Concept project exploring the introduction of a new walkthrough feature for leading game streaming site, Twitch.
Business & Competitive Analysis, Surveys, Interviews, Contextual Enquiry, Task Analysis, User Journey Mapping, Persona Creation, Feature Prioritisation, Paper Prototyping, Interactive Prototype
Pen & Paper, Google Forms, Omnigraffle, Sketch, Keynote, Marvel, Trello
Researcher, Digital Designer, Prototyping and Testing
Ramsay Albazzaz, Tayo Nwakodo
Twitch wants to introduce a new way of uploading and viewing content, allowing gamers to share their tips and tricks with one another and make a profit while doing the thing they love.
Increase customer engagement by introducing a feature that allows users to upload video game walkthroughs.
- Creators should be able to upload game walkthroughs
- Consumers should be able to discover walkthroughs that appeal to them
- Consumers should be able to find specific moments in a walkthrough
Business & Competitive Analysis
- Twitch's typical user base is male age 18–34.
- However, we found that the gaming landscape was much more diverse than Twitch’s current user base appeared to be. One figure we couldn’t shake was that according to a survey in 2014 52% of gamers in the UK were female, largely due to the rise in popularity of casual smartphone gaming (source).
The Turning Point
We gathered data from a wide range of gamers, from casual mobile gamers to hardcore online gamers. We found that the vast majority of hardcore gamers have no desire to use a walkthrough feature, they prefer the challenge of overcoming obstacles themselves through repetition. If they were to look online for help it would more likely be in the form of a text base guide or a forum such as Reddit to ask the community for advise. Video walkthroughs spoil the experience.
We did however find from our survey that casual gamers use online video walkthroughs. The most popular sites being YouTube, YouTube Gaming and IGN.
We turned our attention to the casual and mobile gamers.
Task Analysis & User Journeys
To better visualise the process of what was involved in finding online help and progressing in a game we asked a number of users to complete a predefined task (all related to finding online help).
Key Paint Points
Casual gamer — finding a relevant video then finding the relevant point in the video that addresses their need
Core gamer — having to go to multiple platforms online for different types of help
Content creator — optimising the findability of their video with good tags and titles
Knowing who our users would most likely be, we started to brainstorm features that could cater for both consumers and creators, as well as business needs. These features were then prioritised based on effort and how essential they were to the success of the project. We then took the results of this and applied the MoSCoW method to further aid our feature focus.
With our feature set in place we started sketching various options for UI, conducting quick guerrilla testing along the way as we ramped up the fidelity.
We settled on a visual timeline that split each game up into Levels and Objectives.
When testing our wireframes we found users often missed the upload button places in the side menu. We moved it to the top right of the Twitch Tips homepage, mirroring YouTube’s placement. However, it was still often missed.
We found users would choose the game they wanted to upload content for first then look for upload. In our final iteration we added upload to the banner of the walkthrough page. It can also be found in the same position in the other relevant game pages such as Collectibles. This allows users to navigate to the type of help they would like to share then choose upload. In the event that a user does still look for upload before anything else, it can be found in the primary navigation along the left of the site at all times.
Categorising each video into Game/Level/Objective removes the need for titles and tags. Ryan doesn’t have to worry about coming up with effective titles for his video. Charlotte and Chris don’t have to scroll through lists of search results then scrub through a video to find the relevant point in the game.
Choosing to focus our attention on non-hardcore gamers has meant that the site addresses the needs of people who will actually use it.
Including sections such as Weapons and Equipment, Ask a Question, Tips and Tricks and Collectibles mean that we are still offering relevant help to hardcore gamers that prefer using guides rather than videos.
Keeping both the consumers and the content creators in mind throughout the whole process has meant we have made a solution that caters for both user experiences. Without one, you can’t have the other.
This project was a lot of fun and well balanced between research and design. I'm extremely pleased we spent the time we did conducting our research and speaking to hardcore and casual gamers as well as content creators. This project would not have been a success without the insights we gathered from those conversations.
I am incredibly proud of the creative solution we came up with to meet the feature allowing users to find specific moments in a walkthrough. It would have been easy to copy something like the current YouTube method of having markers on the video timeline to jump to. I believe our solution is original and does a much better job of catering for multiple sets of users.
If I were to do this project again I would probably get to sketching a little sooner. I've learnt that there is nothing wrong with getting ideas down whilst you are still researching. In some instances a bit of top down design may have helped us discover our vision a little sooner.