Drop-down Gamification

Office has so many features that there is no place to show all of them on screen. That is why, Microsoft has to use drop-downs and More… buttons. Unfortunately, most of us never even notice these buttons, leave alone clicking on them to find out what more is available. Due to this, thousands of brilliant features are never noticed. Here is the solution: Drop-down Gamification. This concept applies to More buttons and sub-menus as well. The objective is to make this self-discovery of feature gems as much fun as possible.


Drop-Down Gamification. Rules of the game.

Step1: Notice the Drop-downs

Start noticing drop-downs everywhere. Look at the image above. The drop-downs are colored in Red so that you can notice them easily.

Step 2: Notice double buttons with drop-downs

Here are some common buttons which have two parts. Upper half and lower half. The lower half has a drop-down. The upper half performs the standard (default) action.

Drop-down Gamification - New slide

This New slide button has two parts. The upper one creates the default type of slide. If it is the first slide, it will be in title layout. Later it will be title and text layout. Further, it will simply create a slide using the layout of current slide. In short, you have no control over which type of slide gets created when you click on the upper part.

Now notice the lower part with the drop-down. It opens up to show you all available layouts so that you can choose the one you want.

Step 3: Notice sub-menus

Right click menus also face limitation of space. That is why detailed menus are shown as sub-menus. It uses a triangle just like drop-downs but the triangle is oriented towards the side where the further detailed menu opens.


Step 4: DO NOT open the drop-down

Yes. DO NOT open it – that is the Drop-down Gamification. If you just open it, and find lot of options there, you are not really concentrating. You are just doing it because I am asking you to.

Step 5: Think and predict the options

This is the most important and fun step. You know the context and the name of the drop-down. With little proactive thinking, you should predict the additional options which the drop-down is about to expose.

Once you have thought of all the relevant actions, you are ready to play the game.

Step 6: You vs. Office – who is the winner?

If you predicted all the options, you WIN.
If you missed predicting any options, you LOSE.

Do you really think you lost? Not really, you actually Learnt something new. You could not predict an option but now that you have seen it, you will obviously try to find out why that option makes sense. Where do I need to use it? And that is how you learn applied knowledge in the process.

Step 7: Play in a team

Just explore drop-downs and More… buttons one by one. Now we need to think about scoring.


Simple logic. If you guess all options, you get 5 points. If you miss some options, you get –1 for each feature. Go ahead and play.

Game On: Let’s play

Effect Options

I have applied Wipe animation to a shape. Now predict what will be under the Effect options drop-down. You can see that it is trying to wipe from the bottom. If you predicted all four directions, you win.

Drop-down Gamification - Wipe

Now for Shape animation. Of course, there will be some shapes… you will predict that. But most probably, you will not think whether the animation is applied from outwards to inwards or in to out.

Drop-down Gamification - Shape Example

This is a simple Paste drop-down in Word. I am sure you will learn at least 3 things here.


Read this article for more examples:
Generic Skills: Drop that dropdown!

Drop-Down Gamification: your turn

Try this out and let me know your feedback.


2 thoughts on “Drop-down Gamification”

  1. Hi Dr. I have data of employees with promotion date, and there are cases where employee promoted more than one or single promotion during his tenure. I want to see the list of employees with last promotion date (latest date). Please suggest how to do this.

    1. Hi Harish
      In order to answer this question, I need to look at the data format.
      Post a few rows of sample data here. I can then tell you the exact steps.

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