Health apps come in many shapes and sizes. They may be used to strengthen good habits, take medications at the right time, or improve vitals related to a medical condition. And like wearables, users love them! Whatever the case, gamification can boost user engagement on your health app.
In fact, new reports say the gamification industry will grow to $30.7 billion by 2025. If you’re interested in gamifying your health app, we’ll go over some key elements that motivate users.
First, what can gamifying health do for users? There are 325,000+ health-related mobile apps available nowadays and early outcomes suggest they’re great for user health. Specifically, they can:
As we can see, gamifying health can be used to achieve positive health outcomes. Experts even suggest that using preventive health apps could save lives in the long run.
Gamifying health seems like a great idea, but it requires certain elements to actually work. If your health app is missing any of them, you may find that users eventually drop off. Let’s go over some of these features.
1. Provide rewards
Everybody loves rewards. Depending on your health app, you may offer badges, metals, stars, gems or points… or some other rewards concept. It’s amazing how even silly, virtual rewards can motivate us. Getting a silver medal for completing an exercise goal flips on some competitive switch in our brain to get gold next time.
2. Connect with community
Users also enjoy gamified health apps because of the sharing aspect. It’s a great feeling to show off your success with exercise, nutrition, sleep, medication, etc. to your friends and family. Having sharing features with other users, via social media and in the general community is a rock-solid idea. This may involve forums, leadership boards or other local challenges.
3. Track progress towards goals
It’s hard to complete your goal when you don’t track it. A successful gamified health app lets you easily track your progress and see what steps are needed to reach it. Progress bars, steps or other units are essential for motivating users. Daily, weekly, monthly - a variety of tracking formats is ideal.
4. Motivate with special challenges
Double or nothing and other challenges are extremely tempting. You can motivate users by offering special challenges to get more rewards. These are in addition to central goals set by an individual. They can give users extra confidence and engagement with your health app.
5. Consider virtual (or real) currency
Some new health apps are even using money as a part of their motivational strategy. This could be virtual currency - such as rewards points - or even real money. An app called Pact charges users a set amount for not making their goal and pays out when they do. It’s an interesting area to consider as you’re developing your app.
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