UX Research, UX Design

Blizzard_headers

Blizzard Entertainment is an American video game developer and publisher with a revenue of $4.6 billion and was chosen as Fortune’s 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For. Some of the Blizzard games are World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone and Starcraft. I worked on multiple projects during my 6 months of full time internship (Jun – Dec 2015).

  • Worked on merging the current Blizzard footers, to create a single, unified navigation experience across all Blizzard websites
  • Conducted user research to better understand how our players play games and interact with other players
  • Designed user flows and wireframes for a new chat feature
  • Participated in usability studies

Tools Used: Axure Rp, Adobe Illustrator, Moare Techsmith, Google Analytics

Team Size: 2-4

Competitive Analysis

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  • Studied 50+ platforms for current guild/clan systems and features and what social features gaming and non-gaming platforms offer
  • Created inventory of footers for Blizzard: Battle.net, 0nline shop and website and forums & leading international brands
  • Identified scenarios and use cases (For example, creating an account, creating a group etc)
  • Documented  competitors models, screen grabs for flows and summarized all observations
  • Summarized across all apps what we consider to be best practices and what we should avoid

Some of the platforms studied are:

Social Networking Sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Meetup, Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat
Media Hosting: YouTube, SoundCloud, Twitch
Dating Websites: OkCupid, eHarmony
Collaboration Tools: Slack, Glip, Hipchat, DiscordApp
Games: WoW, Starcraft, LoL, PSN, Xbox, Steam, RazerComm

Whitepaper Analysis 

 

Looked at preexisting research on guilds and social systems in games to identify findings and see how they triangulate to our internal findings. Focused on:

  • Social Interaction Patterns
  • Gameplay Patterns
  • Competition-based Patterns

Community Monitoring

 

I also did social spying of top game streamers (gamers who do live steaming of their games on channels such as Twitch) and followed them on all the platforms where they had a presence.

  • Studied how gamers connect to streamers and what kind of discussion take place
  • The other goal was also to see how streamers use different platforms for different reasons.

Player Interviews

 

Conducted multiple user interviews of age groups ranging from 18 year old to 60 year old to better understand how our players play games (ours and others) and interact with other players either in game or out. Did affinity mapping to analyze our interview data and clustered the insights to come up with broad themes.

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Wireframes

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Used illustrator to design user flows and wireframes. The work has not been included due to confidentiality.

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Wireframes_Blizzard

 

Learnings

 

I gained a lot of technical, behavioral and soft skills at Blizzard. Some of the learning’s that specially stood out for me are:

  1. The art of storytelling
  2. When in doubt, ask questions
  3. Use Interview script as a guide, not a bible
  4. How to get to ‘why’; during user interviews
  5. Connecting dots: Learn to see the big picture
  6. Details Matter: Document, so others can understand and learn
  7. How to be a key partner with engineering teams, QA, stakeholders, Analytic team, editors and visual designers

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