‘Gamification’ – increasing user engagement by improving the user experience, specifically by incorporating techniques from games – is rightly a mainstay of behaviour-change protocols.
At Oxford Risk, we embrace the techniques of gamification wherever we can: particularly in the design of user interfaces to enhance client engagement and experience (e.g. progress bars, feedback, completion badges, etc). However, we never gamify at the expense of accuracy. There is a time for simplifying, and a time for science.
Gamification as a way of driving client engagement is helpful; establishing Risk Tolerance through a game is not.
Gimmicky games trivialise Risk Tolerance, they do not test it; and evidence from direct client user experience testing of our tools against “game-based” tools, showed that investors don’t like this trivialisation either … our clean psychometric approach came out top of all tools testing on every measure, including overall user experience, and investor trust in the outputs.
Any measures acquired through games are far more likely to be measuring (if anything) short-term attitudes to momentary risk-taking in the context of the game itself.
The form should follow function, not replace it; if you’re not measuring what you’re supposed to be measuring, the playfulness of your polish doesn’t matter.