Dropzone Paintball is a paintball course company in Lawrence, Kansas. The idea for its brand was to create an action bold intense presentation. The idea of war was utilized to showcase how paintball is played. People go to have a good time but take the game seriously. Making the text bold with the red as the main color shows the intensity of the games. The bomb and paint effect after it shows that it the business is paintball, and the drop is stenciled military text.
Paintball is a very popular sport that has very specific demographics. The majority of paintball participants (paintballers) are male and the age range is 13-28. Paintball participants are primarily in high school. Eventually paintballers quit playing as they get older. Usually, they stop by the end of high school. I am attempting to target a wider audience and assist in maintaining the core customers for a longer period of time.
I went out and interviewed four different people about their paintball experiences. Each person had completely different perspectives on paintball ranging from a hardcore player to a complete novice (newbie). I then organized their thoughts into an empathy map to hone in on specific problems players face in paintball.
Braden consistently plays paintball today. He started back in high school playing with his friends and got into the game competitively. Most of his concerns derive from his scheduling and his location. Braden has to drive far to get to the paintball course and he does not always get confirmations for tournaments and events. He wants more consistency and instant feedback.
Trevor used to be a paintballer in high school with his friends. He does not play anymore. His issues with paintball come from the dishonesty of other players and the lack of change within the paintball scene. Trevor felt it was the same games over and over again, so as he and his friends got older, they moved on to other things.
Brian is someone who has never played paintball but was interested in trying it. He did not have any friends that played paintball and he is not sure how to get started. He thinks there are a lot of items to buy before getting started. Also, Brian is worried he will not have time with his current job. He is overwhelmed by the process of becoming a paintball player.
Sandy is someone who really is not interested in paintball. She feels that being a female, in a male dominated game, is intimidating and she believes she is not really wanted in the game. She thinks that it is expensive and hard to fit in when you first start. Sandy would feel more comfortable if there were more people to relate to within the community. Sandy is discouraged by paintball.
From the interviews, I formed a solution to help solve the basic problems each person has with Paintball. The main idea for the application was combining the physical activity of paintball with a video game feeling. Having players track their scores, communicate with their teammates during the match, and having a map on the phone of the course to mark and track your opponent. This would make the game more interactive and would make it feel more like a video game. The phone is strapped onto paintball guns so players will be able to look at their phone and play at the same time. In turn, this will keep the game fresh, prevent people from quitting, and increase audience overall. The application would have a community feature for forming teams, setting up matches, and talking with other players.
I started by creating paper prototypes. First, is the home screen for basic notifications and updates. Second, a social screen for player interaction, tournament sign-ups, team formations, etc. Third, a game screen for all the video game elements while they play a paintball match. Finally, a map screen to locate any paintball courses near you for the events you signed up for at that location. I user tested with multiple people and received feedback on how to improve the application. People suggested to move the map screen to the socal screen. It was also recommended that the profile be added to the bottom as a main screen.
After the paper prototypes, I switched the position of the profile on the screen. I made it one of the main four screens since it keeps track of your score, teams, friends, etc. I user tested again and receive feedback regarding how the game screens should be laid out. Most people stated that it would be annoying to have to navigate back and forth between screens while playing the game and to avoid being hit with a paintball. So, instead of having a screen dedicated to navigating between three different sections, I moved the three sections up top, with the map screen first. This makes navigation flow better and feel smooth. Another criticism of the prototype were the screen transitions, I had a sliding animation playing when selecting the main screens at the bottom. This is an incorrect animation to have, I fixed this in my later revisions of the app.
This is the wireframe prototype I made using Adobe XD. Feel free to navigate through the app to see the functionality.
For the final prototype, I decided to change the layout of the game screen and make the screen automatically horizontal for easy access and to allow more information to be displayed. The players are on the move so they need to have quick access on menus while playing. On the map screen the players can tab and hold down to pop up key options for enemy player icons or enemy flag icons. Players can then tab to label opponents locations on the map for their team.
Next is to continue additional user testing with paintballers to see if the app needs further improvement and to test if the app will function well on the field.
This was my final prototype. Feel free to navigate through the app to see how it functions.