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How To Create An eSports App User Interface?

eSports is set to become one of the biggest gaming industries in the world.

Believe it or not, but one day all the sports that we currently watch live today, we will be watching as eSports!

When it comes to designing your own eSports site or app, an elegant yet effective user interface (UI) is the key to the success.

If you are planning to launch that next killer eSports app, you are likely wondering how to create an eSports app user interface. That‘s exactly what I will explain here.

Contents

A brief introduction to eSports
The growing market of eSports
Examples of popular eSports
Popular eSports apps
Importance of the eSports app UI
Creating an eSports app user interface
Have a great eSports app idea?

A brief introduction to eSports

“Electronic sports”, or eSports as we commonly refer to them, are video games played in front of an audience. The following distinct characteristics of eSports are worth noting:

  • These are multiplayer games played on computers, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices.
  • Various tournaments and leagues characterize eSports.
  • Individual participation as well as team participation are possible.
  • Large amounts of prize money, sponsorship deals, endorsements, as well as the prestige associated with winning popular championships make eSports highly lucrative to players.

I have explained eSports earlier in “10 ways blockchain will revolutionize the eSports industry”.

The growing market of eSports

The following statistics illustrate the popular appeal of eSports:

  • Worldwide revenue from eSports was $865 million in 2018, however, it will likely reach $1.79 billion in 2022. That‘s an impressive 22.3% CAGR, as this Statista report confirms.
  • Another Statista report shows that globally, there were 395 million eSports viewers in 2018, however, this figure is expected to reach 644 million in 2022.
  • eSports is seeing some really large investment deals. For e.g., in March 2018, Vision eSports received $32 million in investment. There are more examples which you can read about in “eSports graduates to the big leagues”.

Examples of popular eSports

There are several extremely popular eSports that attract the majority of fans. Ranking eSports by their prize pool is an established method to gauge their popularity. You can read a detailed analysis of popular eSports in “Top 5 largest eSports games & their prize pools”, which lists the following eSports as the most popular ones:

  • “Defence of the Ancients 2” (Dota 2);
  • “Counter-strike: Global offensive”;
  • “League of legends”;
  • “Heroes of the storm”;
  • “Call of duty: Infinite warfare”.

Popular eSports apps

Before creating an eSports app UI, you should review a few popular eSports apps for inspirational ideas. Check out the following apps:

  • Twitch: It‘s not just a popular eSports app, it‘s also a very popular video streaming platform. Twitch has web, Android and iOS apps. It has a user-friendly UI, and its search function is great.
  • Strafe: Focused on eSports, Strafe provides excellent up-to-date eSports information. In addition to the web, there are Android and iOS apps for Strafe. Its user-friendly UI lets users control their eSports-viewing experience.
  • theScore eSports: Originally a sports information service, this company launched its eSports-specific app in 2015. They cover popular eSports, and provides comprehensive information, much like Strafe. They have web, Android, and iOS apps, and their UI is appealing yet simple.

Read about popular eSports apps in “5 best eSports apps”.

Importance of the eSports app UI

While eSports is a rapidly growing segment within the gaming industry, it’s also a highly competitive one. Your app needs a great UI for the following reasons:

  • You need to capture users‘ attention in the first few seconds, which is crucial to retaining their custom. Studies have shown that a good UI is key here.
  • The app needs to retain customers, and that‘s only possible if the UI is intuitive to use.
  • Mobile and web apps are “Systems of Engagement” (SoEs), requiring frequent enhancements. These enhancements are results of customer feedback, and only engaged customers provide feedback. A captivating UI is crucial for customer engagement.
  • Despite your best efforts, your app will likely need one or two areas of improvement, post release. That‘s natural in any software application system. A great UI keeps your customers engaged, therefore, they will be willing to initially overlook such minor issues. This gives you the time required to improve the app as you go along. But never forget, constant improvement is a MUST!

Read more about the importance of a great mobile app UI in “The significance of mobile app UI/UX design in app development”.

Creating an eSports app user interface

Let‘s now go through the best practices to create a great eSports app UI:

1. Reduce the cognitive load for the user

Your eSports app users will use brain power when they interact with the app. This is called “Cognitive load”. The human brain can only carry out a limited number of tasks within a short span of time, therefore, the UI needs to be as simple and straightforward to operate as possible

If the app provides a high amount of information within a short burst of time, for example, then that could exert too much load on the users‘ brain. They might abandon the app if they feel overloaded. Reduce the cognitive load when designing the UI. Read “Cognitive load and mobile UX design: how to make a user less overwhelmed” to learn more about cognitive load.

2. Avoid cluttering the UI

Cluttering the eSports app UI will have adverse impacts:

  • This overloads the users with information.
  • Unnecessary buttons, images, and icons increase the complexity of the screen.
  • Cluttering impacts the UI of web apps, and the adverse impact is compounded in mobile apps due limited screen space.

Keep the following guidelines in mind when designing the UI:

  • Limit the amount of content you present. As a rule of thumb, show only the information that users need.
  • Ensure that you use fewer interface elements. This will give a feeling of comfort to users.
  • As the user goes along with the app, progressively present more content.

Read “10 do‘s and don‘ts of mobile UX design” to learn why you should avoid cluttering the UI.

3. Offloading user tasks

Review your app features well, and identify where users need to put in additional effort. For e.g., they might need to enter data, or make decisions regarding purchase options etc. Try to offload more complex or repetitive tasks by providing practical alternatives such as storing form data etc.

Some data entry can be avoided by using information already available. In some cases, users may have already entered the required data, and you should try to reuse that automatically. Read “Low-hanging fruits for enhancing mobile UX” to understand why offloading tasks can be important in UI design.

4. Making tasks manageable

Tasks with multiple steps and instructions are hard to action when using a mobile app. The screen is small, moreover, users often use smartphones with one hand. Complex tasks often cause users to abandon the app.

Take the example of in-app purchases in an eSports app. This will involve a check-out that is similar to those that eCommerce apps require. This means that they break down the task into smaller subtasks, which are more manageable. But these tasks take time to complete. Read more about this best practice in “How to improve your UX designs with task analysis”.

5. Using familiar screens

With such regular usage, mobile app users are now ‘normalized’ in regards to interacting with smaller screen functions. A few examples are “Getting started” and “Search results”. Users can find these automatically, without much thought. Using familiar designs helps mobile users to become comfortable with new apps much more quickly.

For your eSports app UI design, consider which UI features will be familiar to existing Sports viewers. Study other eSports apps like Strafe, and use commonly used features in your UI. Read “A comprehensive guide to mobile app design” to learn more about this best practice.

6. Limiting the data entry effort on the part of users

As I have pointed out and you no doubt already know, data entry on small mobile screens can be hard. An effective UI for your eSports app should make data entry as simple as possible for users. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Eliminate all unnecessary fields. Remember that the forms in the UI should only have absolutely required fields.
  • Use “input masking” technique, which automatically formats the text as the user enters the input data. The mask appears on the field only when a user focuses on that field. This technique helps users to enter data correctly, moreover, it alerts users in case of data entry errors. Read more about this technique in “Best practices for mobile form design”.
  • Use features like autocomplete to your advantage.
  • Validate fields dynamically, so that users don‘t need to go back to a field where they have previously already entered data.

7. Using visual weight for important elements

Your eSports app will have different elements on the UI, and each will have different degrees of importance. Your objective is to engage the user with the most important feature, therefore, users should be able to easily identify what that is on the UI.

You should provide the maximum visual weight for the most important element in the UI. This helps users to focus on the most important action. Read about the importance of visual weight in “5 app design tips for a better UI & UX (+how to effectively use design systems)”.

8. Designing an effective mobile navigation menu

Users need a simple and clear navigation menu, however, it should suit the functionality of the app. You should study mobile navigation menu patterns, as follows:

  • Hamburger menu;
  • Tab bar;
  • The “Priority +” menu;
  • Using “Floating Action Buttons” (FABs):
  • Full-screen navigation;
  • Gesture-based navigation.

Consider these menu patterns carefully, and choose an appropriate pattern for your eSports app. You can read “Mobile navigation menu examples” to learn more about these patterns.

9. Choose the right color scheme for the UI

A mobile app UI should use colors that are attractive for users, however, the color scheme should match the nature of the app. Expert UI designers have come up with several color schemes for mobile app UIs, and you should study them carefully before choosing one. Review the following color schemes:

  • Minimal color usage with focused palettes;
  • High-contrast colors;
  • Subtle colored shadows;
  • Bright colored iconography;
  • Pastel, muted colors;
  • Confining the choice of colors to black, white, and grey;
  • High-contrast, complimentary gradients;
  • Colorful illustrations.

Our guide “8 trends in mobile app color schemes” can help you to understand each of these schemes better so that you can choose the appropriate one.

10. Follow platform-specific design guidelines

Android and iOS vary greatly, and each platform has its design guidelines. When designing the eSports app UI, be sure to follow the platform-specific guidelines, as follows:

11. Design attractive yet easy-to-use icons

Mobile apps need to use icons since the screen space is limited. Your eSports app UI will also need to use icons for key features. The UI design team should use established best practices for icon design, which are as follows:

  • Exercise restraint in design.
  • Use recognizable patterns of icons, since these help users to quickly understand the functionality.
  • Mobile app icons should be easy to remember so that users can easily find them during subsequent use.
  • Study other eSports apps like Strafe and take icon design ideas from them.
  • Use the right tools for icon design, e.g., Adobe Photoshop.
  • Remember to keep the design simple.
  • Design icons so that they look good on screens of different size.
  • Icons should not look out of place with the overall UI design. Consistency in design is important.
  • Check Android and iOS platform-specific guidelines for mobile app UI icons. They vary on a number of aspects.
  • Different screens of your eSports app will likely have different backgrounds. The icons you design should look good on all of these backgrounds.
  • An eSports app will need to stream video. The triangle symbol is very commonly associated with the “Play” feature of video/audio streaming apps. You should use a variation of the triangle, but not something else. The association of the triangle with the “Play” feature is so strong that users will intuitively recognize it. This is one example, and there are other such associations between icons and functionalities. Use such associations when designing icons.
  • An icon will be small, and that‘s the very reason you are using one. You can‘t fit too many text labels since the mobile screen is small. Now, if you use too many illustrations within an icon, they will most likely not be legible. Limit illustrations when designing icons.

Read more about these guidelines in “How to design the perfect icon for your mobile app?”.

Have a great eSports app idea?

You have a great eSports app idea and so you are planning a costly design and development project.

While the above tips will help you with the UI design, it‘s still a very complex project.

You will also need to develop the app, which will also have its fair share of complexities.

It is for this reason that we suggest that you consider engaging a professional software development company. You can read more about this in our guide “How to find the best software development company?”.

Best of luck with your eSports UI design project!