Google’s cloud gaming service that enabled gaming anywhere, anytime hassle-free without having to own expensive hardware to play the latest games.
Overview Stadia was Google’s version of cloud-gaming that launched in 2019. At the time, the product was launched as an MVP that introduced a handful of low hanging improvements before the latest iteration. As the product matured, users asked for a more refined experience but with new business opportunities and features being designed behind the scenes, the Stadia team asked ourselves — With an established product and new business initiatives on the horizon, what does the future of Stadia look like and how do we get there?
Solution Stadia was over 3 years old and was launched with a set of essential features to enabled users to play games and purchase/browse them in their cloud accounts. Recently, Stadia’s product pages went through a redesign and the homepage seemed like the perfect opportunity to compliment the work that was already done. The homepage allowed us to address user feedback and incorporate new B2B initiatives. New game exploration cards and interstitial capabilities were designed to support the goals of this quality of life improvement for Stadia.
Lead designer for homepage touchpoints
Designed and prototyped user experiences that supported B2B initiatives and exposed in-game discovery features
Lead designer for business development and partner relationships; collaborating with business account managers
Defining and implementing strategies for streamlining new business design opportunities
Process The homepage was a collaborative effort between Stadia’s business unit, engineering, PM and UX. Tasks were prioritized as a team. They helped to decide what areas of improvement the team would tackle first. We wanted to focus on tasks that would have the most impact on user engagement; reducing the time it took players to start gaming and promote games found in the store. Design sprints were formed around these prioritizations.
Design As part of quality of life improvements made to Stadia's user experience, a new set of UI components from the work being done on the homepage and new product page formed the foundation of Stadia's new design system, Tetris.
A refined color palette and iconography made its way into the design system along with the new homepage cards and interstitials.
New cards The goal of the cards was to address multiple business and platform feature specific opportunities. We narrowed it down to a set of cards that addressed platform interactions like relaunching a game they played with friends and another set that addressed more business related goals such as new releases, demos and free-to-play. The cards were to be part of smart recommendations found in the homepage hero carousel. The smart recommendations data was derived from a user's library, interaction history, friends list and followed games (in the store)
Unified interstitials Interstitials would appear when cards on the homepage were interacted with. At times, the interstitials were long and mostly redundant because of the new game product page redesign initiative. The idea behind unifying the interstitials was to help offload some of the content found in them and instead display the most important information needed for users to be informed about their selection. However, there were instances where interstitials helped to bridge the gap to other platform features such as spectator mode. The interstitials needed to be simple yet have the ability to scale for Stadia's growing feature set.
Looking to the future Technology limitations with real time content updates and system usage were difficulties this project faced. The next iteration of the homepage included ways to filter cards with real-time data and include full screen imagery (video backgrounds). The goal was to eventually remove interstitials and reduce the amount of interactions needed to get users to feel confident about a game and play by placing that information directly in the hero slides found in the homepage carousel.
Outcome Feedback after the launch was well received and praised within the Stadia community. The quality of life improvements were such a success that users began to request the redesign to cascade over to Android TV . Overall satisfaction was very high and Stadia saw increases in platform interaction (playing game demos) and game page visits.