NVIDIA GEFORCE EXPERIENCE REDESIGN

 
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Overview:

This was a project from HCI Spring 2019, where I evaluated and redesigned a program used for downloading drivers and tweaking graphics settings for Windows PC video cards. This program also contains features such as desktop streaming, capturing video, downloading drivers, and This piece is important as a human factors student because this project goes through the entire design cycle.


Problems with the Current Design:

There were two main problems with the GeForce Experience’s current (at the time of writing) design.

One was that after an update, users could no longer use the program without logging in with an online account first, blocking access to graphics optimization and driver tweaks when not connected to the internet, or when Nvidia’s servers are unavailable. This was an update which upset many users (and which I confirmed through a qualitative interview of users).

The second main problem was that the Nvidia control panel, used as a program to modify the hardware settings of your video card, was tied to GeForce experience in the system tray, but was its own separate program. Because tweaking graphics card settings for games was already part of GeForce experience, I found that it would be best to integrate Nvidia Control Panel with GeForce Experience in order to have a more cohesive and less redundant program package.


Front-End Analysis:

I began the project by first performing a front-end analysis, where I identified the target users (PC gamers), conducted an informal qualitative survey, and created three personas and three scenarios which bring them to life, assisting me in the process of gathering requirements and in creating my prototypes.


Requirements:

  • Option of creating a local account for users, which removes the mandatory online login to use features such as desktop capture, streaming, using automatic graphics optimization, and downloading and installing drivers

  • Making the settings easier to find in general

  • The ability to change the settings of the “share (streaming)” desktop overlay, without having to first launch the overlay itself

  • Clearly show if the games installed on the current PC can be optimized on the “HOME” tab of the program (it was not salient enough)

  • Make games you mark as a favorite easier to access, instead of having to navigate through the favorites filter to access these games,

  • Move the program NVIDIA Control Panel into NVIDIA GeForce experience.


Prototypes:

The resulting prototypes were a mixture of low and high fidelity. While designing for the main problem of currently requiring an online account to access the program, my proposed redesign is simple: adding a “skip” option on the login screen gives users the option to use a local account instead, giving the users with privacy concerns or those who do not like the idea of an always online program an alternative method of accessing the program. The online account option is also still an option.


Redesign of the HOME Tab:

As for the redesign of the HOME tab of the program, there were issues users addressed involving the saliency of alerts telling you that your current graphics settings for a given game are not optimal. The way the HOME tab is laid out is there are multiple rectangles consisting of the game’s name and cover art in a tile format. These represent all of the games currently installed on the hard drive. Before, there was only a small, grey circle with a line through it on the top left corner of the game’s cover art if the game was unoptimized. Now, I replaced this circle with a red exclamation point, while making a green checkmark in the top left corner of the game’s cover art if the game is optimized for your system.


Redesign of Accessing Favorites:

I also did a small redesign of accessing favorite games. Before, all of your favorite games can be filtered out from the main tiled list of your currently installed games by a few clicks, but I made a small tweak and simply put the games marked favorites in their own section first, before the rest of the main tiles.

 

Redesign of the SETTINGS Menu:

Another element I redesigned was that the settings for the desktop overlay was located in the overlay itself, while settings for other parts of the program were in its own section under your user account. I solved this issue by moving all of the settings into its own tab called “SETTINGS”, including a sub-tab for the Control Panel program, also remedying the other main issue with GeForce Experience, which was the disjointedness of having another program just for driver level tweaks, when it can have its own section in GeForce Experience.

I also demonstrated how I changed the outdated look of the NVIDIA Control Panel so that it fit seamlessly into GeForce experience, without overloading the user’s cognitive limits.


Evaluation:

I evaluated my prototypes by utilizing the nine usability principles in Nielsen and Molich’s work: having a simple and natural dialog, speaking the user’s language, minimizing the user’s memory load, consistency, feedback, clearly marked exits, good error messages, preventing errors, and help/documentation. I also completed a task analysis comparing the amount of time it took for someone to access a favorite game using the program before, and how long it took after my redesign.