Gamification of Education

Company: Unacademy  •  Platform: Web  •  Year: Early 2017


To monetise a 'free education' platform while driving user engagement.

Designing a gaming and rewards system for Unacademy.

UX/UI Designer
The entire gamification model was conceptualised and designed by me.

Product Thinking, Ideation, Interaction Design, Visual Design, Content Writing, Illustration


What is gamification?

Gamification is the use of gaming dynamics in a non-game environment, such as websites or mobile apps. It involves integrating gaming elements like challenges and rewards into the user journey, in order to motivate users to carry out otherwise mundane tasks. Gamification techniques can add an element of fun to your user experience while keeping things challenging and competitive. The primary advantage of gamification is that it can be used as a motivation tool and boost user engagement.

Key things to keep in mind while designing gaming techniques for your platform:

1. Identify user goals and value proposition
What is your user here for? What is he trying to achieve? Understand what value your product is adding to the user's life and connect to something that is already meaningful to the user.

2. Prepare challenges that work within certain constraints
Set smaller, achievable targets for your user that will ultimately help him reach his end goal. You want to gradually keep on increasing the complexity of the challenges so your user doesn't get bored.

3. Give feedback and provide meaningful rewards
Provide positive feedback when the user completes a task or accomplishes something. Rewards can be in the form of virtual gifts such as points, badges or stickers.

One of the important things to consider while designing a rewards system is the social aspect. In an online community where people are working towards a common goal, the presence of elements such as a leaderboard is enough to drive participation and encourage users to stay on top.


What I was trying to solve

Unacademy was looking for ways to monetise their app in order to continue creating educational content and stay in business. This was a tricky situation since Unacademy had positioned itself as a free education platform and risked alienating its audience by introducing paid features. By incentivising time spent learning on the platform, Unacademy could continue to remain free for its top learners. Here's how.


Gamified Learning on Unacademy

The following article was originally published on Unacademy Discuss on Feb 12, 2017.

If you logged into Unacademy over the weekend, you would have probably seen some new additions to your home screen. A quick glance to the top right corner of the header and you’ll notice the introduction of credits, as well as this curious looking dashboard on the bottom right panel.


So what does all of this mean?

At Unacademy, we are constantly looking for ways to keep you motivated and make learning fun. One of the two new goals we set for ourselves was to encourage our online community, filled with learners like you, to develop a learning habit.

The second goal was to gradually move from being a platform that is completely free towards becoming an education space that also houses paid content. While doing so, we had to ensure that all of the content still remains easily accessible and relevant to everyone.

To meet these goals, we have added some gaming elements to your learning experience to reward you for achieving your goals.


Achievable Targets and Progress Feedback

Spend time learning new lessons or courses to meet the daily goal that we set for you. You can track your progress through the dashboard on your home screen or view it at the end of every video. We will gradually increase your learning goal each week to keep things more challenging.

Daily learning goal

Daily learning goal


Long-Term User Goal

Most people believe that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Perform a task for 21 days in a row and voila, it becomes a habit. To keep you motivated, we keep track of how many days in a row you have spent time learning on the platform. Meet your learning goal 7 days in a row to fill your streak meter. Keep your streak going and multiply your rewards.

Learning streak meter

Learning streak meter


Meaningful Incentives and Rewards

While the addition of these gaming elements aims to make learning fun and addictive, it also serves a higher purpose. Engaging regularly with the platform not only leaves you more knowledgeable but the rewards you earn also give you access to paid content. Earn credits when your streak meter is full and use them to buy additional features.

Credits: Unacademy's virtual currency

Credits: Unacademy's virtual currency


With these new features, we hope you will find learning on Unacademy more effective and fulfilling. Please send us your feedback and suggestions to

The more you watch, the more you (l)earn.