Bringing Life to a Storefront in EA's Xbox App.

Bringing Life to a Storefront in EA's Xbox App.

Bringing Life to a Storefront in EA's Xbox App.

Surfacing information and media to help players decide what to play next.

Surfacing information and media to help players decide what to play next.

Company

Electronic Arts

Team

Visual Designer x 1

Creative Director x 1

User Researcher x 1

Product Managers x 2

Engineer x 1

My Role

Sr. User Experience Designer

Responsibilities

Interaction Design, Stakeholder Alignment, Prototyping

Tools

Sketch, Principle, Sketchbooks, and Whiteboards

Platforms

Xbox One

Year

2015

Project Goal

Create an immersive experience that allowed players to evaluate whether or not a game was of interest.

Challenges

Limited API access to social media functions of the Xbox Marketplace prevented some desired features. A lack of tools for prototyping controller-based UIs led to a creative workaround.

Results

  • Game downloads doubled.

  • Players viewed roughly five screenshots per page visit.

My Impact

I used Principal to create a method of prototyping that provided us with a quick way to test animations and controller-based inputs to give us a better sense of the final experience.


This was particularly helpful in demonstrating the value of subtle animations to our engineer. When they initially struggled to implement the parallax effect in the prototype, I made a version without it. Upon seeing the difference, they were convinced of the value that the added effort would add.

Research & Exploration

Our user research had identified a player desire for more information on games within their EA Access subscription. With game sizes running between fifteen and forty gigabytes, gamers wanted to better gauge their interest before committing to an hours-long download.


I worked with my product manager to assess what information we had available to us from our marketing library and the Xbox Live API.


While our marketing department had a robust library of images and videos, Microsoft did not provide us with Marketplace information or friend activity. Our hope was that we could demonstrate the value with this initial design and work with our partners at Microsoft to access more functionality down the line.

Design & Validation

The previous version of the app was stark and provided minimal functionality. As an entertainment brand, we wanted to make the app more immersive via fullscreen screen shots and videos.


The project's visual designer had created a design toolkit in Sketch, which allowed me to quickly experiment with different layouts in high fidelity.


When the team aligned around an approach, I moved over to Principle to create a prototype. While there were plenty of prototyping tools for mouse- and touch-based UIs, I had to create a solution for controllers. I overlayed an Xbox d-pad and buttons to give us a sense of the feel of a controller while navigating the interface.


Along with the graphics, we used animated transitions to build more personality into the UI. The prototype allowed me to effectively communicate my vision with engineering. When a parallax effect proved challenging to implement, I initially created a simplified treatment as a compromise. However, when the engineer saw the difference that the effect provided, they chose to devote more time to implement the original vision.

Learnings

Slideshows were engaging, and gamers were viewing 5 screen shots per game on average.


Game downloads more than doubled.

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