With the gaming industry booming year after year, it has become an attractive space for startups and entrepreneurs. As important as good product development is when launching a gaming platform, so too are brand identity and digital design. As the industry continues to grow ever more mainstream, good design practices will become increasingly important for new gaming companies to stand out in a saturated marketplace.
Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur planning to expand into the gaming space in 2024 or if you’re in the process of launching a gaming start-up, here are five crucial design practices to keep in mind when building your company website.
Accessible User Interface
The most effective gaming websites prioritise accessibility through a well-designed user interface. Clutter-free layouts, intuitive navigation, and a clear information hierarchy are essential for users to not just have a positive experience visiting your site but to also engage with your offering.
Steam, the digital distribution platform from Valve Corporation, provides a great example of accessible UI design. Its minimalist interface ensures easy navigation, allowing users to effortlessly choose from browsing games to accessing community features and managing and playing their libraries.
Engaging Visual Design
Another core part of ensuring a positive UX for your gaming website is engaging visual design. A visually appealing design contributes massively to positive user experiences, particularly one that features a cohesive brand presence, as it creates a strong first impression and enhances overall usability.
Discord, the communication platform well-utilised by the global gaming community, is a prime example. The platform’s main website features a modern, visually stimulating interface that resonates with and appeals to a gaming-centric audience — as well as being fluid and responsive across an array of devices. The use of the Discord brand’s thematic visuals, vibrant colours, and well-crafted illustrations further enhances the overall user experience.
So far, we’ve placed a bigger emphasis on the visual aspects of your gaming website, but web copy and content are just as crucial in ensuring impactful overall design. Even in the 21st century, content is still king, and written words can play a pivotal role in supporting business development goals by capturing user attention. Informative copy acts as a strategic tool, conveying essential information about gaming features, updates, and more. Resources like blog posts serve as dynamic channels for engagement by offering in-depth insights and educational content.
A great example of a gaming company utilising well-crafted content can be found in PokerStars Casino. This global online casino brand features a wealth of useful resources, such as articles on the mechanics of slot machines, to inform users about important aspects of the sector. In addition to educating players, such resources can also enhance SEO to boost organic discoverability.
Efficient Information Architecture
Navigating through a vast array of content and gaming titles requires a well-organised information architecture (IA). A good design process that centres on efficient IA from the outset will ensure that users can easily find everything that they’re looking for when visiting your site.
An example of efficient IA that really stands out is the one employed by Epic Games for the Epic Games store. This digital games marketplace could easily become overwhelming to users. However, the design team chose the most logical way to categorise games while still allowing windows for personalised recommendations. Finally, the UI of the store is clean and uncluttered, serving to encourage user exploration.
A Seamless Onboarding Experience
Gaming platforms, in particular, need a seamless onboarding experience. Successful web design, therefore, will ensure that the onboarding flow is clear, providing clear signposts to users on things like how to set up an account, game exploration, and platform features. Reducing bounce rates and encouraging user retention can be achieved with well-placed prompts and interactive tutorials that introduce users to the gaming ecosystem while allowing them to customise preferences.
Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s subscription service, is exemplary in considering the onboarding experience for new users. The platform’s design guides budding players through the onboarding process effortlessly, making it easy for them to understand subscription benefits, download games, and navigate the extensive library.