Software as a Service (SaaS) might seem a new term, but these types of companies have been around for a long time. Essentially, a SaaS enterprise charges a subscription fee to maintain software that can conveniently be accessed over the internet from almost any device, as Techradar explains in detail.
SaaS is transforming the way organizations operate and can handle any business function you can think of, but is particularly evident in customer resource management, accounting and invoicing, project management, eCommerce, and data management. The reason SaaS companies are so successful is the efficiency of utilizing their centrally governed applications instead of installing costly software onsite that requires IT expertise to both set up and maintain.
While the SaaS business model is successful, we are increasingly seeing SaaS companies incorporate gamification into their products to great effect, but there’s more that could be learned from the best game developers.
Figure It Out
NetEnt is an established name that has been developing casino games since 1996, making them one of the pioneers of the game genre. Those that frequent online casinos regularly will likely be familiar with the heavily promoted titles such as Starburst or Gonzo’s Quest, which are considered among the best NetEnt casino games in their library. NetEnt actually has more than 200 titles in their arsenal of games and what makes them so prevalent is that anyone can play them. SaaS industry developers often get caught up in assigning various demographics to their users, when what they should do is create an interface, that through guided intuitiveness, anyone can use.
Casino games can be complex beasts, with multipliers, bonuses, and numerous other features that are triggered randomly, but the players rarely feel overwhelmed or in need of assistance. SaaS developers ought to ensure their users are similarly catered to with a tool they can run without outside assistance. To achieve this, tasks must be broken down into smaller actionable steps like levels of a game, and just like a game, there should be clarity of progress. Users need to know where the next milestone is and the steps to achieve it.
One of the primary motivations in playing video games is the fulfillment of your need for accomplishment. This comes in many guises with trophies, level advancements, awards, quests ticked off and bosses defeated among other things. These many forms of achievement are contained within games to prolong the longevity of the title and give gamers the impetus to not just complete the game, but also to discover all of its mysteries and finish all of the endeavors within.
The SaaS industry can also provide this level of accomplishment with the introduction of pleasurable game design elements into the products. A good example of this is creative progress bars, with some of the more iconic examples covered by Justinmind. These are increasingly being used to motivate users to complete an activity.
As well as progress bars, more celebrations can be included to signify the completion of milestones. The success of Reddit can partially be attributed to its use of awards and trophies for worthy contributions or recognition of high-quality content. Leaderboards can be remarkably effective for SaaS companies if the correct metric or indicator is promoted and users in the top ranks are not alienated.
There are many other examples of recognition and accomplishment that gamers regularly encounter and that should be more widespread in SaaS products.
Games are just software, and with the application of the concepts of gamification to SaaS products, you can generate the same emotions that make people return to great games again and again.