A Responsive Website for Board Game Nomination

Create a responsive Board game nomination website that allows both gamers and publishers to look up, send in and nominate their favorite games

- Filling multiple forms
- Language Barrier
- Lack of reward system
- Nomination getting disqualified
- Confusing instructions on how to nominate
- Lack of visuals

Design a separate web flow for gamers and publishers catering to their specific needs and pain points.

UX researcher, UX Designer, UI Designer

Tools Used
Adobe XD/ Figma

Project Overview

What are we talking about?

Board gaming might be an elite hobby in South east Asia but Europe and America are inundated with fans of the table top with the board game industry making close to 1.2 million in revenue. In any given year, dozens of international awards and events are held to celebrate board games and the people who play it. But how do people decide who wins these awards?

Well - NOMINATION. Nomination is a two way street where gamers and publishers can submit their favorite games to a panel of judges and get a shot at winning an award. An individual can go on the website of an organizer, submit a game for a category they want the game to win and wait for the judges to unconditionally agree to their choice.

Why did I choose this project, you ask? Well I am a hobbyist and when this topic was suggested to me in my course I jumped at the opportunity. It is so much more rewarding to design a website when you can look forward to using it yourself.

How did I go about this?

Understanding the user

Competitor Analysis

One of the best ways to begin thinking of an idea is to see what already exists in the market. Many organizations exist that have been awarding board games as early as the 1970’s. Below are some of the most widely used recognised in the gaming industry:

Screenshot of the competitor Analysis
  • Dice Tower: This website offers Game reviews, Awards and Podcasts. Even though they have an extensive library of board games and a well documented annual dice towers award records, their website is not intuitive and feels very unorganized.
  • Boardgame Geek (BGG): This is a very popular site where one can rate physical board games and their expansions as well as buy, sell and trade board games. Even though it serves its purpose well, it does not have a very clean interface.
  • Origin Awards: First awarded in 1975, it allows for submissions directly to the jury for consideration. It lacked a bit of personality and did not expand on the process followed for choosing winners.
  • Spiel des Jahres: They are considered one of the biggest awards in the board game universe and uses an independent Jury. It has an excellent FAQ section and allows for submission to individual jury members. Even though I love how meticulous their FAQs are, they can get very long and exhausting.

User Research

To begin research I interviewed 2 men and 3 women between ages 26 - 56 I only considered individuals who have varying experiences with games but are familiar with more than just basic games such as monopoly and uno. I also included some participants who have video gaming experience as the two genres have similarities. It wasn't very easy to find serious board gamers in India alone so I had a mixed group of people living abroad and locally. I also scavenged local board game cafes and online forums for additional data.

Some of the questions included:

  • What criterias would you like to mention in a nomination?
  • What would make the nomination process easy?
  • What questions might you have about the process?

Research established that gamers and publishers have different pain points and can be resolved by distinguishing the flow.

Empathy Map

An empathy map helps to organise the participants journeys and comments in a way to better understand their pain points and thoughts.

Screenshot of an empathy map for a participant

Key quotes directly from the participants:

  • “ I would like to see a short video on how to nominate”
  • “I might vote for the wrong person because I made a mistake”
  • “Maybe the visual of the game would be nice”
  • “If the system could tell me that I have not filled a category”
  • “I would like a reward system for instance - maybe i can get a copy of the game or maybe i can enter a lottery”
  • “I believe if i was a developer i would be more interested in spending the time to write about the game than a fan of the game”

What bothered the User?

  • Filling multiple forms: All participants found the form filling task tiresome and long, especially when more than one game needs to be nominated.
  • Language barrier: Some participants wanted to have more language options.
  • Lack of reward system: Some participants wanted a reward system to motivate them to nominate.
  • Nomination getting disqualified: Participants were afraid that if they made an error filling the form that their game  would be disqualified.
  • Confusing instructions on how to nominate: There was a fear of making an error or not nominating correctly.
  • Lack of visuals: Games need to be accompanied with corrected photos to make sure the right version is being nominated.


Richard Rice

“I want to make a compelling nomination for my board game”

  • Be able to make a detailed nomination for their game
  • Follow the nomination process even after nominating
Their Story

Richard is a board game developer who lives with is partner and their cat in New York City. He was an architect in his previous life and decided to turn his hobby into a full-time job last fall. He is preparing to go to conventions and nominate his new game so that it can be recognised and eventually be played by many.  He would like to be able to know what happens to his nominations and how far along they are in the process of getting selected.

  • “If there is no description box i can cannot explain why I like the game”
  • “I am worried nobody would actually read my nomination.”

Age: 50 years
Bachelors of Fine Arts
New York
A cat  and partner
Board Game Developer

Shankar Knightly

“I have so many games I love that I want to nominate as many as efficiently as possible”

  • To travel the world and explore different cultures.
  • To indulge in other cultures while overcoming language barriers and trust issues.
  • To have a safe trip.
Their Story

Shankar has been playing board games since she was 9 and has directed her passion towards her YouTube channel where she reviews games. She regularly backs games on Kickstarter and supports the ones she believes in by nominating them for awards. Between making content for her channel and spending time with her family she has very little time to nominate. Hence, she prefers a system that is simple and quick. As an entrepreneur, she would also feel more motivated if she was rewarded for nominating.

  • To nominate in a quick and easy way; without long descriptions
  • To ensure no errors are made

Age: 33 years
Bachelor of Science
Husband and twin sons
Board game influencer

Problem Statements

  • Richard’s problem statement: Richard is a board game developer who needs to present the best case for the nomination of his game because the exposure would be great for the sales.
  • Shankar’s problem statement: Shankar is a board game enthusiast, content creator and parent who needs the quickest and most efficient way to process her nominations because she wants to support as many games as possible in her busy schedule.

Journey map

Once I had the personas in place for my ideal users, I began to trace their journey from deciding which website to nominate on to submitting a nomination and then tracking it. Even though the personas and their journeys are fictional, they are based on real users. The journeys were envisioned across 4 categories - action, task list, feeling adjective and improvement opportunities.

Richard’s user journey shows that publishers require a clear list of requirements for their games’ nomination. It would also be more rewarding for them to be able to send in their games easily to the right jury member for consideration.

Screenshot of Richard’s journey map

Shankar’s user journey shows that unlike publishers, gamers would like to submit multiple games for nomination and do so efficiently.

Screenshot of Shankar’s journey map

Once I had my users stories in place, I began streamlining the site's Information Architecture. I wanted it to be intuitive and easy to navigate.

The proposed information Architecture for DICE

Starting the Design

Paper Wireframes

Next stop was ideating and creating wireframes. I started designing by sketching wireframes using ‘crazy eights’. This method involves sketching eight ideas in eight minutes. This approach helped me iterate and create the best version before solidifying any design.

Since the website involved board games I wanted to take into consideration the personality of the users. So I designed a playful and graphic experience while still being straightforward and easy to navigate. It was also important to consider the responsiveness of the website across various screen sizes.

Finalised Paper Wireframes

Digital Wireframes

Once I was happy with my rough sketches I created a low fidelity prototype on Adobe XD.

The research questions included:

  • Are users easily able to submit nominations?
  • Are users able to learn about games from a database?
  • Are all questions regarding ‘how to submit nominations’ being answered?
  • Are any additional features required?
  • Are the graphics looking too complicated?

Below are some of the key features of the low-fi prototype:

Screenshot of the low-fi prototype

Now it was time to conduct another round of interviews to test whether these designs were user friendly and addressing users pain points that came up during the interviews.

I conducted one round of usability studies to test the low-fi prototype involving an unmoderated usability test on 5 participants from different demographics to get full understanding of potential issues.

Affinity Diagram from the usability studies

Below are the findings:

  • Participants did not scroll down on home page i.e. false flooring
  • Participants could not exit page
  • Participants wanted more info on games on clicking
  • Participants couldn’t find jury page

Refining the Design

Mock - Ups and High fidelity Design

Taking into consideration the feedback on the low fidelity prototype, I created the mock ups for the site. Since users can access websites from various devices such as laptop, Ipad, mobile, etc. I needed to adjust components for a seamless experience.

Key Mock-ups for Desktop Site

Key Mock-ups for Mobile Site

I conducted a second usability test after the hi-fidelity prototype was completed to further refine the design.

  • Participants were not clicking on game thumbnails for more info
  • Participants wanted more info on about me
  • Need required fields for form
  • Participants want form completion mobile view pop-up font to be larger
Screenshot of Hi-fi Prototype

The final mock ups show an easy to navigate user flow and address all issues that users had with the previous iterations.

Check out the high-fidelity prototype

Accessibility Considerations

Accessibility plays a major role in my design process and since this a public app it is a very important consideration

  • Users can choose the language that is best suited for them to fill form
  • Users can choose to read or listen to an audio on FAQs regarding nomination
  • Contrast has been maintained for better visual perception
  • User is allowed to enter flow from different points to maintain them on a happy path
  • Icons are accompanied by text
  • Annotations have been provided for a screen reader

Going Forward



The website creates a simple and customised flow for publishers and gamers to nominate their games. It also is a one stop shop for researching games as well as jury.

What I learned:

This project helped me look at UI design from a creative point of view without compromising on UX. It was also interesting to diversify the website to cater to the user.

Next Steps

  • Conduct another round of usability test to validate whether the pain points mentioned in the previous test have been addressed effectively
  • Take note of which features are being most used by real users
  • Also test if the user flow is as smooth as possible and users are not confused

Take a look at the case study deck
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