PlayStation Compass - App Feature

OVERVIEW

PlayStation Compass is an app feature-based to work within the PlayStation Store for the mobile app, and the PlayStation 4 video game console. The purpose of the feature is to help users discover and curate new games and enhance their gaming experience.

Platform

Mobile iOS & PlayStation 4/Pro Console

Tools

Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, InVision

SCOPE

15 Weeks

ROLES

UX & UI Designer

The Challenge

More than ever before, people are taking up video games as their go-to entertainment of choice. One of the most dominant gaming platforms of choice currently is the Sony PlayStation. There are a variety of genres to please all the various tastes for gamers.

With independent development and Triple-A (AAA) production of video games, there’s so much to sort through. In this case, I plan to focus on the PlayStation Store. With the push of platform holders offering games digitally, consumers are having a hard time discovering new games. There needs to be a way to adjust the curation of games, that match to a player’s preference.

The Solution

With the PlayStation Store, the objective is not to overhaul the existing store in its current state. I want to establish a sole area where the gamer can make choices based on their gaming habits and preferences. Currently, the PlayStation Store has a section called “Just For You”. I propose to replace this area and create a more custom controlled curation section to help gamers make a better choice and discover new games. That is my objective to offer with PlayStation Compass.

The aim is to stop relying on the traditional search bar and outdated categories. I want to stop games from getting lost from potential sales for developers. There are so many games coming out on erratic release schedules, gamers are having a hard time keeping track.

Research & Process

Classifying Libraries and Genres

The PlayStation Store currently aggregates past games played to make broad suggestions, and those results would be displayed on constant in the “Just For You” tab. From my initial survey, gamers have accumulated a larger digital library of past PlayStation titles versus physical copies. 

The game industry has also adapted to new gaming genres like battle royale or subsets of larger genres like role-playing games.

Friends vs. Influencers vs. Streamers

With the survey and interview process, I asked how gamers were getting there news and recommendations. A large group of users rely on influencers and streamers, to watch and hear their thoughts on upcoming games.

Some also look to see what their friends are currently playing online, to also weigh their purchase decision. This information was used to craft the two personas that would use PlayStation Compass. 

Cross-Gen Visual Design

When designing PlayStation Compass, I tried to match the current PlayStation branding. Looking through the current build of the PlayStation mobile iOS app, I tried to use similar icons already in place.

When it came to designing the onboarding questionnaire for users, I decided to look back on the past generation. The PlayStation Store during the PlayStation 3 era, used white iconography on blue backgrounds. I tried to design the icons around that aesthetic using old assets or creating new ones to facilitate what needed to be conveyed to users.

Low & High Fidelity Screens

From L-R : wireframe for Get Started, Game Libraries and Gaming Categories

From L-R : high fidelity screens for Get Started, Game Libraries and Gaming Categories applied with UI design treatment

Conclusion

Key Takeaways

Analytics – While I did not have access to PlayStation’s proprietary data analytics, it’s safe to say that the incorporation of their data mining can power Compass to greater possibilities.

Data Sources – More data can be obtained from game save files on local storage and cloud servers, to help drive users to purchase future game titles ahead of release.

Classifications – Future classification of games could also include development studios and not just publishers. As game developers explore new game types such as the battle royale phenomenon

Artificial Intelligence – With the advancements to voice interface and deep learning, PlayStation could be well-positioned to develop the next phase of a built-in AI Assistant bundled into PlayStation Compass.

Results

PlayStation Compass has a viable potential to be implemented with the current build of the PlayStation App and the current PlayStation 4 gaming console. As game development continues to flourish, there needs to be a more attuned method to discovery and curation for users. The framework for PlayStation Compass could be used for future hardware releases, as well as PC and Mac digital computer storefronts.

Please Sir. I Want Some More.

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