game open

UX Research

Game Open is a web community for players to find fun and welcoming groups to play their favorite games when and how they like to play them.

The Challenge

Games are an intrinsic part of human culture dating back to ancient civilizations. People enjoy them for a number of reasons - escapism, strategy, creative storytelling - but mainly because they create a space for social interaction. People enjoy coming together and embarking on a common goal in a fun, collaborative environment. But wherever there is fun, undoubtedly there will be someone or something to put a damper on it. So, the challenges of this project were to identify the fun killers in today’s gaming culture and design a product to combat them.

The Research

My friend Chris and I set out on a mission to help people have more fun. We had a hunch of what the problems were, but we conducted a series of personal interviews and passed out short answer surveys at a popular gaming bar to gain quantitive and qualitive data.



We collected A LOT of data, so to make sense of it all we engaged in an affinity mapping exercise.

The Problems

We identified 3 core fun killers in the gaming world.

  1. Toxic players (aka. trolls):
    These are people who ruin the gaming experience by insulting other players, having a bad attitude, or intentionally sabotaging a game because they want to watch the world burn... (No one likes these people. Don’t be like them).

    Why are they a problem?
    Aside from obvious reasons when actually playing with these people, we also learned that they create a distrust or weariness of strangers within the gaming community. People tend to only play with their trusted group of friends, which brings us to the next problem...
  2. Availability:
    People have busy schedules and life responsibilities that make it difficult to find time and availability for playing games.

    Why is this a problem?
    A lot of games require multiple players and sometimes friends aren’t available when you want to play. Also, many games require a set number of players which makes it even more difficult to coordinate with friends.
  3. Access:
    Game groups can be difficult to find, especially if your friends aren’t interested in the same games or if you’re new to a city.

    Games, game consoles, and gaming computers are expensive. Players are often limited to what they can afford. We also learned that sometimes people pass on expensive games because they don’t want to take a loss if they don’t enjoy the game.

    Why is this a problem?
    People miss out on playing games they might really enjoy.

The Solution

Our current idea is to create a web community where users can find other players or groups to join in playing ANY type of game.

  • We’re exploring features like rating systems and reviews to help deter and reduce toxicity.
  • We’re researching indirect competitors like dating sites to find the best way for our users to present themselves so other users can understand their skill level and gaming motives.
  • We’re also looking into social media and messaging platforms so users can better coordinate with people or groups in their area.

Our goal is to help users feel more comfortable engaging with strangers so everyone has access to more games when they have time to play them. We’re actively in the works of designing, testing, and analyzing various solutions to create the most effective and enjoyable product. Please stay tuned!