Waze and Their Use of Motivation in GPS Navigation | Tiffany Zink
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Waze and Their Use of Motivation in GPS Navigation


Gamification and All It’s Glory

Gamification has been brought up multiple times this week. I had a difficult time deciding on the designs I wanted to discuss. A few ideas came to mind and Waze’s understanding of this powerful motivation tool, was one of them. I decided to save this topic for this week’s learning journal. The Waze app has a great way of motivating the user, by making the act of reporting incidents, seem like a game. On top of this concept, they designed the app to have levels, different icons to represent these levels, a point system, and increase in influence with each report made.

Looking Back to When I First Used The Waze App

The first time I used Waze, was on a trip to Pittsburgh. My friend and I noticed that the GPS app was making us feel like we were in a game. It was the main reason why we loved the app. This week, the app came to mind when selecting a good design example. At the time, I didn’t know what the term was called for this concept. Through research for something else, I stumbled upon an article that talked about the use of gamification. Later, it was brought up by a student of mine and then a classmate, Elisha Frey. Elisha pinned a great article on Gamification and UX: Increasing User Engagement. This article explained many of the features that make gamification successful. Using points, badges, stickers, challenges, and overall enhancing the journey of the user. In terms of Waze, they nailed their design concept. 

Good Motivation Equals Good Conceptual Model

I’ve seen a similar use of motivation on other educational sites that utilize badges to enable the user in having a sense of accomplishment, that they can display to the world. For the Waze app, throughout your trip, you can see other Waze users, interact with them, and connect with your friends. This is a very good conceptual model for the concept of having to drive somewhere. The ability to have constant discovery, feedforward and feedback from multiple resources, helps benefit the user during their travels (Norman, 2013). Keeping users safe and aware of what’s to come. It brings together everyone on the road in that vicinity, to have one common goal, and create a sense of accomplishment for the individual users, on every report they make.

Norman, D.A. (2013). The design of everyday things: Revised and expanded edition. New York: Basic Books.

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