Selling your product has changed to selling an experience. Products usually had one touchpoint (at the moment of purchase), experiences have many. When designing experiences you are designing these touchpoints.
Think about your consumers. Who are they? What do they want? What do they miss? But also think about your company. What does your company want? How can your company help these consumers?
Think from the users perspective; think about their intrinsic motivation. If you design products or services that really help them, it is far more lickely they end up being happy customers.
Think about all the actions consumers can do with your product or service. List all these actions and prioritize according your company’s goals. Actions always start with a verb. Different consumers ask for different actions. Therefore develop the actions conform the 4C-model. Think of actions in the four categories: compete, collect, create and collaborate.
Create engagement loops and let consumers stay in this loop for as long as possible. Create triggers for consumers to get into the loop. One or more actions can lead up to an engegament loops. But your product or service needs many. Always design with feedback in mind.
Stack engagement loops in order of difficulty. Set out a progress path for your consumers. If they did this, what should they be doing next. Divide all the loops in three categories: onboarding, habit-building and mastery. Welcome the consumer in onboarding and explain simple actions. Get the consumer used to your product during habit-building. And eventually let the consumer reach exclusivity and receive recognition from fellow consumers.
Transform engagement loops and progression stairs into functional wireframes. Add brand guidelines and graphics to make mock-ups and final designs. From this point on the game experience starts to get real. Think if your solution is fun. Do your consumers want to play?
Build prototypes for testing with your consumers. Do they understand what to do? Does it make them happy? If not, adjust and test again. Repeat level 2 to 5 untill satisfied. Only then start building your playful solution.