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Overview

This is an old project but I love it for a number of reasons: it was the first big client I ever had, our team was small but incredibly focused, and I created new methods to keep organized as I was struggling to adapt to the pressure of the tight ddeadlines and limited resources.

The launch was a resounding success, and we went from 60.000 likes on Facebook to over 500.000 likes on Facebook in less than two months.

My Role

  • Visual design
  • Wireframes / UX / Interaction Design
  • Spec/Guideline
  • Email design 

The Problem

MyCrysis site is broken and dated. Every day complaints roll in and site traffic drops. Basic functionality like linked images doesn't work. And the launch of Crytek's biggest game in years, Crysis 2, is just around the corner.

The Solution

Redesign MyCrysis.com from the ground up. 

The Roadblock

We had 8 weeks to do it, and a very small team: Project manager, 3 engineers, and 1 designer.

Outcome

We launched on time with a minimum viable product, then added new features every 4 weeks.

The launch was a resounding success, and we went from 60.000 likes on Facebook to over 500.000 likes on Facebook in less than two months.

Process

The deadline and my inexperience is what made this tough. We couldn't apply textbook UX process, like I teach it at General Assembly, to this project. We did a very condensed process.

Research & Planning

We first did a content inventory of the current site's information and structure. I spoke with the community managers, who have direct contact to the MyCrysis community. 

What worked in our favor, is that the target audience was very homogenous -- gamers, male, between 15 and 29. The people working at Crytek were also the target audience. That saved a lot of research time.

We decided to stick with the current art direction, which saved us time on visual design.

We focused on the absolute MVP. This was pre "Lean Startup". I just had an insight at one point: no matter how many ideas we have, our user base doesn't know about any of them. Whatever we show them, they will accept as complete. So what's the absolute minimum that we can release that can be seen as something "complete"? That question really focused everyone and we managed to agree on a minimum content and feature set.

Finally, we jumped into interactive prototypes quickly and iterated on them multiple times a day. One of my design principles is to: 

Stay in the lowest possible fidelity, for as long as possible.

That worked really well in this instance. We were able to iterate many times per day because it was so fast to make changes.

 

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Another good thing about staying low fidelity is that the engineers can start working on technical infrastructure just with the wireframes. So we were able to work at the same time; they didn't have to wait on me to finish my designs.

 

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It was chaotic at times, because I felt like I was in a constant race to be one step ahead of the engineers. Sometimes, I'd build out one screen, hand it off to the engineers to start building, and as I progressed through the designs, an element on a later page would influence something I did on a page that the engineers already had started building.

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How I'd change it today

This is an old project. There's a lot of things I'd do differently. The main things:

  • Mobile first design
  • More focus on uploading player videos (Twitch, PSN) to pages
  • More focus on showing off gaming rig on player profiles