Gamification technology was something we could harness to benefit our users; adding a game element instantly brought the fun!
By Joanne Lang (Founder & CEO, AboutOne)

The Deloitte annual Tech Trends 2012 study reported the latest figures on who plays social games online. Their results were surprising to some, but validating to the rest of us.

The average online gamer is a 37 year old woman. The articles that came out after the study portrayed this gamer as compulsively tending to an imaginary Farmville crop on Facebook.

What they missed was what I saw – these gamers are Moms.

When I created AboutOne, my goal was to help moms better manage family life by building on the contact and calendar tools they already use to give them secure, anytime, anywhere access to their household information and family memories. However, I knew that if I didn’t make the app fun no one would use it. If they didn’t use it, then it wouldn’t be helpful to them.

My three key requirements for AboutOne are that it be fast, fun, and easy. I realized that gamification technology was something we could harness to benefit our users; adding a game element instantly brought the fun! Since more women than men have gaming apps on their smartphones, it was important for me to provide both web and mobile access to AboutOne.

Our team began to investigate the best way to incorporate gaming – we wanted to make sure that the end result was more than just points earned; it had to be a more organized user. We started by focusing on specific elements of family life that we could have a positive impact on — first up was helping our customer families get ready to go back to school and to become more involved, overall, with their children’s education.

At the end of this week we are launching the game element of AboutOne. You are competing against no one but yourself to gather and upload vital information. Every time you complete a task (uploading a photo of your child’s first day at school, for example) you are on your way to earning a badge.

Soon we will have more badges for our customers to earn: emergency preparedness badges, holiday card badges, gift list badges, health badges… our objective is to make earning these badges so fun that you don’t even realize you’re getting more organized. And then one day you’ll need to put your hands on your child’s vaccination records and you’ll know EXACTLY where they are: safely stored in AboutOne, ready for you when you need them.

Welcome to a new era of gamification – one where women and moms control more than just pretend farmland. We control our lives.

This post was originally posted at AboutOne’s blog: “Notes From The CEO”.

About the guest blogger: Joanne Lang is the Founder and CEO of AboutOne, an online organizer that not only replaces the file cabinets, notebooks, and various tools that families use to store household information, but also saves time by automatically organizing that information so it’s useful and readily available. She is a former software company executive specializing in cloud technology. Follow her on Twitter at @AboutOneCEO.