Type: Commercial project
Duration: October 10, 2022 - November 4, 2022
My role: UX/UI Design and website implementation
Performed UX/UI tasks:
I designer and developed this website for the RPG convention "Rzut na Wschód". It is an annual Polish event for individuals interested in tabletop role-playing games, that is co-funded by the city of Lublin. One of the major issues with this event was its suboptimal website, which did not fully utilize the potential of this medium. My goal was to rebuild the website to make it more appealing, so it could reach more convention goers as well as game masters.
The initial version of rzutnawschod.pl was not created by a professional, which resulted in bad UX:
The last two issues were particularly inconvenient for users who did not access the website from a desktop computer. When I checked the statistics, it turned out that over half of the page views came from mobile devices. Making the website fully responsive would improve the comfort for the majority of users, leading to increased user retention and ultimately attracting more participants to the event.
The event was free, so our goal for the website was not ticket sales but to encourage potential participants to attend. Based on interviews conducted with 7 individuals who regularly attended such events, I determined what information they primarily expected. The people I spoke to had diverse backgrounds, with some being newcomers to this type of entertainment while others were regular attendees of similar events. After analyzing their feedback, I concluded that the new website should provide accessible answers to the following questions:
I took a look at 3 websites of other fantasy-related conventions:
Currently the largest event of its kind held in Lublin.
The graphic in the hero section includes text as part of it, and the text next to the CTA is low contrast, making it difficult to read. The navbar is inconvenient as the dropdown lists only appear after clicking, rather than hovering. What's worse, this system is inconsistent as it happens with every link except one, which simply redirects to a subpage. Additionally, the sections are misaligned, which is particularly noticeable in the mobile version.
A new event in Lublin, but with significant financial backing.
The main issue with their website is the lack of coherence. The buttons vary in style, making it difficult to determine if they are functional buttons or just decorative elements, which is particularly frustrating on the mobile version. Another element causing a negative user experience is the hamburger menu in the desktop version. And what's inside? There, we can find two similar links: "Info" and "About FanCon." What is the difference between them? That is something the user must discover on their own - the "About FanCon" link leads to a subpage that is named differently - "Our History" - and it appears to be a work in progress, as it doesn't provide any significant or useful information.
A well-known large convention held in Krakow at the same time as Rzut na Wschód.
The website greets us with poorly framed graphics that cut off most of the image and barely readable text. The homepage lacks a link to the contact section and requires participants to click through several "Read more" buttons to gather essential information about the convention.
Another unfortunate element shared by these event websites is the absence of a mobile-friendly event program. When using a phone, users struggle with navigating the program table prepared as a PDF file or in Google Sheets.
My goal for "Rzut na Wschód" was to eliminate the inconveniences I encountered on competitor websites. The highest priority was to ensure clarity and transparency:
I divided the website into sections to facilitate users' scanning for information. During early prototype tests, I noticed that users would return to the top of the page after reading about the attractions, specifically to the section with the date and location. Based on this observation, I decided to add an additional section - Time and Place.
The purpose of this section is to provide a summary of the essential information needed to find the festival venue. For convenience, I also included a map showing the surrounding area of the event location.
It was crucial to attract program creators who would like to contribute to the festival's development. Due to the convention centering around attendees playing tabletop RPGs, program creators are a true bottleneck. If there are too few GMs/DMs (key people who serve the admin and storyteller roles during the game), other players would be unable to play or would have to wait longer for an open slot. This might lead to poor experience. Therefore, I offered program creators various contact options to make it easier for them to participate in program creation.
The program section is one of the most important for participants. Interviews have shown that participants often use both computers and phones. They prefer to comfortably browse through all the attractions the event has to offer on a large screen before the event, and then rely on their phones as a "cheat sheet" during the event. I faced a significant challenge: how to present the program in a way that allows users to use it as they prefer?
To support users in this behavior, I collaborated with the Konwencik app, available on Android and iOS. This allowed participants to enjoy additional features that would have been budgetarily and time-consuming to implement on the website. For users on computers, a carefully prepared program schedule was available for download. Other conventions are also increasingly using Konwencik, which is a significant advantage for participants as they have a free app that gathers programs for most events and is specifically designed for convenient browsing. Another advantage of using this app is additional promotion, as every Konwencik user could see Rzut na Wschód in upcoming events.
I created the website using Oxygen Builder, and I prepared the animation in the main section using Spline. It was my first real project in which I utilized these tools. After completing the work, I also made sure to obtain an SSL certificate. When the website looked satisfying to me, I conducted usability tests. The mobile version was tested by 8 people, and the desktop version by 5. The testers belonged to the target group, and each of them was asked if they could find all the information they needed. The other question I asked pertained to their opinions about the website. Here are a few quotes:
"Yeah, everything is here. And it's nice to have the map here."
"I like the color scheme."
"It's great that I can download the program because the internet connection in this hotel is a bit bad."
"Much better than the Starfest website."
The test results did not indicate any issues with using the website, and the additional elements I added were well received. Therefore, the website was ready to be publicly released.
During the festival, I noticed that participants were using the website. One of the biggest advantages that contributed to this was the short loading time. Since Rzut took place on the basement level, there was an issue with internet speed. As a result, it was faster to visit rzutnawschod.pl for information about the event and its program rather than searching for them on our Facebook fan page.