Athenascope

A five-week research study to understand typical motivations, pain points, and activities of people who watch gaming content on mobile devices. Personas and user journies were presented to the Head of Product and Business Development.

June 2020–July 2020
My role

I assisted a lead researcher in creating the research plan, facilitating interviews, and synthesizing insights. I lead design of the final deliverables.

CONTEXT

Research to inform a new product launch

The product team at Athenascope was looking to capitalize on the success of their automatic, AI-powered video-editing platform by building a mobile watching platform.

EchoUser was engaged to conduct generative research to explore the major themes and variety across goals, motivations, habits, pain points, delights and journeys of mobile gaming watchers.

CHALLENGE

Make findings accessible and sticky

Though I also facilitated interviews, synthesized research, and lent a hand in the creation of the final insights deck, my role in the project mostly concerned the creation of final deliverables – personas and user journeys.

DISCOVERY

Diving deep into the world of game watching

Having never watched a live stream, or any videos on Twitch previously, I was amazed at how nuanced and variegated the world of game watching is. From fresh file speedruns to on-demand solves, learning about the communities that have come together around game watching was like becoming aware of a shadow reality of the gaming world I have always known.

USER RESEARCH

Remote contextual inquiry

As we wanted to explore users’ behaviors and motivations, a research plan was designed around remote contextual inquiry in which participants were interviewed for 90 minutes while also screen sharing from another mobile device.

As participants browsed content on their favorite streaming platform, they were interviewed about content they consumed, how they discovered new content, their engagement with the gaming community, and typical context for watching.

PROBLEM DEFINITION

Identifying user types

While the general findings from the study are protected under NDA, the process of synthesizing helped us to see that among the participants interviewed, three distinct types of watchers emerged, who watched videos for three distinct purposes. These became the personas and user journey final deliverables.

SOLUTION

Personas + User Journeys

Three personas within the game watching community were identified: the Game Loyalist, the Entertainment Pursuer, and the Practical Learner. As these artifacts were explicitly to be used broadly by the product team, intention was made to make them as “sticky” as possible. This included giving them demonstrative names, removing demographic information, and giving each a basic icon that could be used for identification in future research and design efforts.

The three user journeys were developed in conjunction with the personas, as they both reference each other. Similar to the personas, the user journeys were designed to be as sticky as possible. This meant big, bold gestures, high contrast color scheme, and a similar icon identification system.

REFLECTION

Screen participants, whenever possible

The researcher I was assisting made sure to screen every participant we were considering scheduling. Having never screened participants for a study before, I was skeptical if the effort was worth it.

By the end of our last session, however, I was completely convinced. Every single participant was talkative, opinionated, and interested in the nature of the study. Any potential bias that this introduced was far outweighed by the quality of responses garnered.

Make time to polish the “sale” of research

As my primary role in the project was to assist in the creation of research artifacts, I had the time and opportunity to really craft the messaging. In many projects this is left on the wishlist, but I saw first-hand the degree with which our final personas and journeys stuck in the product team’s mind. The concepts and language were adopted even before the study had concluded.