Adobe Design Jam

My first design jam ever! We helped adults discover games that fit their interests and time allotted.

UX/UI Design
Role: UX Designer
Team Murloc: Bilan Liu, Jiatong Qing, Yutong Zhang
Tools: Adobe XD, Virtual Whiteboard, Zoom

How might we bring in new games?

"As the coronavirus crisis persists and global citizens are self-isolating indoors, many are spending their time gaming. In fact, Verizon reported an increase of gaming traffic up 75% since March 2020, and data from Streamlabs indi-cates a 20% surge in usage hours across streaming platforms. And due to the loneliness of quarantine, folks of all ages are getting into gaming to stay connected and occupied."

New gamers are overwhelmed with choices, and there is no single resource to help them discover games that are right for them and their current situation.

Activision would like to see how an interactive experience might get new gamers acquainted and integrated into the gaming community. As a group of passionate designers, we would love to explore new ways to connect people via games.

Final Prototype

It was challenging to conceptualize and design within two days. We are very proud that we managed to submit it within the tight deadline!

Please check the prototype/all screens here: Horizon App

Feature Highlights

"I am not sure if I should try this game..."

During user interviews, it turned out that people were having trouble to find their first game. Instead of browsing top game lists online, most of them bought a game as they played it once at their roommate's place, saw it from a friend's Switch, or got recommendation from several friends.

As to solve this problem, we curated a list of questions that helped define new gamers and recommended the game that fits their interest most.

"How can I connect with people during quarantine?"

Other than finding a game to start with, people were longing for social connection more than before due to self-quarantine. How might we connect people virtually?

We took the approach to group people by different types of gamers. We will recommend games via people's friends and gamer types.

"I want to know more about this game!"

From user interviews we realized that new gamers relied on friends' game suggestions a lot. How might we bring the same experience to our Horizon App?

We allow friends and same type of gamers to share their comments with the gaming community. As to help people review the game better, we also included reviews from game professionals.

User Research

Online Research

To start, We looked for resources such as online documents, data, and participants to find out popular games and where would people go when they want to learn more about games.

We did 9 rounds of user interviews. We recruited people who never or seldom play games and learn their experience. They don't really check professional review websites like IGN or Metacritic. Instead, they heavily relied on friends' recommends or their own experience of the game. Most of them bought The Legend of Zelda™: Breath of the Wild as everyone they knew highly recommended this game. Also, some of them bought VR Headset as they tried out Beat Saber at their friend's place.


With limited time, we summarized key points that we want to focus during this design jam.

How might we find the first game for people?

We were inspired by surveys that determined your personality. We would like people to go through a few questions that helped us locate the first game for them. We also offered parameters of the game and reviews that helped them decide before settling their first choice.

How might we simulate the 'friend recommendation' scenario remotely?

During the pandemic, we are all staying at home and limit in-person contact. We built a virtual party room for friends and families where people can see which game is being hot among their friends with just one click.

How might we build a gaming community via our solution?

As to expand people's social connection, we gather same type of people via the onboarding survey and share games that they are playing with the user. People are also encouraged to share their game collection!

My Work

Other than online research, group brainstorming, and setting design specs together, we also divided design individually based on our expertise and interest.

"I want to see what my friends are up to."

I decided to make a list of cards that included crucial information for the user: Friend's name, most-played game, and what they just played/are playing. To help new gamers learn about game jargon, I included a small section with game types and explanation. With those information in hand, the user can explore game options via their friends easily.

"Is this the right game for me? I need more information."

People always have a hard time deciding if this is the right game especially when they have to pay for it first. Therefore, they depended on the trying experience at their friend's place. As to promote self-quarantine, I curated detail reviews of each game by adding parameters that they cared about from the interviews. Also, I would like to show reviews from friends, same type gamers, pro-player, and pro-reviewer to help them make right decisions.


Practices for remote work

All three members of us were not physically together, which made it difficult to stay synced and be on the same page. We adopted technology to better collaborate with each other by setting up online meeting, virtual whiteboarding, and regular check-ins to make sure we stayed connected during the jam.

Time management

Since we only had two days to complete research, user interview, ideation, design, and prototyping, it was challenging for us to allocate time that optimized the deliverable. We did brainstorming together and divided work based on our expertise.

Be flexible and offer help

Remote pair design was extremely difficult as we always have to make decisions and changes. When we realized that we need people sign in to sync their contacts, I took responsibility for the sign in flow while my teammates were helping out me on prototype logic and final polish.

Reflection on the Design Jam

Unfortunately, we weren't one of the finalists (We were top 20%). However, we did learn that we should always prioritize the needs from our sponsor. While we helped people find their first game and formed gaming community, we didn't consider much about games that fit adults' time allotted. What if people only have time for a quick round of Candy Crush but we recommend the Zelda Saga that solely based on their interest? That being said, see how we improve on the September Amazon x Adobe Design Jam soon!