Xbox Mobile App Redesign [Concept]

Seth Turner
Jul 9, 2019 · 8 min read

A player-first mobile app tailored for Xbox gamers.

The Problem

The current Xbox app’s Activity Feed, Store, and Friends pages

The current Xbox mobile app offers a wide array of features to Xbox players. The abundance of choice presents a complex experience for both new and veteran players. This project will rethink what the Xbox experience could look like on a mobile device and focus on providing the most value for players away from their console.

Define

Opportunity

Xbox gamers want a mobile app that connects them with their Xbox friends, allows them to quickly install or open apps on their home console, and showcases the latest additions to the Microsoft Store and Xbox Game Pass.

Pain Points

Activity Feed
The activity feed has long been criticized as a low value area of the Xbox dashboard. This feed is often cluttered with spam bots, ads, and other low value content for Xbox gamers.

Navigation Hierarchy
The existing Xbox app consists of sixteen pages nested in a hidden navigation sidebar. Accessing a specific page requires 2–3 taps compared to a single tap for most other apps.

Minimal Xbox Branding
Xbox gamers are proud of their platform and passionate about the Xbox brand. The existing app lacks some of the most essential branding which is an important part of the Xbox ecosystem.

Goals

  1. Provide gamers with valuable social tools away from their console.
  2. Allow gamers to remotely purchase and install games from both the Microsoft Store and Xbox Game Pass.
  3. Simplify app navigation with a streamlined information hierarchy.
  4. Drive engagement and subscriptions to Xbox Game Pass, an important KPI (key performance indicator) for the Xbox brand.

Customer Journey

Which tasks are most important to users when they open the app?

  1. See what games their friends are currently playing.
  2. Purchase and install games on their home console.
  3. Chat with their Xbox Live friends through text or voice chat .
  4. View their latest screenshots or video captures.
  5. See what is new in their Xbox Live Clubs.
  6. (Game Pass Members) Install the latest Xbox Game Pass games.

Which tasks would Xbox gamers like to do?

  1. Launch games and create parties on their home console using the app.
  2. See important milestones from their gaming career such as achievement anniversaries, game clips from the past, and other meaningful milestones.

How Could We…

Simplify?
Group activities into logical categories to streamline player’s experience.

Enrich?
Build a mobile app that feels like a premium Xbox experience and brings the most important and valuable tasks to the forefront of the user experience.

Provide Value?
Shift focus to the essential areas of the Xbox Live experience within the mobile app. This includes simplifying the organizational hierarchy of the mobile app to give users exactly what they want when they need it.

Drive Engagement?
Provide players with insight into what their friends are playing right now and tools that reduce the time from decision to play until playing.

Hypothesis

I believe that simplifying the Xbox mobile app navigation and page layout can help drive traffic to the most valuable areas of the Xbox brand while providing the most value for Xbox players.

Develop

Home

The Xbox home page is the primary landing page for the new Xbox mobile app. It collects the most important information for users as soon as they launch the app.

Navigation Bar
The persistent navigation bar located at the bottom of the screen provides a consistent means in which to navigate around the new Xbox mobile app. Users can quickly navigate to their home, friends, chat, alerts, and the Xbox Store with a single tap anywhere in the app.

Hero Image
The home page features a large hero image slideshow which can show players the latest announcements from the Xbox team. This focused messaging ensures that important game and platform announcements are not lost in an endless feed of social posts.

My Profile
The profile widget allows quick access to captures and pins. Captures allow the user to quickly share their latest gaming clips either in person or via social media. The pins section allows the user to remotely turn on their Xbox and open their favorite games for zero waiting when it’s game time.

Who’s Playing Now
This section allows Xbox gamers to see which of their friends are currently playing certain games on Xbox Live. Often times, users want to check and see what their friends are up to, and this allows users to see exactly which games their friends are playing right now.

New to Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass is an extremely important KPI for the Xbox brand moving forward. This section allows users to see the latest games in Game Pass. If they are current members, they can remotely install these games from here. If they are not Xbox Game Pass members, they would see the store page for this game with a banner showcasing Xbox Game Pass.

Store

The store front page is many Xbox gamer’s first stop when browsing what’s new. The new store front page focuses on providing the most valuable tools for mobile users front and center.

Hero Image
Like the Home Screen, the Store page features a large hero image slideshow. However, these slides also feature the price of the title with any currently applicable discounts.

Search
Search sits front and center on the new Xbox Store front page. Many gamers come to the store to find a specific game, and the prominent search box allows them to quickly find the game they are looking for.

Popular
The most popular games on the Xbox Store right now. This list is populated with a blend of top sellers and the most frequently played games across the platform.

On Sale
Limited time promotions and sales are one of the most effective means to engage players with a digital storefront. Players are always on the lookout for a great deal on a game they have on their wish list. This section displays all the games that are currently on sale with a percentage off badge in the corner of each title so players can skim the list for the biggest discount.

Product Page

The product page displays all the essential information about a specific game. This page should prioritize creating value for the player with vivid imagery, detailed descriptions, and relevant recommendations.

Hero Image + Purchase Button
This section is the first thing that every gamer will see when visiting a product page. For users without Xbox Game Pass, they will see the price with the option to buy. However, if the user is an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, they’ll see an install button instead of a price. This reinforces the value of Xbox Game Pass while subtly showcasing the program’s value to non-members.

Screenshots + Description
This section includes important game information for players searching for more info. The screenshot carousel allows for swiping right and left to see more images.

Similar Games
Recommendations are a vital component to organic discovery. This is doubly so for Xbox Game Pass members who are often looking for their next Game Pass game after beating a specific game. This page will encourage users to keep exploring for new games on the Xbox Store.

Friends

The friends tab is the first stop for many players looking to see who is online. This new page has been redesigned to focus on finding their specific friends and interacting with their favorite Xbox Live Clubs.

My Profile
This section is also found on the Home screen, but it is also important for gamers to have access to their profile while browsing their friends list. This section also features the Captures and Pins shortcuts seen on the home screen.

Search Friends
Some players have an enormous friends list. This touch-friendly search box will allow users to quickly filter down their list of friends if they need to join someone specific.

Swipe to Invite
Players can swipe across a friend’s name to instantly invite them to a group/party. This handy shortcut allows gamers to quickly build their party without the need to navigate in and out of friend’s profiles. The final component of this feature would be a persistent party that carries over to their console.

For example, a player might message someone to ask if they want to play. They can quickly add them to a party from their phone while they turn on their console remotely using the Pins shortcut. When they sit down at their Xbox console, they are already in a party and the game is ready to play.

Clubs
Xbox Live Clubs are easily accessible directly beneath the user’s currently online friends list. If a user checks to see who is online, they can quickly engage with their extended friend groups within clubs without leaving the friends section. Each club tile shows the latest announcement post so users can quickly see a snippet of what’s new.

The activity feed on the current Xbox dashboard is a cluttered section that provides little to no value as a single feed. However, each club should have a main activity feed for club announcements and discussion. These club widgets would take players to the club’s main page where they can see who is online, check the latest Club post, and start a party from the club screen.

Next Steps

This reimagining of the Xbox mobile app is an exciting first step in a total recreation of the Xbox Live social experience. I would love to continue working on this new toolset to include features such as Game Pass subscription management, enhanced user reviews on store pages, a refreshed Xbox Live Clubs experience, and additional text chat tools.

I hope you have enjoyed this concept, and thank you for reading!

Seth Turner

Written by

Nerdy Service Designer | Workplace Manager | Occasional Podcast Host

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