Back to the new user experience

As I mentioned in the Global forum a while ago, we’re now back on working on the new user experience again. Someone naturally asked right away: Again? Didn’t you just do improvements to it?

Yes, we worked on improving the newbie experience last year, and it did have a positive effect on the stay rate among new users. But it’s still not good enough. And this is just so darn important to get right. For being able to grow the game, and to make any marketing of the game really effective.

Last time (and the times before that) we’ve mostly worked on improving what we’ve had, this time we’re doing something completely new. This new introduction is designed rather for people that may like a game like Hattrick, than the casual John Doe. With this I mean we strive to make the start of the game a lot more fun and interesting for that type of people rather than trying to make it as easy and “automatic” as possible.

This doesn’t mean it will be hard or so, but new users will have to make decisions already from the start. As it’s in the decision-making most of the fun is in my belief. Also, as part of this decision-making they get to form their own team, which I also hope will make users more instantly attached to their teams. Moreover, this way we also get a better chance to tutor new users and tell them what’s important in the game, one step at a time.

This game introduction will take place on a separate site/place, and before they even enter Hattrick for real. The first step (which is not that far from completed now) is a linear step by step introduction where users will first get to pick their coach. They get three coaches to choose from, where the only difference is the coaching style, off/def/neutral. After that they will get the pick their players (out of a pool of players), and then they will set their tactics (match order). One important thing with the players is that their not randomly created as in the past, they’re specifically tailored for this. Which means they don’t have any “bad skill combinations” for example, but more importantly it means we can offer a much better game help when it comes to telling what the different players are good at and what to think about.

When we’re done with this first step, we will release it and let some new users try it out. And when these users have done the above, they will enter the “real” Hattrick (and do the ordinary manager license). However, we will continue working with step 2 in this new intro.

In step 2, we will let users enter a tournament with four other new users after completing the coach/player picks and lineup settings. The tournament will have one match every day, and this will still take place on the same site “outside” Hattrick. Apart from that we will allow users to pick some few more players to completet their squad (it’s just something I find is a lot of fun), and naturally also start preparing them more about what will happen when they enter Hattrick for real. And when this newbie tournament is over, user can choose to either enter Hattrick for real or play another newbie tournament if they so wish.

With this second step we offer users a good entrance level and a chance to try the game out – and decide if this is something for them or not. And in the end, we’ll get more motivated and better educated users into Hattrick. This will also improve the “real” Hattrick for current users in lower divisions, as a team with an owner that only logged in once is just as boring to face as a bot. With this, we’ll get less such teams.

Overall with this new user introduction, we make a much more of a choice when it comes to choosing our users. We’ve chosen to make a design that will fit a gamer who may like a game like Hattrick, and with that we also know we will get less “casual” users. This should likely mean that less users actually will enter the game for real, but those who do will be more motivated and we’re confident we will have more staying new users after two weeks with this new intro than with the old one.

This was a short presention of the new introduction, and I think you get the picture. But this presentation can in fact be made even shorter: It’s how I would’ve wanted my start in Hattrick to be.