UX+ UI Design

Project Crystal Tower

Project Overview
As a very passionate tabletop game player, specifically the Warhammer franchise, I always found it odd that one of the struggles of a social game was getting new players to play with! Even those who already seemed interested, often found the experience of actually learning about the hobby to be impenetrable without someone already invested guiding you though. This was my attempt to remedy that!
My Contributions
Research, Interviews, Creating User Profiles, App Flow, UI Design, Hi Fi Wireframe
I’m very passionate about tabletop gaming and the freedom and emergent narratives and fun they can create. From a young age I’ve always been fascinated by the pure imagination that these games and systems inspired and gave structure and form to. However, one of the issues is onboarding. As these games are social in heart and thus rely on new players and constant onboarding to foster a healthy community, the complexity and opacity with which aspiring players were faced was daunting to say the least. This personal project was inspired by my own experience with trying to get my partner into the tabletop wargaming hobby, something which always interested her due to my passion about it, but struggled with to actually execute due to the poor and overwhelming extant method of essentially diving in head first with little official direction. Want to skip all the talking and just play with the prototype first? Click here!
Project Summary
The main goal of this project was to create a centralized ‘hub’ and onboarding platform that would be invaluable to explaining and exploring the many different branches available to entering and staying in the hobby, whilst also providing a deep user experience that would allow for value to be gained from veteran and people who are already entrenched within the hobby. Specifically, I decided to focus on the Games Workshop catalogue due to its ubiquity and accessibility, specifically their Warhammer franchises.
As aforementioned, there is no ‘centralized’ app for the various franchises and IPs that fit under the Games Workshop umbrella. Despite their 40 year multimedia franchise history, there is little in the way of community building and outreach for new players aside from word of mouth and offline community resources. However, with the advent of online, digital tabletop virtualization, the hobby should be more accessible than ever. Whilst the market cap of Games Workshop indicates a growth market with their income on a steady rise, they still fail to capitalize on online and digital resources that would create and cement their community. This is exhibited in their current digital approach. They have 4 different apps dedicated to different aspects of hobby, one for the Sci-Fi Warhammer 40,000 franchise, a counterpart for their Fantasy IP, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, a painting oriented app in the Citadel Colour app, and lastly a Black Library Audio app which serves as an Audible-like app for their publishing imprint. From numerous broken links to now-removed apps, overwhelming lists of rules and updates, and a seemingly endless scroll of paints available, the experience is eclectic at best and user hostile at worst.
Our app will focus around a hypothetical user centered around interviews of a number of my friends, which I placed into two categories:

“Interested,” a user who is interested into getting into the hobby before I had mentioned it to them and would eventually seek out a means to learn how to get into it with or without help. It is a gestalt of 4 friends, 3 of which are my age and the third a decade older. It is of note this demographic is definitely not representative, as all four identify as female and already do crafting projects such as woodworking, needlework, and painting- two of the four are graphic designers as well, with the third working in data entry, and the fourth in college admissions. We’ll call this user ‘Grace’.

“Curious,” a user who has a passing interest and without an onboarding experience would not actually engage or actively learn about the hobby. Curious is composed of 3 older adults, one in their early 40s, one in their late 50s and the third in their late twenties. Similarly this demographic is skewed in the sense all of these users were male identifying, and in a higher income bracket. One of them is already into modelling, specifically historic ships, as opposed to the usual sci-fi/fantasy catalogue offered by Games Workshop, whilst the other two are in creative jobs, but mostly have digital hobbies. We’ll refer to this user as 'Fredrick'.
User Profiles
After creating the two “new user” personas I set about trying to create a cohesive workflow that would allow for a relatively simple onboarding with minimal chaff that would focus on these two user profiles. As such the app made sense to have split into what amounts to two ‘main’ user paths, one for the returning user, and then one that is a more organic flow for the fresh users.
I developed a high fidelity wireframe with this in mind, focusing on just the ‘new user’ experience. Using the existing branding and resources that Games Workshop has available, it was helpful to be able to essentially just follow an unstated style guide for both properties. Click here to play with the prototype!
HiFi Wireframe
Style Guides are incredible for quick fidelity. One of the struggles I dealt with at my current job was the lack of style guides (or guide rather) and a outdated and bloated resource archive. Having the ability to develop a clear idea of a style guide, though admittedly this one was derived from the existing websites and apps offered, allowed for me to achieve a quick and efficient design without having to sacrifice on the aesthetic integrity of the project.

User friendly, doesn't mean new users only. Whilst discussing the wireframe prototypes with my interviewees as well as some other friends who are already invested in the hobby, they both found it equally useful in exploring the products and franchises. Whilst the new players like the focused approach because it removed the overwhelming feeling they got from the current methods, the returning players appreciated the ease of which they could navigate to a faction they knew existed but wanted to learn more about.
The Take Away

Play with the Prototype!

Want to go back and read the explanations? Click here to jump back to the start!