The Call to Action is a Simple Way to Increase Engagement in Social Games

No matter how well crafted your design or polished your graphics, at some point your user is going to get lost. A clear Call to Action is a way to give your the user an obvious choice when they don't know what to do next. When done properly it can be the lighthouse in a storm, leading them to calmer, and hopefully more entertaining, waters.

andrewmayerNo matter how well crafted your design or polished your graphics, at some point your user is going to get lost. A clear Call to Action is a way to give your the user an obvious choice when they don’t know what to do next. When done properly it can be the lighthouse in a storm, leading them to calmer, and hopefully more entertaining, waters.

It’s a term that’s probably familiar to anyone with a marketing background.  But, if you want to know more about how the “Call to Action” works in a social application, just keep reading.

Yup.  That was one right there. At its core it’s simply direct message to the reader/user/player that in order to get a certain reaction, they’re going to have to take an action first, and you see them everywhere:

  • Press Start to Begin
  • Click Enter to Continue
  • Fight!
  • Send a message to your friends
  • Click anywhere to close the window

What’s astonishing is how often this simple tool is ignored, especially when you get into the strange technical corners of an interface. That doesn’t mean the user isn’t going to figure it out, but it does mean that some of your potential audience is going to give up and never come back.

If you doubt the power of this simple tool to compel your audience, just take a look at Twitter. At a fundamental level the single “What are you doing?” is all they have, but that call to action is all they need.   If you type in an answer you’re using the application properly.

Whether you’re building a website, game, or even productivity software, it’s easy to become so bogged down in the minutiae of the interface that you can forget that sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem isn’t by being clever, it’s by being obvious.

When you’re making a title for a mass-market audience it pays to think about what your call to action is on every page and in every state of the program.

Andrew Mayer is a Social Gaming and User Experience Consultant with over seventeen years of experience in the games industry.