Beantin

James Royal-Lawson

axbom

The truth about gamification – uxpodcast

Episode 5 of UXPodcast has been published. This month, Per Axbom and I talk to Jesper Bylund about gamification.

It was not only good fun to have Per and Jesper round to Beantin HQ to record the podcast, it was also thoroughly educational. Jesper knows his stuff when it comes to game design and gamification.

The peak of inflated expectations

There’s an awful lot of hype about gamification now – as higlighted by Gartner in their 2011 hype cycle. Gamification is right up there in the peak of inflated expectations.

Together with the hype there is a lot of misunderstanding. In the podcast we dig into the misunderstanding and talk about what gamification really is.

Listen to the show

Take the chance to listen to episode 5 – The truth about gamification on uxpodcast.com.


is a freelance web manager and strategist based in Stockholm Sweden.

UXPodcast – breaking down silos

For quite a while now Per Axbom and I have been discussing the idea of starting a podcast, in English, aimed at UX and web professionals everywhere. Aiming to spread knowledge, reach out to new audiences, and probably most important of all – help break down the silos that exist and link skills horizontally.

We were both attending UXLx 2011 in Libson Portugal, so we decided that this would be a good opportunity to make a pilot episode of the podcast. We’d probably have time to plan it, think up some topics, and record it for release in the days just after the event.

Ambitious plan, but we’ve made it.

During the conference one of the topics that repeated itself throughout was that of silos. That all the silos that exist within businesses must be broken down. In particular, UX needs to reach out and get more cosy wth other silos. This seemed like the perfect encouragement to do the UXPodcast. Building on the decades of web geekery that myself and Per have stockpiled and taking advantage of our “UX” and “non-UX” labels.

You can listen to the first, pilot, episode here on UX Podcast. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes!

Yammer usage within Swedish organisations

There’s been an increasing interest in internal corporate communications tool Yammer, but in more recent times that interest has jumped. Having noticed this spike in interest Per Axbom decided to investigate. Per created a survey using Wufoo and asked people in his network who used Yammer to take a few minutes to complete it.

Although there are a number of products that occupy a similar space in the market (Present.ly and Socialtext to mention just two), Per chose to investigate Yammer as it was the tool he is most familiar with, and because he wanted the answers from each company to be comparable – which wouldn’t be possible if several tools were surveyed simultaneously.

Google trends graph showing recent jump in searches for Yammer

Initial findings

After 9 days, and just over 30 responses, Per has published his initial findings.

  • Yammer seems to be most popular in organisations of up to 50 people (over 75% of those who answered)
  • Management are often aware that Yammer is being used, but the network is not being used so much for spreading information from the management team.
  • By far the most common type of use was sharing information between colleagues.
  • Very few search the history. Information is “here and now”.
  • Generally respondents were not worried about the security of Yammer.
  • Answers were divided regarding whether Yammer saves organisations money or not. Presumably few companies have a way of measuring this.

Pie chart showing that mostly smaller teams are active on Yammer

Revolutionary?

Per concluded that Yammer is potentially a revolutionary tool for intranets, in a similar way to how WordPress has been revolutionary for public web publishing. Especially if it (or another similar product) opened itself up better to third-party adaptions.

I agree with Per. Yammer is wonderfully disruptive, and despite some flaws (such as it’s poor API, and potential security problems with the free version), it can help trigger a genuine shift in the way companies collaborate and communicate internally – both directly and indirectly.

Still open

The survey is still open. Per has decided to keep it open for a further 1-2 months. This gives more people at more companies chance to answer whilst still restricting the time-frame to keep the analysis relevant. Let’s see what the full survey says towards the end of the year.

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