Fandor Gamification (Old Project)
Fandor, for those who do not recognize the name, is a movie streaming service, like Netflix, but focused more on Indie, Foreign, and Older films. They approached us to create a gamified system for customer loyalty. They wanted us to create a way to reward an encourage users to be more active in the Fandor service. One of the things that Fandor did well, but wanted more people to take part in, was how they allowed users to "discover" content. We decided to make that the focus of our efforts.
They were already using a marketing agency to get a sense of who their customers were, and we were given some of that data in the hopes that we could customize the gamification to their needs. I read over the data to get a sense of who we were dealing with. The agency that Fandor hired separated their user base into 4 distinct groups: Detective, Explorer, Entertainer, Couch Potato. The Detective was someone who is very good at finding new content and movies that no one has ever seen or heard of. The Explorer is similar to the detective but more broad, looking for good flicks in a more broad sense. The Entertainer wants to show off the movies he "found" to a group. The Couch Potato wants to have movies given to him to watch and maybe to rate and review. This led my idea for the overarching gamification system: The Fandor Funnel.
The Idea here was to use the established user types to funnel content to the correct users. Since there is a lot of new undiscovered content out there it only makes sense to get it to the users in as easy a method as possible. The Detectives are perfectly suited to finding it and filtering out what is bad. Some Detectives are also only going to focus on specific genres, but through all of the Detectives they could filter the content. The Explorers were the ideal next step, they want to look through a lot of content and find the gems. The entertainers wanted to show their friends these cool movies they found on Fandor, so they can take content from the explorer's lists. Finally the couch potatoes want to just watch movies. Focusing on this I new how I wanted to approach the gamification. Give the users the ability to distinguish themselves within the community by doing what they already wanted to do in a way that encouraged their participation.
One of the earliest things that the group noticed was that Fandor is essentially "Hipster Netflix" We joked about it all the time, but it made it no less true. The problem with creating a gamified system for hipsters is that they cannot know that it is being gamified. If they find out then the system will do more harm than good because they will rebel against it. The goal is to make the gamification less overt and more subtle. This was the idea behind the creation of profile pages for each user. The profile page would allow users to distinguish themselves but not feel like a gamified system because they see profile pages everywhere. I wanted the user who discovered a movie first, who "Liked it before it was cool", to be able to show off that they were indeed one of the first to like a certain film. The profile pages would tailor themselves to user and reward them for doing what they already wanted to do by opening up options and different ways to interact with the content.
For the Detectives I wanted them to feel like the first word on what is good and cool. I wanted them to be the people that were watching brand new films no one else had seen and telling the world what they thought. I wanted Detectives to be writing reviews and to eventually be the Siskel and Ebert of Fandor. As they wrote reviews those reviews were rated by others based on their credibility, so that the good reviews would rise to the top. Their expertise in different genres would be shown on their profile to distinguish further. I wanted the Detective that wrote 3 or 4 great reviews to be more respected than the guy who wrote 100 crappy reviews.
For the Explorers I wanted users to be able to follow other people's profile. This way when the explorers found good Detectives they could see what they watched and what they thought to see if the movie was right for the Explorer. They would begin filtering all that content for the rest of the users. Working with the Entertainers, they would be able to set up recommended movies and film fests (basically play lists that had a theme). I wanted the Entertainers to have the tools to entertain. So we gave them the option of hosting actual film festivals through Fandor.
For the Couch Potatoes they could use the profile and all the other tools to find movies and recommenadtions with minimal effort. They could find an Explorer's profile page and watch curated movie lists with no effort. The service would eventually make recommendations for them and they could just watch films back to back with little to no effort at all.
The project was a lot of fun to work and and I learned a lot about focusing an experience for particular user base, while not excluding others. Fandor really seemed to like the group's presentation and seemed receptive to the direction we gave them.
As a disclaimer, I worked on this project with a group of people. I was a lead designer, but not all ideas were mine. In this post I only talked about what I did and my ideas, as I do not want to take credit away from the team.