Designing a gaming app is an entirely different ball game (pardon the pun). Unlike creating experiences for apps or websites where the focus is to make it simple and a no-brainer, game design needs an entirely different approach. The principles of game mechanics are quite different compared to standard usability principles of websites and apps.
- It doesn’t have the cheerful personality a game needs to have and has a rather serious and corporate look and feel.
- It has a very linear flow where a user needs to pick a category every time to play a quiz. A game needs to be interactive and facilitate discovery.
- The home screen is too cluttered without any grouping of relevant items and hierarchy. It fails to provide a sense of direction to the user.
- Icons are doing a bare minimum to represent the context and lack character of their own.
We spoke to three users of the app to get their insights. The participants were a diverse mix — from a new user to a betting pro who also happened to be the highest buyer of virtual money on the platform.
- Been playing for over 2 months
- Has referred many friends to join
- Never bought credits
- Played very actively during IPL
- Made multiple in-app purchases
- Used to do real betting earlier
- Signed up on 3rd July
- Completed the tutorial, but never placed any bets.
- Hasn't come back after 3rd July
Wire-framing a game requires wearing a different hat than for designing utility apps.
Defining the workflow for the project and wire-framing the experience was tough. At every step, we had to stop ourselves from oversimplifying the workflow, as games need to have a sense of mystery and incremental revelation. This approach is counter to the standard UX norms of other apps. Standard navigation patterns will not work for Sportsie because the needs of the user are different from a conventional app like, say, Gmail.
In a game, the first impression is the most crucial one. No one will play an ugly game.
Many avenues were tried with the visual style. It needed to be fun, vibrant yet not draining, as cricket fans use the app throughout the day during a match. Motion and interaction design played crucial roles in tying the screens together to be part of a cohesive experience.