Research & Synthesis
GALAXY CONNECT FOUR
The developer approached me with the game he developed, asking if I could help make his game, Galaxy Connect Four, more functional based on user research.
How can we make this game more functional and improve the efficiency of the game?
Galaxy Connect Four is a modern digital take of the classic board game with a futuristics space theme incorporated throughout the experience.
Conduct user research to identify pain points that users come across when playing the game.
Create a smoother flow for users while keeping the developer's vision in mind.
I used the heuristics methodology and compared the existing game with two other competitive ones in the market, before interviewing three users who went through the task of playing a game of connect four.
Using generative surveys and interviews, we explored users' relationships and habits with music and their concert going experiences.
STORYBOARDS / MIDFI
Each screen was storyboarded to understand the flow and to illustrate the changes. I then digitized my storyboards and laid out the elements on a mid fi prototype to determine the size and ratio of each part to make sure the whole game could fit on one page without the need to scroll.
The developer mentioned concerns about the original logo he had created and the branding of the site. If time was available, he asked for a new logo to encapsulate his game.
When asking all three users about the logo, they mentioned words like “dated”, “hard to read”, and “”.
I went through and redesigned the logo to a more modern take on the branding, and updated his colors while keeping the gradients of the purple and pink he liked to modernize the brand. It was received positively by the developer and two users.
I conducted a heuristics evaluation on the website and its flow, using the LEMurS methodology, and a few key themes emerged as the heuristic violations.
The legibility and hierarchy of the website were confusing and the game provided no direction on how to start the game.
Even though the game was simple, the manner of how to play was confusing and did not prompt which user’s turn it was to play.
After seeing the game and identifying the pain points I came across, I compared and contrasted the Galaxy game with two other digital connect 4 games to see the offerings of the competition.
Compared to the others, Galaxy Connect Four lacked clear directions on how to play the game
There were no visual animations to help showcase the usability of the game
All other games showcased a dynamic win page showcasing how the user connected the 4 tiles
Galaxy Connect Four had a theme that was consistent throughout the experience.
After interviewing 3 users through the task of starting, playing, and winning the game, some key themes emerged that users had problems with.
Users were unclear on the directions on the homepage due to the hierarchy and legibility.
There was no error management on the logistics of the game
All three users brought up was to have the game fit on one page and eliminate the need for scrolling, in order to make playing the game easier.
We plan to test the game with more users to get a better gage on the flow of the game.
I've shared annotated wireframes with the developer - Chase Lancaster, who has started to rebuild the game.
After rolling out the first version, we want to build out and expand the ability to play the game against a computer.