Taking darts to the next level! Detailed play data helps you improve your skills
Dartslive is an entertainment company that develops darts machines for the global market. Players can insert their personal smart card into any Dartslive machine and instantly track their play data via the Dartslive smartphone app or web service. Goodpatch led the app renewal project with the concept of "Taking darts to the next level!” by giving users the right insights they need to improve their skills based on their own play data. Provided services included UX design, UI design, native app development (iOS / Android) and continued service improvement after the initial release. For the quantitative KPI regarding the "retention rate of paid users", we were able to achieve 105% growth from pre- to post-release. For the qualitative KPI of “satisfaction improvement of existing users" and "establishment of a flow that encourages existing users invite new users", we saw a great response via SNS in the form of positive tweets and shares from users.
We wanted to show users more than just lists of numbers. To make play data meaningful, we used visualizations that can be understood and convey a sense of growth in a single glimpse. Graphs and indicators organize data points to tell an overall story of skill progression and readily identify strengths and weaknesses. The use of color corresponds to the user’s rank and emphasizes the user’s advancement. Subtle animations enhance the visualized data and add a bit of charm.
Dartslive has machines all over the word and therefore multilingual support was a must in order to provide the best experience for all players. We paid close attention to margins and placement and carefully designed the UI to accommodate variations in spacing and size that emerge when switching between languages. Behind the scenes, our developers created a clean structure that anticipates an increase in the range of languages in the future.
From the very start of the project, we began interviewing potential users in order to get a clear pinpoint on who would be a target user and his or her needs. As a result, everyone involved in the project came to a common understanding about who were were designing for and we were able to place this user at the center of our design process. We also went out and played darts countless times in order to better empathise with our users (and to have a bit of fun).
The most frequent issue that was seen in the user interviews was that their results didn’t get better and that they had lost their motivation to continue their activity as a hobby. I came up with the hypothesis that being able to see your growth would solve the problem at hand. Based on that, we successfully visualized the data related to the darts results and made the user’s growth feel tangible. We had the mindset to make the user maintain their passion for darts and continued forth with our design.
The one thing we incorporated into the design based on the user interview results, was tone and style. The application has an overall dark tone and this is because darts bars are usually dark and having a white background could feel too bright. I got a real-life piece of advice from a client but this became even more lucid after i actually interviewed the users.
We used frequent user testing prior to the beta release to make sure we were designing for a real person and not an assumption. In the UI design phase, we performed user tests using the Prott prototyping tool and found points of ambiguity or stress for the user that could be improved. As a result, we were able to quickly make changes before designs had been finalized and development had even started — saving time and money. We continued user testing throughout the entire development phase to perfect the experience and smoothen out any bumps.
Around the initial stages of the prototype, I started inspecting whether or not a user would want to use the service in the first place. One of the reactions was ‘I want to see my results in this way!’ One example of a part that was fixed thanks to the results of the user tests was the dashboard. This function allows you to add data that you like to your dashboard and customize it to your liking. Before conducting user tests, we prepared additional buttons to the dashboard from various screens, but when we actually tested it, the user got confused, so we added only one additional track. The additional buttons were intended to be convenient but instead, this exact thing was what caused confusion.
It’s extremely important to be quite familiar with the service and surrounding information in advance. Even at the beginning of creating Darts Live, I went to a darts bar before the project commenced. I also went to a darts competition at Tokyo Big Sight because I was first trying to become a user. It’s impossible to think about something unless you experience something from the user’s point of view. You don’t really have a say unless you become knowledgeable in darts and services. Also, you must build a strong, trustworthy relationship between the partner and you. Whenever you try to make something different, a moment that makes you go like ‘something isn’t right’ is surely going to arise. During times like that, it’s important to create an environment in which your teammates could exchange their thoughts freely. The Darts Live team is built on a foundation based on such relationships.
Goodpatch worked hand-in-hand with Dartslive to combine the mutual expertise and experience of both companies to form one team focused on the same goal. Developers from each side worked collaboratively including joint code reviews. We made an active effort to understand the perspective of Dartslive as a company and their business goals. After the initial release, we have continued working with Dartslive throughout the growth phase to further improve the service and achieve all our targets as a team.