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Company: Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe / PlayStation Europe
Entry submitted by: Javier Tenes (Community & Support Manager)
Community: PlayStation Community
Lithy category: Community Design of the Year
Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE) is the central support organization for over 100 countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australasia, marketing the world’s most popular computer games platforms – PS one®, PlayStation®2, PlayStation®Portable (PSP), PlayStation®Vita, PlayStation®3 (PS3), PlayStation®4 (PS4) and the ever-growing online PlayStation®Network (PSN) platform. SIEE main challenge for nest years is to consolidate the world of virtual reality through PlayStation VR.
Our community goals
Our main goal is to create brand advocacy and loyalty through community by connecting like-minded people and immerse them in a unique world of gaming. We give users the sense of be part of the brand. We have proved with data that a well-engaged community member is synonym of a high spender player and therefore leveraging community to generate engagement is one of our main goals.
Our community active members appear always within the exclusive segment of very high spenders of our PlayStation Store and therefore increasing that group of active and well-engaged members is key for us to generate revenue through community.
In addition, our community is the creation engine of the most extensive database of solutions and recommendations for PlayStation. A community self-support scheme that boosts our CSAT score.
“The Gamer” is at the center of our brand strategy and therefore our six community pillars (discovering, connecting, cooperating, competing, sharing, and recognition) converge with our brand needs.
PlayStation is #4theplayers and therefore PlayStation is for the community of players.
Our unique community design
Our design is unique and can’t be compared to any other Lithium community or any other community in general.
Over the past years, several internals teams including community managers, designers, data analyst, developers and project managers, have worked side by side to change the “out of the box” face of Lithium’s community platform and create completely customized UI, which follows an irreverent and funny style that fits perfectly into the culture of our main audience: the gamer.
Because we are a community of gamers, gamification breathes at the core of our design concepts.
In addition, we have aligned our platform’s look and feel with rest of official PlayStation sites such as our main website PlayStation.com, in order to provide our users with a unified UX across all PlayStation online entities.
We have tried to move away from overpopulated pages with several widgets and CTAs and move into a more minimalist design that clearly defines the function of each page within the overall user journey across the platform.
SIEE / PlayStation is a big retailer company with several key products & services our community is interested in. Thousands of messages are posted each month about these products & services and therefore our designs always aimed to facilitate a dynamic navigation between different topics within the community. Provide our users with at a glance view of our latest and most popular topics is a must.
We have introduce an additional navigation bar which help users to navigate across their personal community areas (profile, notifications, Private messages and settings) with just 1 click.
Finally, as our community is divided between supports and not support areas, we have introduced clever design concepts to help us routing visitors to the right place of the community depending on their necessities. Those designs always maintain a gaming style to maintain the platform in harmony .
All these concepts are extrapolated to our new responsive designs:
How we executed our community design
Our design approach is one of the key elements for achieving our community goals focused on supporting our overall marketing strategy.
A Community Steering Committee, a group of people with different expertise such us community managers, data analysts, UX designers, developers…, manage the different phases of executions for those objectives.
A group of Community Managers and other Marketing peers work together to define the list of key community priorities for next year. These objectives need to be validated by Senior Management and once that happens, the Steering Committee start working on them.
As kick off point, our Analytics and Reporting team put together a list of reports and analysis suggesting different tactics to approach our objectives. The Community Steering Committee have then different brainstorming sessions supported with those analysis and suggestions, including users surveys results, which will finally crystalized in a well-defined community strategy.
Once the community strategy is established, the designing team lead conversations around what design changes are needed to support the strategy, and they put together different mock-ups to illustrate that. Those design concepts / mock ups are reviewed and signed off by the Community Steering Committee. A report focused on technical feasibility of the new designs is created by the Technical Development team as this stage too.
We always have assigned a Project Manager who creates the project’s specs and scope, and keeps stakeholders updated with the project status all the time. The Analytics and Reporting team suggest KPIs to measure the new designs’ success once they go live and which are included within the project’s specs. .
The Project is signed off by The Community Steering Committee and ultimately by the Director of Consumer Experience in SIEE which gives the green light for the development works to start on Lithium Stage.
Once a design change(s) is/are implemented on Stage, they are fully tested in house as well as by a group of selected community members, before we push it live to our community.
After going live we measure on a monthly basis how the new designs help to achieve our objectives.
Our design excellence results
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