A year of design at PlayStation

Concept mockup for the mobile homepage of PlayStation.com

As a digital designer I define my accomplishments as something I’ve designed and seen through to launch. When you work on many projects through the course of a year you can sometimes forget to stop and reflect on these.

Here are some of the more notable projects I’ve designed while working at PlayStation this year.

1. New mobile navigation

Redesigning a drop-down menu for mobile screens

PlayStation.com is designed using a modular set of components, each fitting together to form complete pages. This year we started to make these modules fully responsive (mobile support until now has been a scaled down version of the tablet experience).

The first thing scheduled to launch was a mobile-optimised navigation menu. The existing desktop interface used a collection of drop-down menus for navigation. I wanted to design a navigation system which considers the following:

  • Should be optimised for touch devices & portrait screens
    - For obvious usability reasons
  • Must contain the same links as the desktop navigation
    - This allows the user to access the same content, regardless of device.
    - Prevents content authors having to populate two separate menu systems (we support a lot of languages, so this also reduces our localisation overhead.)
  • Should avoid unnecessary steps to reveal content
    - Existing mobile menu mechanics obscure content or rely on the user tapping multiple times to see content (more on this below.)

You can read more about the process behind designing the mobile navigation below.

2. Support Library

Redesigning help and support articles

The idea of the support library is to house all PlayStation support FAQ’s and articles in one place, and allow users to navigate to them easily.

I worked with the support team to establish an intuitive content architecture and from there worked on several draft interfaces.

Most of the design on PlayStation.com is focussed towards marketing, but this support content was different. The design needed to be much more practical. So for the first time I was able to strip away much of the site furniture and let the content speak for itself. The result was a much cleaner and usable library of information.

Mockup of PlayStation Help Library index
Mockup of PlayStation Help Library at topic level
Mockup of PlayStation Help Article

3. Community Badge Collection

Designing a new gamification system

Amongst many other updates to the forum was a new badge collection system. Users are rewarded with badges by completing certain tasks on the PlayStation Forums.

I wanted the initial set of 48 badges to be fun and collectable, so I collaborated with others to make sure that the illustration style and copywriting were fun and engaging for PlayStation fans. This also included seeking approval from development studios to use the likenesses of PlayStation characters.

Mockup of the badge collection page
A selection of the final badges by Zach Roszczewski

Here’s to next year!

Looking back at this it makes me realise how much work has gone into each project, but also that there are many more projects I just don’t have time to list.

I’m always interested to hear people’s feedback on things like this, so let me know your thoughts below.

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