UX Design Intern
I worked closely with a Product Manager, Senior Designer, Copywriter, and 4 Engineers - to improve the social experience of PlayStation. I worked a lot on identifying the problem and on explorations with researchers and the people I mentioned, as well as designing and finally delivering to the 2,000,000 users visiting our social page.
PlayStation wants to be more social.
Today on console, we have an app called What's New - it is our social media platform to post contents to your PlayStation friends just like Facebook.
In the beginning nobody used it, and PlayStation realized it was because users need a way to access What's New outside of console like on mobile and web. Web Social was then created - the official website to access What's New on web.
DAU and MAU increased, first.
Indeed, when PlayStation released web social, DAU and MAU increased tremendously. But the numbers started dropping very fast.
This was because users can only post on console. Web Social only allowed users to see posts and not actually create those posts. With the ability to post directly on web, the team hypothesized that users will post more and an influx of posts will attract users to consistently visit What's New.
My task was the following: Design the flow of posting on web social. Feature name: Post Anything.
Understanding what users want to post.
I worked closely with a UX researcher to understand more about what the users want to share with their PlayStation friends, both quantitatively and qualitatively:
- 73% of users attach an image when they post. Add image is crucial.
- Users like to share links from Youtube. Post Anything needs to support this behavior.
- Users tend to scroll and only read posts about certain games. Post Anything needs to have tag a game feature.
- 47% have other players tagged. Tag friends is crucial.
With this in mind, I began to whiteboard with my team.
Ideating the best experience to create posts.
Here is the summary of the whiteboard sessions with designers and an engineer. I contributed mainly on the interactions and placement of the icons.
The information architecture follows the UX pattern that our eyes go from top left corner to bottom right corner. We wanted users to type, pick options, change privacy setting, then post.
After brainstorming what users want to share or see, we came up with the tile design that includes: thumbnail, title, link, and description in the above style.
We are only allowing 1 image per post due to technical limitation. Here, we took a look at two extreme cases to make sure we support all kinds of images. If too long in height, we will crop to fit the dimension to 11x8. If too long in width, we will add black strips so that the feed is maintained with appropriate image dimensions.
Tag game/Tag Player:
We wanted tag game and tag players to be as intuitive as possible and to have the least taps as possible. Drop down and adding the tag below text were our two approved ideas.
Working closely with our design system.
Below is the high fidelity designs. I worked very closely with a senior visual designer to make sure I follow the existing web patterns.
These look very simple but there are a lot of small details that took so tries to nail down. Overall, I'm thankful for the resource I had: the people who I constantly asked for feedbacks and the people who provided me with design patterns to reuse.
The engineers then started building the feature.
A simple yet powerful Post tool.
If you are interested in seeing the design, please wait till around September. Currently, only PlayStation employees and 5% of our users can access the feature to post directly on web.
If you can't wait, I can provide you a very quick prototype I made for demo.
Take-aways and Next Steps:
Add variety to posts and expand audiences.
Because the feature isn't public yet, I do not have the metric to show the result of my design. However, I am confident to say that it will do well. What's more important is that my team worked collaboratively and we are all excited to see the final product be out there for PlayStation users.
I also did not stop here. I knew that What's New had another pain point that Web Social has not solved:
My big idea to solve this was to allow users to post directly on Communities. Communities is a feature on PlayStation. It's essentially a group, where users can create or join and these communities are specific to a game.
Let's say you want to post something cool you did on Fornite. With communities, everybody will enjoy your content. You feel belonged. You feel encouraged to post. And this positively allows users be connected to other users and the games you play.
Unfortunately, I cannot share the designs on this publicly, as the team and I are still thinking about product vision. If you are interested, please reach out to me as I would love to talk about it and hear your opinions.