Tech Startup of the Week: Kahnoodle, An App to Keep Love Alive

Zuhairah Scott Washington employs gamification to teach couples how to make each other happy

“One of the key issues that we face is people feel like there is a stigma to using any [outside agent] to help their relationship. There is the assumption that everything is supposed to be perfect. But Every relationship requires work. We try to make it fun and effortless to do the work needed to build a strong relationship,” says Scott Washington.

While Kahnoodle is free, her team is working to launch a new subscription-based feature called “Date Night,” which will help remove the barriers to people getting out more regularly, such as difficulties finding childcare; something the new mother is familiar with. Kahnoodle will receive a fee through affiliate revenue every time a couple books a date using one of Kahnoodle’s date night deals.

Black Enterprise honors Scott Washington and Kahnoodle this week not only because of her dedication to build and repair black love, but also because her app has had a 300% increase in downloads from month to month since she launched the “Love Coupon Feature” last Fall.

Scott Washington describes gamification as the use of game design and game mechanics in non-game contexts. “It’s commonly used to promote positive behavior change – like losing weight or saving money,” she explains. Here, Scott Washington gives three key elements that she believes must be included in a gamified app in order for it to be successful.

- Points, Badges and Leaderboards – There are limitations to each of these elements but they are the most commonly associated with gamification frameworks.  They are necessary but are not sufficient on their own.

- Engagement loops: This is the cycle that encourages a certain action in the game. The game provides the motivation, causing the user to act. Next, the program provides positive feedback (points, virtual rewards, etc.), which provides motivation to complete further actions.

- FUN! Games are inherently fun. To apply gamification effectively the user experience must be fun.

 

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