UX Suggestions for "Plants" App

1. Adjust hierarchy and organization of gameplay navigation. Group navigation components according to the area of gameplay they affect. 

2. Find contextual moments for onboarding opportunities. Utilize idle time in gameplay to hint at features yet to be discovered by the player. 

3. Optimize responsiveness of UI elements during gameplay. Instill confidence within the player that his or her actions are affecting the environment.  

4. Maximize information provided in Plant Views, a core experience of the app.

5. Utilize familiar interaction patterns to create a consistent game experience.

To validate these suggestions, I'd recruit the help of my colleagues and ask the following questions: 

For Product: 

  • What is the "elevator pitch" for PLANTS? What are the three key business goals of the app? What are the three key user goals of the app? 
  • What are the most important features of the PLANTS app? Which ones would you like to see players use the most? 
  • What balance would we like to strike between (a) players exploring the app freely and (b) absorbing the educational material provided within gameplay and the Handbook? 
  • How much time does the roadmap allow for app improvements vs. building new features?
  • Do these improvements line up with our key KPIs for this app? 

For Research: 

  • What interaction patterns do you commonly see players using? Is there a feature that you see utilized the most? The least? 
  • During play-testing, how have you observed players discovering features within gameplay? 
  • How often is the navigation typically used? Is there usage data we could look at? 
  • How do parents use the Handbook? In tandem with the app? Separately? 

For Engineers: 

  • What do you think about allowing user interactions to trigger onboarding? What technological challenges do you see with this? Which challenges are worth tackling? 
  • Tell me more about the AI used to control the animals in the Biome Views. What ideas do you have about making them more responsive to a player's interactions? 
  • Is there a library or framework of reusable interaction patterns (or game mechanics) we are leveraging within the app? If not, would we consider creating one? 
  • How might we embed data from the Handbook within the app? What would be the level of effort and known constraints for engineering? 

For Technical Artists: 

  • How would you suggest we visually integrate learning material from the Handbook into the app? Is the Handbook's art style cohesive with that of the app? Would additional visual development be required to achieve this? 
  • If we increased the responsiveness of the animals in the Biome Views, would there be a need for additional art (poses, animations, etc)? Do you have any additional suggestions for achieving this goal?