory, and comparing to other modern frameworks. It's full of honesty, and insights.
Scott Firestone
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very good book on a subject I'm increasingly interested in. (I read this as research for an article I was writing.)

Could have used a good editor, though.
Rakib Jahan
The book had some good points. But it was unnecessarily long. Author took way too much time to prove certain points. Many a times, he drifted from the topic
To summarize,

1. epic meaning & calling: even in a simple navigation app, you can focus on the fact that users are helping the community get rid of traffic

2. development & accomplishment: points & badges
- badges has to be meaningful otherwise it's insulting
- ebay has great gamification ( sellers level up , buyers feel they won because of the
Shubham Bansal
Do you want to design the game of your own life?

During my jobs in start-ups, I interacted with product managers, designers, developers. One phrase which used to come in those discussions was "Gamifying a thing X so the user will use it". A general sense of understanding among entrepreneurs/product people is that by modifying anything to look like a game, which mostly means rewards and points, one can influence the user to have a certain action which is desired. Although this understanding is not
Joel Davis
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
There's a lot to like about the Octalysis framework. The core drives make a lot of sense and the way they are laid out with the white hat/black hat and left brain/right brain is very clever. I like all the examples of particular game techniques along the way. All the framework parts of the book are very helpful and help describe a system for analyzing the overall "gamification" qualities of an application.

That said, the actual book was difficult to read. It came across as somewhat arrogant at ti
Leslie Nyen
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Igor Đukić
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Huh. Comprehensive book. It could be zipped for at least 50% :)

I heard about the Octalysis concept from Jurgen Appelo on Agile Conf when he was one of the main speakers and it was eye-opening for me.

For me it is one of the most fascinating perspectives, or how it is called in book Octalysis Lens, that you could take and check your system, process, product, game, even life if you wish to make it more playable/enjoyable or focused towards specific goal.

My favorite quotes:
- Therefore, as Michael Wu
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