Frienduel lets you compete with friends by predicting outcomes of upcoming events in sports, current events, entertainment, and more. If you can out predict them, you win. Simple!
I managed designers and took a full hands on approach as we separated workloads. This project in particular pivoted directions over the course of a year at least 2 times. I lead the second direction of the project and participated in all the product meetings, concept creations and UX and visual redesign from end-to-end.
Taking a team with various capabilities and knowledge of design process and work fluidly together to produce a product that is usable and delightful. From the design perspective, this challenge was 3 fold.
First get to know the dev/pm team and the capabilities each member had in order to work with them efficiently. This means know what each engineer and product member needed in order to keep their part of the project moving.
Second was to create a process that would value user feedback at every level of the project. From first builds, to paper sketches, user surveys were common. This needed to be instilled in the team from my entry to the project and on.
Third, was to deliver and prototype as many interactions from wireframes to visuals to micro-interactions in order to achieve the desired outcome to tell the full story in a limited amount of time.
A few constraints and limitations
Team unfamiliar with the gaming space. Limited resources with tight deadlines and small amount of funding to prove the concept to achieve a longer runway from our main investor Verizon.
Examples of the "before and after" can be found here:
Will this survive as a startup series A?
After the re-design it was very important for us to integrate an overall brand strategy and create multiple touch-points to gain more of a user base. The goal was to spin off Verizon and get funding to take the product to the next level. You can read more about the synopsis of the project on medium.
💡One sample idea I came up with during the process to create more traffic to our app was to evangelize the need to integrate an Imessage sticker pack into the app store. I had been creating my own during side projects and realized this was a great touch point to bring people back to the app. If a user downloads the sticker pack, the Frienduel app was automatically downloaded in the background. A user could use stickers in imessage and switch to the game if they preferred.
I prototyped, designed and delivered to dev these integrations and shipped within 2 weeks. The outcome was an immediate uptake in downloads and exposure.
Showcased below are a few sample interactions to show the whimsical style of animations. The goal was to keep them limited to delight the user but not overwhelm them.
Measurement of success
As a team we pulled through the adversity of changing directions and quick releases with various marketing efforts to get this idea off and running. It was a success in that sense.
It was time to let it fly on its own, if it couldn’t we would kill it. We sensed the numbers were not dramatically increasing unless we spent more marketing money which was not the goal. If it could live on its own we would see more of an inflection point which never came in the 8 months we worked on this.
Execution from the design/experience level was accomplished at about 80% of what we set out to do. The visuals were well accepted overall and the experience level had a few shortcomings that were a direct result of the product direction originally. Success was achieved on various levels from each individual contributer but at a larger scale to get funded it did not hit the bar it needed to in order to move forward. As an innovation lab we accepted this and moved on with what we learned to apply to the next project.
What I learned
I learned from this project that with even with a team that is not well experienced in the area that we are creating for, there are things we can gain for the next project from each other. Building together would make the iterative processes easier and we would ship much faster. Learning new tools like Zeplin for handoff and teaching development how fluid design process works goes along way with more junior teams. I believe I personally always grow with new combinations of teams personalities, methods and processes while working together.