battle.net outpost concept

BACKGROUND

Battle.net Outpost is a side project I made after using Blizzard's store on the phone and finding that it didn't have responsive properties. 

CHALLENGE

Battle.net did not (at the time) have a responsive experience on mobile. Content is not presented in a legible and enjoying manner, inconsistent with Blizzard's experience.

MY ROLE

As a personal project, I mainly created this as a piece of work to validate if others were interested or desired a mobile app for Battle.net's features. 


Process


empathizing

Being a gamer is one of the key aspects that led me to discover this problem. The social aspect of Battle.net has helped me connect with a ton of new friends over the years and its exciting to put my skills to work on a platform I believe in. Although the systems aren't perfect and without the proper design brief, I can only make assumptions while building this platform.

jobs to be done

I created a Jobs to be Done framework to identify the MVP features of the mobile product

card sorting for information architecture

As I broke down the visuals of the website, I also did a teardown of the Battle.net site architecture to find out what relevant aspects to include in the app. With this information I built the task flow for how the app, and the navigation in the app.

20151006100043012.jpg
Flow.png

I started at ideation since translating the app seemed to be a logical decision to quickly make a mobile app from all existing assets. This way, I could validate the a believable prototype in a place with a lot of gamers, so I took it to Showdown at the Folsom Foundry. Talking to gamers there I found out what they thought and started to iterate the design on those features.

ideate

 

site teardown / STYLE GUIDE construction

I began the discovery process by tearing down the current Battle.net store and creating a visual style guide of the platform. 

 

TRANSLATe ASSETS to mobile

I then translated the assets from desktop to mobile using quick sketch wireframes and the style guide. Following the existing information architecture and mobile design patterns where applicable, I built a fairly high-fidelity prototype in a short period of time.

SCREENS for the login flow, main menu, store flow, and chat flow 

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 07.54.34.jpg

Hi-fi Clickable Prototype

The prototype currently only demonstrates the flow of the app. Beware that is just a prototype and it maybe a bit buggy.


(In)Validation

I went to Showdown.GG at the Folsom Foundry in San Francisco, CA and asked 9 Blizzard gamers to see what they found useful. 

MICRO-INTERACTIONS

"Sometimes I just want to know whats going on, while I'm AFK."

RE-ENGAGEMENT

"Is Legion the next expansion? Can I get into the Beta from here?"

OUT-OF-GAME SUPPORT

"I'd rather be doing other stuff."

8/9 Users liked the chat. However, it didn't seem like they wanted full length conversations all the time. Just micro-interactions with their online friends.

7/9 Users thought the store was a cool way to get back into IPs, many of them didn't know about WoW Legion and 3 of them tried to pre-order SC2 on the app after learning that it was about to be released.

2/9 Users found the support function useful. They mentioned that usually if they have in-game issues they want to already be at the computer when they are solved so they can continue playing the game.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • @audcrane from Design Map mentioned that the user-centered design process still works even if you do it out of order (via napkin sketches talk). Although this process takes a bit longer and might not be as cost effective, it gets people excited about something that didn't exist.

  • Full fledged features can be broken down even further. Micro interactions on the chat should maybe just be a newsfeed that you can comment on or a raid call button. 

  • Battle.net store is an immersive experience. People were more likely to buy the product after absorbing all the media until the end.

  • Support is best left at the computer. Although its nice for people to know their problem is fixed, without being able to go back and play immediate defeats the point of being notified.


NEXT STEPS

Based on the feedback I collected, I am in the process of  synthesizing the data into more revised user journey and polishing the high fidelity prototype to reflect the changes. Afterwards, I'm considering breaking down the Chat and the Support features into their own stand alone apps to offer a better minimum viable product.

 

I am not an employee of Blizzard Entertainment nor am I in anyway affiliated with the company.
I am a big fan of their work so I wanted it this to be an exploration of how Battle.net could be improved.