ClanHQ Case Study

ClanHQ

UX/UI Case Study

Project Background

From June 2017 to March 2018, I worked with a passionate team at Carnivore Studios to launch ClanHQ, a mobile chat app covered by several news websites including VentureBeat and NextPit.

  • ClanHQ was a premier mobile gaming chat platform similar to LINE, Slack or Discord. Unlike these apps, ClanHQ was targeted towards mobile gamers, specifically power users.
  • Our goal was to reduce the number of external tools required to perform advanced in-game tasks. Before ClanHQ, users were juggling a mess of google sheets and website tools just to play their games.

My Role

As a Product Marketing Associate, I interfaced with the product team, design team as well as the engineering team. My accomplishments at Carnivore Studios include:

  • Coordinating the app’s launch, resulting in 10,000 daily active users during the month after launch and an app install base of 120,000 four months later
  • Working with community members to improve ClanHQ’s user experience and featureset pre- and post-launch
  • Leading marketing and social media campaigns in order to develop ClanHQ’s userbase
  • Collecting and incorporating user feedback into improved app screens and features

Project Scope

At launch, we focused our resources towards building support for a game called Marvel: Contest of Champions. We based this choice on MCoC’s positive trending userbase and comparable DAU to other top-charting mobile games.

MCoC also had something that other games didn’t: a lackluster in-game chat and no widely used companion apps. During my time at Carnivore, I did a deep dive into MCoC’s community to research what users wanted and needed in a chat app.

Logo Design

Design Highlights

In the early stages of ClanHQ’s development before we settled on the app’s focus and design, I iterated on some initial designs for the logo.

For the logo’s color, I opted to start with a bright blue that promotes communication and interaction like other popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Another reason for this choice was to render the app more accessible to users with red-green colorblindness.

My inspiration for the different style variations came from emerging flat design trends as well as a visual lexicon familiar to mobile gamers, with smooth gradients and a combination of sharp and beveled edges. The abstract rendering of a fort at the core of the logo was designed to appear familiar to users used to similar fantasy tropes such as those from Clash of Clans and Clash Royale.

While we ended up going in a different direction for the app’s branding, I learned a lot about how to appeal to our target audience using a specific visual language.

User Research

Taking a Grassroots Approach

One of the things I am most proud of from time at Carnivore is the focus that my team and I had on user interaction and research.

At launch, we focused our resources towards building support for a game called Marvel: Contest of Champions.

Much of my time at the company was spent in both ClanHQ and other chat apps talking to both regular users and well-known members of the community.

We flew over prominent Youtubers such as Seatin who make a living playing MCoC and asked them about the pain points of other chat apps.

I incorporated players’ feedback into the design of in-app features such as the Alliance Quest (AQ) feature.

UI Design

Implementing User Feedback

To the right is one of many promotional images I designed for the app showcasing a feature I collaborated with the rest of the team to build: the AQ Manager.

In MCoC, power users in alliances need to assign players to different lanes to complete objectives.

MCoC doesn’t have any functionality for giving people lane assignments, and having a tool for this was one of the most common feature requests that I heard from users.

By implementing these features and deploying targeted advertisements across Facebook, Twitter and LINE, we were able to increase user retention.

Marketing and Promotion

Utilizing Marketing Platforms

Before and after ClanHQ’s launch, I spearheaded several campaigns that increased downloads and DAU.

This campaign was a referral contest where players with the most referrals were granted beta access, increasing app downloads as well as attracting eager beta testers.

I developed a schedule for posting marketing content on platforms that MCoC players were used to, such as Facebook and LINE.

Onboarding the most active users to our app early allowed us to quickly track and fix bugs and app pain points.

Takeaways

Overall, I am proud of my work at Carnivore and I took away many lessons from my time there.

  • One of our biggest strengths that put us ahead of competitors was our focus on intensive user research and using direct testimonials to better understand our core userbase.
  • What I think our team could have done better is spend less time deciding on aesthetics and more time ideating and figuring out what to keep and what to cut early on.