Cod companion app Hero image

Player Roles and Team Preferences

Activision's Call of Duty Companion App

Timeframe: Fall 2020
Our Team: Christian Enriquez | Ralph Buan | Gizelle Hurtado | Ava Arshadi
My Role: Researcher | UX/UI Designer | Visual Designer
Design Challenge
"Call of Duty is more fun with friends, how can the Call of Duty companion app create social features to keep players engaged with the game and each other?"
Challenge Statement
"How might we help this transition from rando to real-life friends? And how might we better inform players about the abilities and playing styles of others so that they can have a more rewarding experience?"

Project Challenge
We overcame players not being able to befriend each other easily as well as know each other’s playstyles in order to have a successful team experience. This was achieved by creating a rating system that allows users to choose roles and traits for other players in the companion app.
1. Incentivization through and honor point system that rewards players for rating others.

2. Match-making through preferences feature, where users can tailor their play experience by a filtration system.

1. Combining multiple ideas into one streamlined system that works in conjunction with each other while keeping the solution-focused. Having to merge with another pair and think of a solution that we’d all be interested in and engaged with.

2. Working remotely due to the pandemic caused usability testing to not be as precise with hand gestures and other expressions (we may have lost out on key observations). We also encountered technical issues due to Wi-Fi or third-party applications. It was also more difficult to build rapport with participants and make them comfortable through a screen ( and gauge their expressions).
Card Sorting
We conducted card sorting for the current Call of Duty companion app to understand the framework and flow of the app, and to find an opportunity for our new features to be incorporated.

1. For our matchmaking feature, we found that it would make the most sense to have it under the Profile tab, where user’s can change their settings and preferences.

2. For our rating feature, since it has to do with players the user most recently teamed up with, we decided to keep it under Recent Games where players can view information regarding the last game they have played.
Scenario 1: Viewing Stats of Current Teammates
Imagine you are currently playing a game of Warzone. You are curious about your teammate’s stats, and you went into the app to check them. I’m going to add to your scenario. While you’re playing, you are having a really awesome time with Player B. What would you do on this page? Also while playing, Player C is being extremely rude and offensive to both you and Player B. What would you do?

Scenario 2: Rating Players
Imagine you just finished playing a game of Warzone and you want to rate your teammates. This player was a great backup to you and your team. How would you rate them? This player also acted very brave and would go into battle headfirst, how would you rate them? Lastly, say you wanted to redeem your Honor Points for Double XP, what would you do?

Scenario 3: Changing Team Preferences
Imagine you wanted to change your team preferences to only get paired up with certain types of players for your future matches. Let’s say you wanted to find a player you can remember you had a great game with. Where would you go to find them?
Feature Prioritization
Merging multiple ideas into one cohesive solution brought about a lot of features for possible implementation. Doing this exercise, with the help of Activision stakeholders, encouraged us to prioritize certain features and narrow our focus in creating scenarios for usability testing and prototyping.

Top Priorities
-Reward Shop
-Honor Points

Low Priorities
-Player Stats
-Add Friends
Content Strategy
Our target audience were core COD players who are looking for people to play with to have a fun game.

We created some desired outcomes on what our users would think, feel, and do. As well as the type of tone we wanted to present to our audience.
Jasmine's Wireflow
Jasmine was playing COD with rude and aggressive players, and opened the companion app to find more enjoyable people to play with.
Dan's Wireflow
Dan just finished a great game with new teammates and decides to go on the companion app to rate them.
Mark's Wireflow
As a match of BR trios is about to begin, Mark is curious about his teammates’ strengths and attributes.
We took a look at the current sitemap of the COD Companion app and found areas where we could both implement, and simplify some of our additions.
Revised Wireframes
We reiterated and increased fidelity on our wireframes, making sure we were prepped for more usability testing.
Final Wireframes
With all the great feedback we obtained through usability testing. We implemented a better hierarchy and ease of use.
Final Prototype
With the completion of more usability testing, we were able to implement the changes into our high fidelity prototype.
Usability Results
Discoverability Issues
Users had some trouble navigating the prototype because certain buttons and actions weren’t visible or distinct enough.
Choice of Wording
Some of the terminology we used caused some confusion for users.
Users want a confirmation and feedback for certain actions that they perform.
Many users felt unclear about where buttons lead to and who the players shown were to them.
Visual Cues
Some elements of the visual design led to some confusion about what to do on a page.
Seamless Integration
Our solution fits neatly into the current version of the COD Companion app. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we added  features that enhance social engagement without overhauling the entire app.

Front and Center
We intentionally placed our features to be accessible on the home page to guide the user while stressing the social aspect of the app.  This gives a clear indication about what the app is about by focusing on key social interactions.

Feature Creep
Instead of tackling one main idea, we opted for a system that consists of many moving parts and functionalities. This lack of focus on a central concept may have added unnecessary complexity and prevented a deep dive into a single topic.

Technical Contraints
Many of the features of our prototype require some communication between the companion app and the actual game that we have yet to address. Having a better understanding of these mechanics will allow for a more optimal design

Discovery and Onboarding
We missed out on the opportunity to onboard users to new concepts and features. Introducing these new ideas such as Honor Points and Dog Tags without proper explanation may have caused confusion for users.

Received brief from Activision Stakeholders and conducted research focused on delivering a concept presentation and concept prototype.