Game Pill Interactive

Posts in Mobile Category

10 Secrets to Creating Great Mobile Apps


Tip 1: Keep It Simple

Your user interface should be simple. Show only the most important content, and make sure functionality is useful for someone on the go. Make your environment eyecatching, uncluttered, and intuitive. Not all users are adept at using their smartphones. For that reason, the mobile app should be so simple that even a new mobile user can navigate it or play it effectively. Once you have a prototype design ready, take the most non-technical friend or family member you have and watch them work the app or game. Take extensive notes, and pay attention to the places where they get stuck — new users will drop off quickly if you don’t make your design or gameplay intuitive and easy-to-use.

Tip 2: Cover as Many Platforms as Possible
Every day users access apps across multiple devices and platforms — desktop, smartphone and tablet — often covering all platforms in one day. Developers need to make sure their app is available, functional and attractive across as many devices and platforms as possible. Make sure your design principals match the operating system you are designing for.

Tip 3: Make It Convenient
Helping visitors achieve their goals in as few steps as possible will increase your likelihood of closing a sale. Put users on their desired path as quickly as possible. With any mobile app, game or mobile website, the sole concern should be, “Am I making the end user’s life more convenient or enjoyable?” Human-centered design is often left out of the digital space. Design with your end user by seeking input at every step of the way and putting yourself in their shoes.

Tip 4: Let Users Be Social
Mobile users contribute twice as much social content as desktop users, so enable your app users to interact by integrating social capabilities. Make it easy for users to evangelize your product for you by writing mobile reviews, and enable them to share their reviews with one touch posting capabilities to outlets such as Facebook and Twitter

Tip 5: Make Every Experience personal
Ensure that your promotions and offers are always targeted. Where possible information should always be tailored to the user’s context. With the limited time you have to engage mobile users, irrelevant promotions will frustrate them, take up valuable screen real estate, and push abandonment. Mobile devices are always on and with users, so enable users to take action immediately. Use your analytics data to push contextual promotions and continually update your environment(s) to reflect the insight that users give you. For example if the user of your game loves blue offer them blue items that are on sale.  Or if your user is playing your game and has purchased widgets in the past offer them a sale price on widgets.

Tip 6: Make Purchasing Painless
Make upgrades, in app purchases, etc. available from every screen.  If you app is product centric feature relevant items.

Tip 7: Motivate Users to Come Back
Create a way to entice users to come back to your application with features such as a loyalty offer for repeat visits.  In a game this can be accomplished by using depleting health, etc.

Tip 9: Adapt to Your Users
As more users engage and more data is gathered, your game or app should gradually align with the experience that visitors are demanding. Analytics are a must. Your users’ motivations matter more than your own. You need to understand the motivations of your users at a very deep level and place triggers accordingly.

Tip 10: No WiFi…No Problem!
Make sure that your app or game can work seamlessly even when the consumer is not connected to WiFi or another signal. This is a design practice that development teams should think about as they plan their apps. Think ahead about how the app works when offline.

Posted in Mobile

How Do I Get An App For That?…meet us at iKids to find out!

 

Game Pill President Mike Sorrenti is proud to be part of iKids and will be a speaker at the Networking Breakfast as part of the session How Do I Get An App For That?

If you are at iKids or The Kidscreen Summit please be sure to check out the session and if you cannot make it we are happy to set up a one-on-one meeting during the summit to answer all of your game and app related questions!

Here are some common questions we hear all the time to get your list started:

  • How much does an app cost?
  • What are the benefits of creating a game or app
  • What technology is best for creating an app or game (Unity3d, HTML5, Flash, etc.)?
  • What is the typical process for creating an app or game?
  • What is the best way to earn revenue from an app or game?

To register and learn more about the session visit the iKids website at:

http://ikidsevent.kidscreen.com/2013/sessions/65625/networkingbreakfasthowdo/#.UPbeJ_IzSeN

 

The Benefits of Prototyping

[An excerpt from the article Stop Guessing and Start Prototyping published in Casual Connect Magazine]

In order to understand why you should be prototyping, you must first understand the associated benefits.  The overriding benefit, of course, is that prototyping increases the chance of producing a successful and polished product. In addition, here is just a partial list of the ancillary benefits I have encountered over the years:

  • Prototyping clarifies requirements. Requirements often change during the development cycle of a product. Prototyping ensures that requirements are defined more fully.
  • Prototyping helps set expectations. We all have our own expectations, and in many organizations, these expectations come from a variety of stakeholders who sometimes have conflicting interests (accountants, sales people, marketing, developers, etc.). Setting expectations early on with a prototype can help avoid problems later in the development cycle.
  • Prototyping helps to identify issues or gaps early on. Seeing a concept in action allows stakeholders and developers to fill in gaps or identify potential issues early on. These issues can relate specifically to almost any branch of a company: legal, marketing, development, etc.   For example, a media company may have a great idea for an app featuring a character that flies.  However, the branding department may determine that this is “off brand” as the character is supposed to be afraid of heights.  These are the types of issues that a company wants to flush out early on.
  • Prototyping introduces a user perspective early in the process. With a working prototype, developers and stakeholders can get perspective via focus groups and internal testing early on. This allows the team to shift direction as needed, based on user feedback.
  • Prototyping minimizes risks. When prototyping, there is less risk of allocating time and budget to a flawed concept. The teams can then focus on winning ideas and weed out lesser ideas more quickly.
  • Prototyping minimizes costs. Seeing a game in action early on allows developers to innovate and make revisions early in the development process, thus limiting expenditures on flawed functionality or concepts.

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What is Transmedia?

Transmedia is storytelling across multiple forms of media, with each element making distinctive contributions to a user’s understanding of the overall story universe.

In some cases user actions affect the experience of content across multiple platforms (example: reaching the end of an online game unlocks a special web video with more story insights or scanning a QR code in a novel sows a video or image related to the story itself).

When does Transmedia start?

Transmedia can start at the inception of the idea or can be put into place as the story evolves, today more and more creators are mindful of the various platforms available for their creations.

It is common for most people to think that Transmedia must start from a specific medium but that is not the case, in transmedia the starting point of the storyline can and has come from a number of sources such as:

  • a game such (example: Angry Birds)
  • a comic book (example: Batman, Superman)
  • a novel (example: Lord of The Rings, Hunger Games)
  • a television show (example: CSI)
  • a movie (example: The Matrix, Avatar)
  • a toy (example: Transformers, Lego)

Transmedia Platforms:

Technology has created tools that allow users to interact with content as never before. The ability to create storytelling vehicles and spreading these stories through different channels is changing the rules and creating a potential value proposition that is too big to ignore.

PLATFORM ELEMENTS UNIQUE FEATURES
Film moving image, audio, non-interactive, fixed interaction time, passive viewing reaches a wide audience, commercial
Episodic Shows moving image, audio, non-interactive, fixed interaction time, passive viewing, shorter, episodic episodes extend the duration of the work over time, changes the nature of how audience engages, overall extended narrative
Gaming interactive, animated/moving graphics, music, sound effects, no fixed interaction time players become an extension of the story world: they can act as a character, manipulate the world, and possibly form their own narrative
Toys & Merchandise (action figures, costumes, clothing, trading cards) playable, physical, wearable, tactile hands-on media, collectible, allows fans to become part of the world physically, helps form ideas of collective identity and competition and passion
Music (Song) only audio, fixed interaction time, single media environment (just sound). sing-alongable, shared
Artwork (Photography, Painting, etc.) only image, no fixed interaction time, single media environment (just image). highlights key moments, encourages hardcore fans to appreciate and engage further
Literature (Novels) written word, more detailed, fixed time encourages reader’s imagination
Graphic Novels, Comics written word, images, expressive, fixed time encourages reader’s imagination
Social Media videos, audio, text, image, networked, quick and fast connectivity, interactive direct interaction with the personal audience member – personalization, encourages audience participation, bridge between the story world and the real world, the ability to connect with and influence the story outcomes.
Experiential (theme-parks, installations, etc.) Reaches all senses Immerses fans in the universe physically and can include environment, food, drink, and experience.

 

Transmedia Examples & Case Studies:

There are many great Transmedia examples, here is one Transmedia Case Study that I particularly enjoyed watching:

Case Study – Bravo / Top Chef Transmedia / Lisa Hsia, EVP, Bravo:

For more examples or to chat about your Transmedia Strategy please feel free to contact us.

 

What is Gamification?

Gamification is a new and powerful strategy intended to strongly connect consumers with your brand.

Typically, Gamification implements game dynamics into existing systems. Usually incorporating the most popular aspects of games and other social motivators including but not limited to: achievements, leader boards, progression bar, virtual currency, awards, challenges between users, and embedding small casual games.

Gamification involves integrating game dynamics into your companies core services. The options are endless and can apply to many aspects of your business from customer retention and marketing to safety training and sales incentives.

How can your brand utilize Gamification?

Gamification can be utilized internally (training staff, incentivizing staff, etc.) or externally (building a connection with your brand on your website, physical rewards cards, etc.). I have included a few examples of where Gamification can be typically applied in most organizations:

  • Corporate Website or Platform
  • In-store at point of purchase
  • In-store for loyalty and for discovering new product offerings
  • Training & motivating existing staff or customers

A few Examples of Gamification:

There are MANY examples of Gamification all around you.  Many that are often overlooked.  If we look at the popular website, LinkedIn, we can easily spot great examples of Gamification. Below you can see a picture of LinkedIn’s profile progress bar.

This progress bar implementation helps encourage people to fully use LinkedIn’s services. Visitors can visually see their progress and how easy it’ll be to fully populate their profile. Seeing an incomplete progress bar provides incentive and motivates users to complete their profiles. An item like this  progress bar makes the LinkedIn experience of completing your profile challenging for the user and makes all listings more complete for the entire userbase of LinkedIn.

Sobeys:

So it maybe easier now to see Gamification’s digital presence around you, but what about outside of the digital world? Do you remember all of those sandwich cards that promised the 10th sandwich free? That is also an example of Gamification. Most of these popular rewards  cards implement not only a progress bar into their promotions, but many also reward their customers with coupons, special offers and merchandise. A great example of this is Sobeys’ Club Sobeys.  It is a promotional system that gives customers a virtual currency, named Club Sobeys Points. In addition to this system, Sobeys has certain items in store that earn customers bonus points. Below is a breakdown of how customers can acquire points and save money on purchases.

What does this example of Gamification do for Sobeys? It gains customer loyalty. Sobeys club members feel encouraged to shop only with Sobeys and not its competitors in order to maximize their savings. This creates a very loyal and engaged customer.

Gamification is a powerful tool when used properly.  It allows companies to connect with their customers and employees in a more meaningful and accountable way.  And when done properly both the brand and the customer benefit greatly.

Gamification is an opportune strategy that shouldn’t be ignored. Especially for those struggling to differentiate themselves.

How do you think Gamification can help your business?

Posted in games, Mobile, Social