For those unfamiliar with Steam, Steam is a digital distribution service / social media platform for computers, and could be considered the equivalent of Xbox Live for Microsoft’s video game systems or Sony’s PlayStation Network. For those unfamiliar with any of these gaming services, Steam can be compared to Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store. It is a platform and ecosystem for video game developers to sell any games they create to consumers, as well as allowing users of the platform to socialize with their friends, similar to Facebook Messenger. When it comes to scale, Steam is the largest online video game store with over 18 million daily users, and yearly revenue topping in the billions – so Steam isn’t a small scale endeavour, but a very large and profitable business.
Steam Desktop Client
As an avid user of Steam on it’s desktop platform, I was disappointed with parent company Valve’s implementation and state of Steam’s mobile app. The app had barely received any love and care in the 5 years since its launch, with it’s UI & UX sorely lacking for a company of Valve’s caliber. Something I thought that outlined this well was this quote from Nick Babich of UX Planet.
” If you want your app to be successful, you have to consider UX to be not just a minor aspect of design, but an essential component of product strategy ” – Nick Babich
I had three main goals after conducting a case study for the redesign, and these were refining the UI, UX, and making sure these improvements had developer consideration. When working with the UI, I tried to reflect it with Steam’s desktop/browser design language, clean up the confusing UX flows that current users were having trouble with, improving navigation speed, and creating a layout that is more rational & generous with space. Developer consideration was something I thought was worth to consider, as adding new features and making large changes might be impracticable for an already existing product.
Current version of App – 2019