For this redux design, I decided to tackle the browser portal for the Xbox store which can be found here: https://store.xbox.com/en-US/.
The current Xbox store’s site is maddening to me for a variety of reasons, but here are a few of the most pressing:
Lack of relevant information
The site in it’s current state only displays two pieces of information for each game. The game’s title and the game’s star rating.
When I’m shopping online, the most important thing I want to know when I see a product is how much it would cost. Look anywhere products are being sold online. You will always see a picture, a product name and a price.
By not showing me the price of their games, the Xbox Store is subconsciously telling their users that they are ashamed of their prices and need to hide them. This makes their users think: “I can probably find a better deal somewhere else!”
Poor Sorting Options
Another mystery of the current design of the Xbox Store is it’s near complete lack of sorting or curation. What’s currently available on the Xbox Store allows you to sort the games being displayed between 5 different options. This wouldn’t be as damning if the sorting options weren’t so weak.
You can filter by release date, most popular, best selling for the week and all-time highest rated. Filtering by release date is virtually useless. Unless you are trying to buy a handful of shaky launch titles from years past, you will really only be using the release date sorting tool for the newest games.
The problem here is that the Xbox Store lists games that won’t be out for years. So if you’re using the release date (newest first) filter, the current store will only show you what’s coming out years from now, nothing you can buy and play today.
The other problem with these sorting options is that the most popular, best selling and all-time rating sorting options have had the same handful of games on them for the past year. A couple games may be added and a couple games might fall off, but these slots stay the same for far too long to justify their existence.
The only products you sell online are the ones your customers add to their cart. This common sensical statement was not considered by the designers of the Xbox Store as there are no CTA’s to add anything to your cart. It’s mind boggling.
Microsoft is smart. Their designers and better and smarter than me. I have to believe that there is a reason they didn’t put any CTA’s on their Xbox Store homepage. Perhaps they would rather have the transactions on the Xbox Store taking place on an Xbox as opposed to a browser. I don’t know.
What I do know, is that as a user, this is another omission that drives me nuts. Can I buy things via the Xbox Store? Until I click on a specific product and am taken to it’s detail page I wouldn’t know!
My design for the site started by adding the information the site egregiously omitted, the price for the games and an add to cart button.
I also decided to take a crack at the organization of the homepage. The current site is a 5×4 grid with no separation. I took the same grid idea but added separation based on featured topics and added a scrolling feature to see more games for each section.
Finally, I decided to add some more relevant sorting options via a side nav
Let me know if you think my usability tweaks were improvements or fails! Thanks for reading!