Creating a compelling purchase and setup experience for parents
Alienware is a division of Dell that makes top of the line gaming products. Their R&D Innovation Studio reached out to us to help them design the parental experience for the newly announced Concept Nyx - a device which allows multiple gamers in one household to easily access their full game library and play on any device, even if they want to change screens during gameplay.
Design and deliver mid-fidelity wireframes for the parent’s experience purchasing Concept Nyx, unboxing and setting up the device, and using Parental Control features.
Role & Team
Lead designer with support from a Design Director. We worked closely with an Experience Lead and Usability Engineer on the client side.
For a speedy (visual only) overview of the work done on this project, check out the video below
What could the best experience look like for parents going through the Stargate (Concept Nyx) product configuration and purchase experience?
The challenge here was catering to users who will have a wide range of gaming knowledge and technical ability. We solved this by designing an interactive interface that omits gaming jargon and replaces technical questions with simple language.
We shield the users from technical questions by only having them select the fidelity of games played in their house while we configure a graphics card for their needs
We also used infographics to simplify a complex idea (renting out the machine’s downtime) and show the value gained by opting in to the program
Once Stargate has been unboxed and setup, parents will want to set up Parental Controls for their children. While the previous steps were designed for the desktop browser, this part of the project required us to design for cotroller support, as parents will likely be interacting with the settings on a TV and using the controller to navigate.
We conducted another product audit to see what Parental Control features are common and expected within the gaming industry. With this information, we designed an experience to recommend specific settings for each child based on their age and collected gameplay data.
The researcher on our team was able to quickly test our wireframes with a small pool of parents and children - the findings enabled us to iterate on our designs and provided additional insight to familes' gaming wants and needs.
Concept controller design, image courtesy of Dell
Recommended Parental Control settings make it quick and easy to get parents set up and helps to build trust between them and Stargate
Parents desire a quick way to learn about their child's most played games and add the game to an Allowlist if requested
Parents of children want keep their children safe when playing video games and chatting online with friends. Stargate’s Insights section gives parents this ability, but it’s a fine line between monitoring your children’s activity and invasion of privacy.
One fantastic finding uncovered during user research was that parent’s want to see the positive achievements their children have made in their gameplay, because those accomplishments are important to their children. By surfacing this content, we help the parent connect with their child on another level for them to celebrate their wins together.
Additionally, the Stargate platform is intended to enhance the parent/child relationship, so we were cognizant to withhold judgment in our content and steer clear of any designs that might lead to a false accusation between a parent and their child.
Important information such as hours played, games played, and who the child played with is highlighted in Insights
Providing parents with the video clip or transcript in which a potentially inappropriate event happened gives them the context of the situation
Designing for Concept Nyx/Stargate was such a fun experience. I got to dip my toes into designing for controller support and I learned a whole lot about the gaming industry and parental controls along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for some of this work at CES 2023!
I’m a designer with a focus on interaction design and UX based out of Austin, Texas. I’ve worked with clients ranging from small startups to global companies and on products including mobile apps, marketing websites, and software.