Fixing Halo Infinite’s Community Problem
What was once one of the bestselling games of all time has now fallen in popularity to franchises such as Fortnite and Call of Duty. Halo was a pop culture phenomenon in the early 2000’s, becoming at one time the biggest entertainment release of all time.
It’s most recent entry in the series, 2021’s Halo Infinite, left many fans excited but unsatisfied with the current state of the franchise and it’s future.
Being that I am no game developer myself, I wanted to think of a way I could help. So I figured a revamp of Halo’s companion app would be an interesting project.
If you are a fan of the series, you would agree that a key factor that makes the game so great is its empowerment of the community. This includes features such as Theater, Forge, and customization.
One of the main reasons this latest title struggling is because it lacks in content and has strayed away from what made it so popular in the first place - it’s focus on community.
I began my research process by creating a survey and interviewing eight users about their struggles and problems. Gathering data about user pain points helped me plan my designs to best cater to them. Here are some results of the survey I conducted:
I conducted a competitive analysis on two leading Halo apps to see where there is opportunity to improve with a new app.
Based on the research and competitive analysis, I've concluded that user pain points stem from a lack of specific features for a Halo Companion such as:
Based on my research and analysis, I have created two personas to represent the type of user this platform will be catering to. I will be focusing on the preferences and patterns of both the longtime and new Halo fan.
I created an Information Architecture to organize the layout of this app before designing, keeping in mind the key issues users had with current Halo companion apps already on the market from my user research.
I then designed low-fidelity wireframes while using the IA and survey results as reference in order to make an initial prototype of the app to see how all the features could be implemented.
These wireframes were very helpful with making design decisions without being biased towards colors and typography, therefore I could focus on the core layout of the platform first.
I created a mood-board in order to see what kind of colors and atmosphere I wanted to create within the app. Being that Halo is known for its distinct art style and colors, I knew it was important to get the Halo feel and atmosphere right for returning fans of the series.
I created a Style Guide in order to keep me organized with my design decisions throughout the designing process. I wanted to prioritize consistency throughout the app, while also trying to keep the same aesthetic of the game within the assets of the app.
Customization is a huge feature within the game for the past few titles. Which is why designing an in-app customization feature was incredibly important.
Users have the ability to edit their in-game spartans within the app, and it will be reflected in their next match. You can edit any armor piece or effect featured in the game, as well as preview your Spartan as you are customizing.
This feature allows users to customize their spartans on the go, without the limitation of only having access when on your gaming device.
In order to create a Halo community experience I made sure to put user created content front and center, with the ability to share and upload your own content as well.
After the designs and testing were all finished, I decided to retest it once again in order to see if I was able to accomplish my initial goals.
After more testing, 100% of users said the app fosters a sense of engagement and it would improve their Halo experience.
75% of users also said they would use these social features if available, and 50% of users said it would keep them engaged to continue playing.
To reflect on this case study as a whole, I would say I was successful. I was able to accomplish by initial goals and improve user gameplay experiences proven by the date I was able to gather.
Although next time, I think I could improve this process by doing even more research and spend more time empathizing with users in order to really understand their pain points with their experiences.