LaunchBox

Epic Games, 2020

LaunchBox is an Epic Games internal tool used to connect people to the Epic-supported software and tools that help in daily tasks.

This currently includes the “Dailies” tool, which is used to submit daily work, and the “Launcher” tool, used to launch Epic-supported software. Within LaunchBox, users can navigate between their projects and assets on the “context browser” page. A user’s context will determine which software and tools are visible, creating a tailored experience.

LaunchBox is an Epic Games internal tool used to connect people to the Epic-supported software and tools that help in daily tasks.

 My goal was to find out what time-sinks artists and producers were encountering in Launchbox and propose a design that made their workflow more efficient.

 

I took a three step approach to my research:

1.) Research similar tools to familiarize myself with competitor's interfaces
2.) Conduct user interviews and usability tests on Epic artists and producers to discover pain points
3.) Create a UX report to explain findings and propose solutions to the team
Competitive Analysis

For my competitive analysis, I collected a list of apps similar to LaunchBox and studied each to discover the major UX positives and issues. These apps included Ftrack, SideFX, Artella, Kraken and others.

sidefx.webp
artella.png
ftrack.png

I explored the apps through a variety of methods, including free trials, demo versions, and observing others use the software through online videos. I took note of commonalities between the software and read through reviews to see what users thought of the programs.

 

Unfortunately I cannot share my findings from this analysis for confidentiality reasons, but my research revealed key UI errors to avoid and some inspiration for new interface designs. I learned about what experts in the industry expect out of these apps and how to effectively meet their needs.

User Interviews and Usability Tests

I gathered six Epic Games employees who use LaunchBox or would soon. They had a variety of jobs, experiences with LaunchBox, and time spent at Epic Games. I arranged information about the users in a table similar to the one shown below.

Screen Shot 2021-03-22 at 7.58.51 PM.png

Before the user tests, I wrote a protocol and script to assure I would successfully gather the information I wished to gather from each interview.

 

My protocol for this test included a few steps: A brief interview for background information, an interview about LaunchBox experiences, and finally a usability test where users completed specific tasks in LaunchBox. All of the interviews were recorded and transcribed.

UX Report

After finishing the user tests, I synthesized all my findings in a UX report that I would send out to stakeholders.

Three Major

Goals of My

UX Report

1.) Communicate positive UX findings
2.) Describe UX issues, triaged as Critical, Medium, or Low priority
3.) Suggest solutions to UX problems

While the UX report remains confidential, I am pleased to share annotated before-and-after screenshots of LaunchBox's two main tools: the Launcher and the Dailies Tool. The first four annotated screenshots cover Launcher navigation and icon improvements, and the rest show the Dailies Tool functionality and experience design improvements.


These designs were created in collaboration with the Epic Games Pipeline team.

Launcher Home

Before

Thumbnail has a fixedaspect ratio, cuttingoff part of the image Link to view context externally(such as in Shotgun) is undiscoverable “Change context”icon often mistakenfor GPS or GoogleMaps icon Navigation buttonslack hover states Tool tabs are easily mistaken for buttons with unclear purposes
Launcher Home

After

Users can click arrow,thumbnail, projectname, or anywherein the header to getto context browser Thumbnail size is dynamicto show full image. Userscan mouse over for a full-sized view in a tooltip If the context source is Shotgun, then the link to view externally is the Shotgun logo Tool tabs are madeclear and distinctwith color changes and layered tab UI Navigation buttonshave hover states
Launcher Context Browser

Before

Title does not help theuser undertsand whatthey can do here It is unclear what a user can search for, and this search baris rarely used Helper text is in alocation where it iseasily overlooked An X button used toclear the search barappears before theuser starts to type An X could be mistakenfor a button to closeLaunchBox instead ofthe cotext browser
Launcher Context Browser

After

Helper text movedto top to be morediscoverable Title tells userswhat they can do Back button makes it clear how the user canreturn to the homescreen Changing the search icon to a filtericon and adding grey text helps the user know what the search barcan do The X will only appear after theuser starts typing
Dailies Media Submitter
5.png

Before

Notes can only betyped on one line Users did not realizethat the color indicateda required field and found the red color alarming It is unclear how to delete a row or add more media to thispage Task bar drop-downshows all tasks, pastand present, andrequires names to betyped fully andand exactly Rows must be filledout individually as there is no way to apply an input to morethan one row
Dailies Media Submitter

After

6_edited.png
Users can select morethan one row to applychanges to many submissions at once Multi-line notes arenow permitted Right-click presents the userwith new functionalities suchas copy, remove media, clear,open to preview, screenshot,and select folder Toolbar corresponds with theright-click functionalities and icons for ease in usability anddiscoverability Background icon letsthe user know that theycan still drag-and-dropto add more media Status color corresponds with colors used in Shotgun Required fields aremarked with a redtriangle, similar toa spreadsheet Submit button remainsinactive until all requiredfields are filled to preventconfusion about when themedia is ready to submit Task bar now filtersby tasks that arecurrently assignedto this user, and search bar does notrequire names tobe typed fully

Ready to launch into my other works?