We're going to leave the debates behind for the moment about is 'gamification' is BS or not - not that they're not important but they're not focused on the end user.
Here is what the end user wants:
- They want to know what they're supposed to do when. Draw clear lines. If the lines happen to have badges along the way, then fine, just make sure they really point to where I need to be.
- They want good UX/UI design. They're busy, they've got three bosses. They're reports are due THIS MORNING. Make life easy on them. Think about the UX/UI design from the perspective of the work they have to accomplish using it - not about what your design sense tells you in best.
- They would not mind a sense of humor. Work is tough. People are busy but your system doesn't have to come across like one of those film strips from middle school. Remember, these folks are humans - talk to them like that - crack a joke - congratulate them - do something that makes them feel like there was a human being on the other end of this system.
- Don't underestimate their intelligence. The same company that you work for (or that hired your company) hired these people. Pretty good chance they are smart and savvy. Don't bs them. Don't overlay your goals, levels, badges, leaderboards, etc - on them without understanding them and linking those mechanics to things that actually matter to them.
- They want to see their bosses doing it. If your system is for everyone BUT the C Suite, you're just pissing people off. It puts the lie to how important your system is if everyone isn't using it.
I'd love to hear other things that end users want. Maybe just maybe, approaching it from their standpoint can get us to systems that people want to use (or at least don't mind using). That'd be a win.