User type needs
Most of us are Socialisers
(Read web version.)
This post shares my belief that users can be categorised into four types and, by doing so, apps can be designed to provide highly engaging experiences.
Bartle player types
Richard Bartle classified video game players according to their preferred actions in games. Players were split into Socialisers, Explorers, Achievers and Killers. While most people show traits in more than one category, usually one dominates which determines their general preferences. By knowing where the majority of players fall in this model, developers can balance the focus of the game features to address these predominant needs; other player type needs getting less focus. While Bartle’s model applies to video game players, it can be used to help optimise designs for mobile apps in general.
Socialisers (or Hearts) engage with games for the social aspects, rather than the game itself. These players want to meet and interact with people in the game and, occasionally, computer generated characters. Other players they socialise with maybe known outside the game or become acquaintances within it. The on-line environment is particularly appealing to Socialisers as it offers unlimited opportunities for new relationships, e.g. by joining guilds. Around 80% of players are Socialisers so this is an important group to pay attention to.
Explorers (or Spades) love to discover. They seek out new things in the game and love documenting them with guides and maps. They like to work at their own pace and find time restricted activities annoying. Around 10% of players are Explorers.
Achievers (or Diamonds) love clear recognition of their achievements via points, levels, equipment and other concrete evidence of their progress. They love signposted goals and games that enable 100% completion. Around 10% of players are Achievers.
Killers (or Clubs) thrive on competing with other players and the ability to beat all others, in a zero-sum (one winner, one loser) challenge. They aim to kill and triumph over other players or computer controlled opponents. They can cause mayhem and take great joy from it. Less than 1% of players are Killers.
Bartle’s player types for gamification by Interaction Design Foundation
Free2Play: Making money from games you give away by Will Luton.
This post considered different user types and how to engage them. In next Sunday’s post I want to share some thoughts on how to build habit forming products.
Until next Sunday, consider what type of Bartle user you are and the extent to which apps you use meet your needs.
Bartle's model is interesting. More of a board game player I wonder how it applies to board games, if at all. Chess surely is a Killer type?!