“All developers builds apps because their sole objective is to make revenue from download numbers.”

Not true.

There are different types of developers who each have their own goals and are motivated through different means.

For example, ‘Fred’, your hobbyist developer, builds apps in his spare time mostly because he enjoys it and likes to get involved with community forums. ‘Gary’, your student developer, builds apps because he is looking to expand his skillset and is eager to learn new techniques. ‘Bob’, your agency developer, builds apps just because it’s his job and his client is paying him to do it. Or, ‘Corporation Inc’, an enterprise developer, builds apps purely as a brand extension and because their consumers expect it.

What they all have in common is the desire to see something in return for their efforts. That doesn’t always have to be app downloads or revenue share. Developers can be incentivized through other rewards such as promotion, access to events, subscription to software licenses, hardware or even gift cards!

So how can app platforms appeal to the masses through one channel?

One option, which is seeing great traction with some of the major players in the app space, is through a gamification model. This is a developer loyalty and incentives program wrapped up in a game themed environment that utilizes challenges, competitions, leaderboards and a rewards catalogue to maintain developer productivity and engagement. Developers who successfully complete activities within a timescale can make their way up a leaderboard whilst also earning rewards of their choice in the process.

There are many considerations with building a gamification model – here are some to name a few:

  1. What are you trying to achieve i.e. what are your KPIs and objectives and can they be supported through a gamification model?
  2. How do you want to reward developers for completing activities? With currency and physical goods, recognition and status, or all of the above?
  3. Which developers are you targeting and how can you appeal to their needs?
  4. What is the infrastructure of a gamification model? How will it work? Where can you access it? What features will be available, and when?
  5. How will you measure return on investment? How can you track the effectiveness of a gamification model to further optimize the program?