During six months, I and my design partner worked together with Massive Entertainment a Ubisoft studio, to develop their digital distribution platform Uplay.
Our mission was to improve and see how we could design the digital distribution platform Uplay with a focus on social functions in order to increase user engagement.
A challenge was that many of the users had many different services and programs they used during their game sessions. There are also many and strong opinions about the different software and programs, both in a positive and negative way.
We applied a design process that was customised based on the mission and the different challenges we faced. The biggest impact on our design process was the limited time we had for this project.
We started with defining our goals and how we would structure our thesis. Certain steps have to be done and included to meet the different and challenging criteria. To take time, in the beginning, was something that gave us a good foundation.
Our research was based on both a literature study but also interviews. The interviews were with both users but also on employees of Massive. The information we got helped us when we began working with service design and locating the strengths and weaknesses etc.
Our interviews resulted in a rich set of information with many different motivations, we could with this information form personas and create different scenarios. Which was helpful to look back on during the project.
Our design phase started with us doing individual sketches and these sketches then got further developed. During the design phase, we had both internal but also external critic reviews. After a bunch of iterations, we had our design foundation for our prototype.
We created a mixed-fidelity prototype and the flow was predetermined. This was so that when we tested our prototype the tests would be similar for all our users but it would also guarantee everything we wanted to test was tested.
The validation consisted of users completing tasks but also got to talk about their experience. It was interesting to hear what users valued based on their motivations, goals and past experiences.
During the six months that we worked with our Bachelor thesis, I learned a lot about myself but also about our subject. A key insight I got was to more often reflect on my own behavior as a designer and take time to think. This is something I will take with me when I create future designs that I want to be meaningful for the users.
Our main focus was how you can create social engagement in a way that is not toxic. Our design solution succeeded in creating reflections about the user's own and other users' social behavior online while gaming. This is something we believe is important to keep working with to create a more socially sustainable community in games.