How Duolingo addicts us
Or the magic of gamification
I've been using Duolingo to learn a new language.
The way they use psychological biases to gamify learning really makes you think. I found five usages worth of note:
No annoying notifications
They know that perfection is in what you remove. They don't spam you with notifications throughout the day. Instead, they’re as targeted as a gold medalist in archery.
The more you see of something, the less attention you pay to it. Hence why being targeted and precise pays-off.
💡 Exercise for you: are you over-communicating with your brand?
They remind you of the fear of losing
It's know that losing is more intense than winning. It's commonly seen among investors. And Duolingo plays on this for language learning. They remind you you’ll lose your streak if you don’t do something about it.
💡 Exercise for you: are you reminding your potential clients lof the problems of not using your product frequently enough?
After completing a session, they incentivised me to keep going by offering double XP for the next 15 minutes. You can also unlock bonuses if you complete lessons at certain times of the day.
💡 Exercise for you: are you creating follow-up incentivizes for when your clients take good actions, such as a purchase, so that they keep going?
No mention of pricing
Price is a sensitive topic in B2C. They prompt you to subscribe to Pro with a “14 day trial for €0.00”. I haven’t found any mention of the price while digging through the app.
💡 Exercise for you: are you showing your price too soon? Is the perception of being too low, or too high, hurting your conversions? Do you show enough value before talking about money?
Putting you on a leaderboard where you have 1256 people ahead of you is no good. After my first session, I was already among the Top 30 of the Bronze League. The Top 3 and the Silver League seem within grasp, motivating me to act.
💡 Exercise for you: are you making the buying journey for your leads a breeze? Does it seem simple? Is it simple?
Duolingo is a goldmine of gamification best practices. Even if you don't want to learn a language, I highly recommend you start a course.