5 exciting impacts of gamification on Yarno learners

Erin McGee, 4 min read

Gamification has become a fundamental part of human-technology interaction and is used to solve problems, nudge behaviours and engage employees, customers or the general public. It’s used in and out of the workplace, and it’s even weaved into apps you use every day (sometimes without you even realising it!)

So when designing and building the Yarno platform, we were thoughtful in considering how we would encourage participation, keep learners engaged and reward their hard work.

During our research, all signs pointed toward gamification and we decided to look into incorporating game elements into the learner experience to achieve these goals.

We wanted to incorporate game mechanics to make Yarno an enjoyable part of employees’ day-to-day, to ultimately make continuous improvements to knowledge, skills and behaviours.

And after running several Yarno campaigns with customers in different industries and with teams of varying sizes and role types, we’ve begun to empirically observe the impact of gamification on the the way learners interact with Yarno. And today, I’d like to share a couple with you!


We’ve seen incredible results with Ecolab (stay tuned for the case study) and some that have surprised us, too!

The team at Ecolab are incredibly dedicated to their work, which is built on and driven by science. Which is awesome for us. Why?

Well, not only because we love science, but because we were lucky enough to have a team of scientifically rigorous people giving us feedback on Yarno and the way it works.

Badges and achievements

Badges and achievements are an important element of Yarno. Learners are rewarded with badges for certain achievements throughout their campaigns, namely:

  • Correct question streaks
  • Topic mastery
  • Participation and engagement

We’ve found that badges have been particularly motivating for learners. A particular experience was brought to our attention when a member of an Ecolab team wrote to us to let us know that we needed to create more badges! He’d achieved every single one of them and found them motivating and gave him a sense of progress.


The Yarno scoring algorithm rewards both participation and performance and forms the basis of the individual and team leaderboards. Within the first few weeks of the Ecolab campaign, we had a keen Yarnoer come to us wanting to know exactly how the scoring was calculated. (Sorry, that one’s locked up in the Yarno vault).

This kind of keen interest in the scoring mechanism indicated to us that learners were invested in their performance in the app.


Several Ecolab learners enjoyed the competitive aspect of Yarno. Some feedback we've had about Yarno inspiring competition include:

"It's a fun way of getting competitive with colleagues"

"I enjoyed the competitiveness and it was a fun way to learn"

"It brought out some good competition amongst individuals and teams"

Mortgage Choice

Scoring, points and trying to ‘game’ the system

An interesting insight from our Mortgage Choice learners was the intrinsic desire to 'game' the Yarno system's scoring algorithm in an effort to jump a few extra rungs up the leaderboard.

Some learners would 'hoard' their daily questions until the last day of the week. Then, they would answer them all at once to have a better chance of a longer streak! Longer streaks = more points and badges!

Anonymised leaderboard

A feature of the Yarno dashboard that caused a stir at Mortgage Choice was the option to anonymise the individual leaderboard.

Since learners couldn't see who was in front or behind them on the leaderboard, it made the feature mysterious and a bit of a challenge to find out who to beat!

Ron Finemore Transport

This one's a little different as we haven't launched this campaign yet (we're about a week and a half off!)

We're working with Ron Finemore Transport to improve driver safety by drivers better understanding the company's safety processes.

Incentives, rewards and behavioural science

We've been incredibly interested in using elements of behavioural science in the way Yarno works to change employee behaviours.

The safety campaign with RFT will be our first experience with using physical prizes as campaign incentives. This differs from our previous campaigns that used solely gamification elements within the platform to drive intrinsic motivation.

We’re looking at awarding prizes to encourage participation in the campaign.  We want to strike the right balance so we ensure prizes motivate and drivers don’t feel demotivated because they didn’t win a prize and/or don’t understand how the prizes are awarded.

Rewards don’t have to be money or physical goods, more important is their desirability. We're considering options like:

  • lunch with the CEO,
  • an extra day off,
  • tickets to a show
  • food/dinner voucher,
  • or simply getting recognition in front of peers via newsletters, flyers etc.

Once we've wrapped up the safety campaign, we'll be excited to share the results with you!

What's next for Yarno and gamification?

After receiving all the positive feedback about our current gamification elements, we're keen to step up our game (sorry, I had to) in places where it might be appropriate to incorporate new features, to make the Yarno experience even more engaging.

For all the latest and greatest tweaks to the Yarno universe, Lachy has kindly laid them our in our newest Product release notes. Check them out here!

Erin McGee

Erin McGee

Erin is an ever-trusty wordsmith and resident spreader of good vibes. You'll find her chatting up a storm in Mandarin, yelling kiai's at jujitsu and eating dark chocolate at 2pm sharp.

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