Steam App Redesign

  • User Evaluation
  • Oct.29 – Dec.20, 2017

Part A – Contextual Inquiry and Contextual Analysis

Description of the device: Steam is the world’s largest online gaming platform. Steam guarantees instant access to more than 1,800 game titles and connects its 35 million active users to each other. Through Steam, fans can easily buy, play, share, modify, and build communities around Valve products as well as titles from other independent game studios.

Tasks: In this contextual inquiry, I set up eight tasks for ten new users.
1. Register an account and log in the steam.
2. Add a friend with “yzhuoni”
3. Chat with a friend on steam
4. buy a game – Assassin’s Creed 2
5. Add a game to the chart – don’t starve, with DLC: Don’t Starve: Reign of Giants
6. Find a free game, and download the game you’ve found
7. Find three games you are interested and add it to favorites
8. View more game information, and find three games which are most popular now.

Then I constructed Contextual Analysis diagrams from transcripts of contextual inquiry. They are flow model, social model and artifact model.

Flow Model

Social Model


Artifact Model

Targets of Redesign
After contextual inquiry and contextual evaluation, I provide a proposal for this redesign, to repair those breakdowns in the contextual analysis.
1. The chatbox online.
2. Show big poster for games.
3. Free games are well-marked.
4. Different game tags.
5. Automatic search identification, but it is necessary to improve the search outcome.

1. The awful input method switch.
2. Often turn to different links online.
3. Bad sounds for the warning.
4. No obvious reference for big picture mode.
5. A new user has to purchase before adding a friend.
6. Confusing menus and lists
7. Obscure tags and buttons.
8. Too many texts on the interface.

Part B – Redesign of steam

I draw three sketches.
Sketch1: Sketch1 remains the chat box similar to the existing steam version, but I focus on diffenrent levels of menus to make it sense for users.

Sketch2: Sketch2 uses only one level menu and many icons. It shows more and bigger pictures than Sketch1. And it use a new pop-up for chat.

Sketch3: Sketch3 totally focuses on big picturs and videos of game. I think it will be impressive to users, but it will be less readable because of big layouts of pictures.

I choose Sketch1 for the final design, because it is more readalbe then the other two, and its layout is common so new users will be easily familiar with it.

Assumptions for the hardware: Computer with Windows, and screen resolution are 1366×768. Use click or hand touching.
Assumptions about users: Kids, teenagers, and adults who like to play computer games and who seldom play computer games but are potential to be a steam costumer and play.

Paper Prototype

Part C – Usability Evaluation and Refined Prototypes

Usability Evaluation

Digital Prototype 1

Usability Evaluation

Digital Prototype 2

Click here to view the project `Steam2`

This prototype brought to you by InVisionApp

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