In Q4 of 2015 I was contracted for 3 months to complete the 2nd product iteration on a 3D game development platform application called GDS (Game Development Suite), created by MaxPlay. The 1st product iteration was not released publicly, but it has been used to develop several in-house iOS & Android games to pique interest within the gaming community prior to going to market.
Applications such as Unreal and Unity have had a firm grasp in the game development space for over 10 years so reflecting the needs of the users as well as seeing how it fits into a broader business strategy was crucial to the success of the product. The first version was lacking in a number areas such as not having a comprehensive visual system, as well as poor competitor differentiation. I was brought in to design a new user interface, as well as create the foundational visual language that would guide their product iterations in the future.
I delivered processes and high-quality production assets which makeup the core aesthetic and experience of the Maxplay Game Development System.
After talking to Shaun and Maggie over the phone we worked out arrangements for the project, and I sent over a proposal detailing all the great work we would do together over 3 months. Creating a project plan always starts on TeamGannt and allows me to piece together all of the elements necessary in an engagement.
Getting a strong sense of what the product owners are expecting in the interface design is really important long before we ever start designing any of the actual screen assets. Furthermore, design is so much more about effective communication than it is anything else. Inspiration processes and explorations are intended to communicate back to the group the things that you’ve listened and that you've understood the project needs and problems. Through that you arrive at solutions to insightful questions.
Once the Moodboard had been narrowed to a few options, it was still important to the team that we explore as many different combinations of opacity and tone so that we can see scalability of the visual language that we were creating. By referencing much of the Moodboard examples, I was better able to narrow down typography, color palette, and many other attributes which lead to more concise discussions around aesthetic.
Getting the final confirmation on the design direction required refining the small details such as the margin, usage of blue wherein nothing is active, and how we can better differentiate between the global navigation tab system and the modular navigation tab system. Provided the transparency of the modules and that the blue color can be modified in the settings, this was the consensus amongst the product owners and users.
While working through the production phase, we slowly start to build up a collection of UI assets which inform much of what the Style Guide will contain. Then once the Style Guide process has started, we should have a basis to our questions about states as well as the flexibility of some of the UI decisions we've already established.
Our focus then becomes to extend the visual language as much as possible while "locking" in the others that have already been created.