Shipped Season 2 of Electronic Arts largest mobile game and helped push the user base to 3 million daily average users all over the world.
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN, PROCESS INTEGRATION, PROTOTYPING, WIREFRAMING, USER RESEARCH
When I was brought aboard FIFA Mobile there was a large amount of work that was needed to be done before the next season could be released. Running on the normal 10 month release schedule of EA, I was responsible for integrating UX more effectively in an already set engineering workflow, as well as designing a whole new user experience for the next season of the game.
When I began we had around 2.2 million daily average users, the next season was meant to eclipse this number and the game designers had large features to reach this goal. It was up to me to understand how all of these features fed into the overall architecture of the game and to distill each one into a tangible experiences that would allow the player to do new things never before seen in our game.
A Change In Process
When I began UX was relegated to a gate in the engineering process. After the producers, game designers and engineers had created and planned features UX would be brought in to create a wireframe. Needless to say this lead to issues as this wireframe pass always led to the unearthing of additional problems and lead to churn. I provided feedback that led us to restructure our process in a more UX centric manner. I was brought into the planning of features at the earliest possible opportunity. Working with producers and game designers to understand the problems we were trying to address. I used rapid prototyping to produce assets that could then be used in combination with engineering and UI expertise to get more accurate planning estimates. As the feature developed through engineering I would be a point of contact for any usability issues the team found and to assess the best way forward when scope limited our choices.
Progress Oriented Homescreen
A large issue with the previous season of the game was that it failed to help the user map their progress as well as point them toward their next goal from the homescreen. With the new design we attempted to give visuals for all of the players different progression pieces in the game. League ranks, multiplayer standing, campaign progress and team OVR were all visible directly from the homescreen. This gave the player the ability to make a decision on what what to pursue every time the game was booted up.
In previous seasons, we were in complete control over which players were the best to play with and dictated the power creep of the game by releasing better items. This system was uprooted to allow players to level any of your items up to be the very best. This had profound effects across the entire game and I had to keep them all in mind as I brought this feature through the entirety of our development process.
Another large issue with the previous season of our game was the unfocused way we surfaced activities to the player. Our solution to this problem was to connect objectives by lines on sega style maps, to give the user a good understanding of where they are, as well as where we expect them to go. The layout of these maps needed to be incredibly flexible to meet the demand of the live content team, who would use the technology to create many different types of programs and events for our players. I began to encourage game designers to think of the live team as our clients as we moved through the design phase to ensure we were building something robust enough for their vision.
The Live Team - Our Client
As we progressed with features and our live content was being pushed out to players it became clear to me that the Live Team was in the end our main client. The features we built would be handed over to them to create the content for the players. They would continually push the boundaries of what we had built in ways that were completely unexpected and led us to focus our needs finding efforts on the live team to ensure we built salable and flexible features.