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Emet

Interactive Visual Novel

Emet

Personal Project · 2021

​Overview

Working

Prototype

Created in Adobe XD, over the course of 

2 weeks.

Working

Prototype

Created in Adobe XD, over the course of 

2 weeks.

In Progress

Detailed case study coming soon

|Project Details

Emet (stands for truth in Hebrew) is a 2D Horror Visual Novel based on the Dunning Kruger effect, with the gameplay representing one's journey into the depths of knowledge.

This is a story of how I came up with the idea behind Emet and designed a fully-functional interactive prototype. 

Team            Myself (UX/UI)

                   Alexis H. (UX)

                   Niah R. (UX)

Tools            Adobe XD

                   Figma

                   Illustrator

                   Premiere Pro

 

Challenges   Accessibility

                   2-week deadline

                   Creating a one-minute advertisement deliverable

Impact          Won the "Delightful Design Award" out of 70+ projects

                   Chosen as exemplary work for future groups

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

|Background

QR  code menus are digital menus that are accessible for restaurant-goers through their devices after scanning a QR code. QR-code menus are known to reduce printing costs, modernize the dining experience, and generate easily sharable digital menus.

Besides allowing clients to design responsive QR code menus, QR Menu's menu-building platform also allows menu customization, access to valuable analytics, and ordering QR code stickers.

|Project Goals

My high-level goals were to design a thought-provoking horror game centered around the Dunning-Kruger Effect as a way of practicing and learning how to use XD's tools. Specifically, I wanted the game to make use of the auto-animate tool in Adobe XD and have a fully functional prototype ready in 7 days, with a simple yet intriguing 2D aesthetic.

 

The project's scope was to conduct minimal market research, create wireframes, and design a high-fidelity prototype.

|My Design Process

I set a personal 7-day deadline and followed the design thinking process. However, since this was a shorter project that did not require as much research, I put less emphasis on that stage. User testing was also limited, with users not having problems with the game's interface (due to its simplicity) but feeling like the story was cut short. Thus, possible iterations could simply include adding new features/continuing the story.

My design process for this project is shown below:

Chapter 1 & 2

Research + Synthesize

|Inspiration

 

I was highly inspired by an award-winning 2D side-scroller game called Limbo (originally released for Xbox 360). The game follows an unknown boy who wakes up at the edge of hell and is continuously hunted by mysterious monsters while navigating through a dark and hostile environment. Limbo's minimalistic design and eerie, atmospheric sounds have captured my attention since childhood. Thus, I decided to research Limbo and its target demographic to understand who my audience might be.

|Secondary Research & Opportunity Areas

After watching multiple gameplays, looking through reviews on Reddit, and reading articles about Limbo, I found a consistent pattern - most players did not care about the gameplay as much as they cared about the "eerie atmosphere it [the game] creates using its monotone art style and impeccable sound design" (in the words of a Reddit user). When discussing the gameplay itself, most complimented its simplicity, praising the game's physics.

Some of Limbo's notable features (which are also opportunity areas for my game) include:

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

To match the graph, the game should have 3 different environments/levels:

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

|Storyboard

 

The game follows one's journey through the Dunning Kruger Effect graph, with the game's environment designed like the graph's shape/features. The player's goal is to seek the truth after losing all of their memories.  Along the way, they are presented with various dilemmas and encounter unusual characters until meeting their bitter end in the valley of despair. Since this is a prototype, the game ends in the valley of despair. I am currently working on a version that includes the entire graph and resolves with a happier ending.

The storyboard can be seen below (visuals were added after the prototype was complete):

Conclusion

|Challenges and Lessons

 

The main challenge I encountered was the limited ability to use the auto-animation tool. This forced me to change a lot of my pre-planned screens and required me to triple their amount. As a result, this project was a lot more time-consuming than I anticipated.

I also realized that the sound feature in XD is still in development stages, which required me to record the gameplay and add sounds manually using a sound library as well as my own composition skills. The sounds ended up bringing the game to life, bringing it very close to my initial vision.

|Sketches

 

Once we figured out the app's main features, I began coming up with ideas for the UI. Due to the approaching deadline, we did not create a paper prototype and had to go straight into making a high-fidelity one. 

Here are some quick wireframes of the home screen, as well as the search and the profile screens:

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

|What's Next

I had no idea I could create something like this, and this process taught me a lot of valuable lessons about XD as well as UI design in general. I would love to complete the game for future versions and allow the player to achieve a happier ending. This would require me to add the Slope of Enlightenment level and provide more detailed alternatives instead of restarting the game if the player chooses the wrong option. I would also like to make this a 2D side-scroller game and provide the player with more freedom. 

|Concerns and Potential Solutions

 

Due to the 2-week deadline, we had to make a lot of compromises and give up on features that would improve the users' experience. Below are some of Fentra's existing flaws, with potential solutions. 

  • Concern #1: How can Fentra guarantee the safety of its users and protect them from fake meetups?

  • Potential Solution: A panic button should be integrated into Fentra's system, as well as a "report" option.

  • Concern #2: What about people who don't like mobile photography?

  • Potential Solution: Expanding Fentra's services to include other activities such as cooking and even exercising together.

  • Concern #3: How do I know that people are not lying about who they are?

  • Potential Solution: A future version of the app could have an age verification tool that would ensure the age and identity of Fentra's users.

  • Concern #4: What about people with mobility issues?

  • Potential Solution: Unfortunately, the only solution to this would be creating/joining meetups as nearby as possible.

  • Concern #5: How should I use the app if I have bad eyesight and can't read the text?

  • Potential Solution: For those with partial vision impairment, a possible feature would be a font-resizer, which would allow users to increase the app's font size.

|Future Product Features

 

Below are features that would resolve some of Fentra's remaining pain points and improve the user experience.

|Thanks For Reading!

Team             Myself (UX/UI, Sound Design)

Tools             Adobe X

                    Photoshop

                    Illustrator

                    PowerDirector

Challenges    Limited animation
                    Short Timeline
                    No way of adding sounds

 

Duration        7 days

Impact         Successfully completed the prototype

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

Fentra

Info200 · 2021

Detailed case study

coming soon

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

|Visual Design

 

I wanted to go with a minimalistic aesthetic inspired by Limbo. I also wanted it to be simple due to the limited timeline. Thus, I decided to go with a stick-figure-like character design, which is extremely easy to manipulate but also looks pleasing. Below you can see the initial concept vs. the (almost) final one.

|Main Pain Point

Limbo's main pain point is a lack of a well-established story, as some users noted the gameplay felt like it kept going with no purpose, referring to it as more of a piece of art. Unlike Limbo, I wanted to make storytelling the focus of my game, and the main way to engage players. 

 

The next step was planning the game's mechanics and developing its concept.

|Project Details

QR Menu is an online menu-design platform that allows restaurant owners to design a scannable QR-powered digital menu. However, despite its high SEO ranking, the platform was not attracting enough clients, as most would leave during the onboarding process.

This is a story of how I redesigned QR Menu's onboarding experience to increase the number of clients who complete it.

Please note that the project is still in progress.

|Additional Requirements

 

After I finished the heuristic evaluation, my PM let me know that there are a few guidelines that the new onboarding process has to follow:

  • It needs to function as a "product demo" without the need of signing up

  • It needs to give users an overview of the platform's main tools

  • There should be a phone wireframe on the side of the screen that visualizes every step

  • The users should be urged to sign up after completing the onboarding process

|Additional Requirements

 

After I finished the heuristic evaluation, my PM let me know that there are a few guidelines that the new onboarding process has to follow:

  • It needs to function as a "product demo" without the need of signing up

  • It needs to give users an overview of the platform's main tools

  • There should be a phone wireframe on the side of the screen that visualizes every step

  • The users should be urged to sign up after completing the onboarding process

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

​Problem Statement:

 

Loneliness is a self-observed state, which can hurt one's emotional, as well as physical well-being. Loneliness is most prevalent among women over-50 and is expected to increase by 49 % in that age group by 2025.

Fentra combats the problem of loneliness among older women by providing them with a safe environment to form meaningful connections with each other through practicing mobile photography as a hobby. 

The complete research can be found here

|Why Visual Novel

While I wanted Emet to be a 2D side-scroller, I was limited by the use of Adobe XD and the 1-week deadline. Thus, I decided to make Emet a visual novel clicking game for PC that, unlike Limbo, is less about fighting monsters and solving puzzles and more about the story. I also could only make limited use of the auto-animation tool, which allowed only one animation per screen. However, since this is an initial prototype, I plan to make a future side-scroller version of Emet, enabling the player to move freely throughout the environment. 

The current version's sole mechanic includes clicking and rare uses of keyboard arrows and Enter. The game is mainly made of dilemmas, with the user choosing what to do from two possible options. The wrong choice leads to restarting the game.

|Concept Development

The Dunning Kruger Effect is a type of cognitive bias, which alleges that people with low abilities tend to overestimate themselves. A graph famously portrays this, showing people's level of confidence in their knowledge the more they learn about a particular subject. Notice how people with low abilities tend to think they are experts early on. However, only those who avoid the illusion of Mount Stupid's peak are the ones who can actually reach the truth (enlightenment).

|Flowchart

 

After creating the storyboard, I wrote a detailed script and mapped the screens. I ended up using 227 screens instead of the initial 60 screens I counted, as every single transition/animation required a new screen.

 

I also created a flow chart to visualize the gameplay and make sure that it made sense. I divided it into two parts, Mount Stupid and The Valley of Despair.

Below is the flow chart of part I, click here to view both parts.

Part I Mount Stupid

|Final Gameplay

 

This is a full gameplay video, showcasing the prototype. The sound effects were added in post-production, as the original game is silent, due to the lack of sound in Adobe XD. 

While I recommend watching the gameplay video with sound, the (silent) interactive prototype is available here.

|Game Poster

 

I made a 3D poster concept in Photoshop.

|Color Palettes & Typography

Chapter 3

Ideation

Chapter 4

Prototype

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