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
Adobe XD/ Figma
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:
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:
Research established that gamers and publishers have different pain points and can be resolved by distinguishing the flow.
An empathy map helps to organise the participants journeys and comments in a way to better understand their pain points and thoughts.
Key quotes directly from the participants:
“I want to make a compelling nomination for my board game”
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.
Age: 50 years
Education: Bachelors of Fine Arts
Hometown: New York
Family: A cat and partner
Occupation: Board Game Developer
“I have so many games I love that I want to nominate as many as efficiently as possible”
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.
Age: 33 years
Education: Bachelor of Science
Family: Husband and twin sons
Occupation: Board game influencer
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.
Shankar’s user journey shows that unlike publishers, gamers would like to submit multiple games for nomination and do so efficiently.
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.
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.
Once I was happy with my rough sketches I created a low fidelity prototype on Adobe XD.
The research questions included:
Below are some of the key features 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.
Below are the findings:
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.
I conducted a second usability test after the hi-fidelity prototype was completed to further refine the design.
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 plays a major role in my design process and since this a public app it is a very important consideration
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.
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.