Research: Usability Testing
Design: UX/UI

Activision Blizzard is an interactive entertainment company that develops and publishes videos games to a network that spans 196 countries and attracts 500 million monthly users. When Activision wanted to develop the next-generation menu experience for their blockbuster franchise, Call of Duty, they came to us.

Keeping franchise game titles fresh is a major challenge for game studios. In Call of Duty’s case, the challenge in this first-person shooter game also included developing improved interaction methods for game character configuration that were easy to use for novice gamers, but more powerful for expert users.


Our goal was to increase ease of use, ease of learning and enhance the overall gameplay experience. To better understand how this could be done, we entered a discovery phase to investigate past Call of Duty titles’ user interfaces and menu systems. Several menu and shooter configuration concepts were then developed that focused on a preview-centric approach and introduced the notion of left and right controls for navigation.


Console gamers of varying ages and experience levels participated in usability testing in our usability labs in San Jose, CA. To replicate the experience gamers would naturally be in, we converted our usability lab into a living room and created a menu simulator for PS4 to drive the prototype version on a computer to allow participants to go through the design concepts as they would if they were at home.


The end solution significantly reduced the number of screens and button presses while effectively hitting our goals of ease of use, ease of learning and enhance the overall gameplay experience clicks. Research helped refine a design that made the process understandable for novice users while keeping expert gamers engaged. Aspects of our menu design have been adopted by the Call of Duty franchise and used by gamers around the world.

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