Two Coins Entertainment

How to stand out from the crowd

Photo credit: Alejandro Alvarez Creative Commons 2.0.

The Opportunity

Two Coins Entertainment (Two Coins) is a Toronto-based game development studio passionate about gaming. They build games that gamers love to play. Their games are playful, have a retro feel, and are focused on having fun. During our kickoff meeting with David Reddick, Two Coins’ Creative Director, we learned that the studio was entering an exciting phase, they were in the process of finalizing a game development deal with a major motion picture studio. They needed a new website. Their current site was a placeholder, while it’s visually polished and professional it didn’t accurately reflect the Two Coins brand.

How could we help Two Coins stand out in a sea of gaming studios?

UX Team: Cara Scime (me), Zoë St-Aubin, Preethi Venkatesh
UI Design: Zoë St-Aubin
My Contribution: interviews, comparative analysis, persona development, IA and site map, user flows, DMMM, brand strategy, high-fidelity wireframes, copywriting, client presentation
Tools: Sketch, InVision, Trello, Slack, Google Docs, InDesign, Keynote
Timeframe: Two and half weeks
Deliverables: Brand Strategy, Personas and User Stories, Digital Marketing Measurement Model (DMMM), High Fidelity Wireframes, Clickable Mobile and Desktop Prototypes, Client Presentation, UX Strategy Document

Where We Started

Our UX team needed to find out: Who they are?, What they do? and Why would potential clients or talent hires want to work with them? We needed to identify and understand both user and business goals so we could design a site that solved Two Coins business requirements and provided the best user experience.

Original Two Coins Entertainment Home Page

Research

We needed to comprehend: the Two Coins brand, their users, the gaming marketplace, and their competition. Our research included personal interviews, domain research, and comparative analysis.

Interviews

The personal interviews (one client and one potential talent hire) provided insights into client relationships, the studio’s personality and how industry people perceived Two Coins.

Comparative Analysis

Two Coins was in a challenging marketplace; everyone in the gaming industry is a competitor. We did a comparative analysis with other gaming studios looking at their design, content, and features. To separate from the crowd, we needed to highlight Two Coins’ personality, their development process, and successful projects.

What people said about Two Coins…

“This studio’s passion for gaming comes through everything they do. They’re willing to do the work.” — Jason Das, Associate Producer, Magic Meister

Key Finding

  • need to showcase Two Coins’ work and brand personality
  • need to show Two Coins’ development process
  • blog section could be useful
  • no links to social media or individual external game pages
  • there was a loyal and active fan base on Facebook

Planning

Personas and User Stories

From our research we identified a primary and secondary persona, and developed a user story for each.

Digital Marketing Measurement Model (DMMM)

We determined that Two Coins should be a lead generating site, and developed this DMMM. We created specific goals so we could track KPIs and make adjustments as needed in the future. Our new design has not yet been implemented, so we haven’t yet been able to measure the site’s performance.

Brainstorming Digital Marketing Measurement Model (DMMM)
Final DMMM

Core Features

  • users would be able to contact Two Coins by submitting a form
  • users would be able to learn more about Two Coins, their design and development process, and the team
  • users would be able to view the games developed by Two Coins
  • users would be able to view screen shots, trailers, characters, download links for each game
  • Two Coins would be able to post articles to showcase their industry expertise
  • users would be able to read articles posted by Two Coins and share via social media

Site Map and IA

User Flows

Here are two user flows for Two Coins’ primary persona a potential client.

Design and Testing

Brand Strategy

Two Coins has loads of personality, and the studio was passionate about developing retro inspired games that are fun to play. They’re fun but professional. We developed a Two Coins brand that was friendly, professional and communicated their passion for gaming.

Our design reflected Two Coins’ professionalism and highlighted their passion for retro-gaming. We focused on creating a website that was modern and clean with elements of playfulness and nostalgia. We worked with the existing Two Coins logo and colours, and incorporated new font selections to compliment them.

Style Guide

Wireframes

Preethi produced the low and mid-fidelity wireframes. All three of us executed the high-fidelity wireframes based on the UI that Zoë created.

User Testing

We did several user testing sessions through InVision which provided some great feedback.

Positive Feedback The inclusion of an icon that identified specific gaming platforms on the game pages gathered positive feedback. Users wouldn’t waste their time exploring games on platforms they don’t use, a successful example of how thinking from the user’s perspective can improve their experience.

Negative Feedback Several users had negative feedback about the home page. The message wasn’t clear; they didn’t understand the purpose of the site. We addressed this confusion by adding the tagline “Helping you build games that gamers love to play.” and the revised screen received positive feedback.

Our revised home screen received positive feedback with the addition of a tagline.

Where We Finished

The “What We Do” screen shows; information about working with Two Coins and their development process, and a testimonial, solving business and user goals.

InVision Prototypes

The new Two Coins’ site has not launched yet. Check out our mobile and desktop prototypes.

Future Interactions

Our prototype had limited interaction capabilities, so we developed a list of possible future interactions:

  • game thumbnails could play on hover in the featured section of the home page
  • animate the coin icon on the newsletter form upon submission
  • sticky menu could change colour on scroll on pages with image headers
  • button colours could reverse on hover (fill with border colour, text turns white), this wouldn’t apply to the mobile site

Next Steps

We have some suggestions to grow the Two Coins brand:

  • develop case studies to help clients better understand the value of Two Coins development process
  • create merchandise such as T-shirts, stickers, caps, stuffed toys, we suggest using Printful, a wordpress plugin lets you print and ship some items on demand

Lessons Learned

Prototype testing was crucial. The most serious issue identified was that several users were unsure of the purpose of the site. We solved this by adding the tagline “Helping you build games that gamers love to play.

We look forward to the opportunity to Google Analytics data to assess the success of the new site and see how well we met our DMMM targets.

The project was a real team effort. Zoe, Preethi and I worked well together. We successfully executed our individual responsibilities and provided help and support to each other when needed.

My Key Contributions

During the research phase, I did personal interviews that helped us identify Two Coins’ superpower: the studio is passionate about gaming and willing to do the work. While working on the competitive analysis I noticed that other gaming studios had icons to represent gaming platforms, we added this feature, and it garnered positive reviews during user testing. Together with my team members, I helped develop personas, user stories and flows.

During the design stage, I produced high fidelity wireframes in Sketch based on UI that Zoe designed. Together Zoe and I worked on the copy for the forms. We focused on developing a friendly conversational tone and kept the copy light and breezy reflecting the Two Coins’ brand. The forms received positive feedback during user testing.

These high-fidelity wireframes that I created in Sketch contain examples of the conversational, friendly copy Zoe and I wrote for Two Coins.
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