Game Shop - Rapid Prototyping

Class Project at Stanford Continuing Education


What if virtual game nights were easy to plan, fun, and memorable? We used rapid discovery and experimentation to find a solution with both business and user value.

The Problem

In 2021, many people were isolated and separated from their loved ones, but had difficulty creating meaningful virtual experiences. Our project team was tasked with creating a COVID-safe offering for family connection. What could we do to make an event like family game night work when people can't gather in person?

Discovery Research

We started with user interviews  to understand the issues people were facing trying to set up virtual game nights. We discovered that people were frustrated by how long it took to organize the logistics (such as time, date, or platform) and the games chosen weren't necessarily the most fun for everyone.

Based on our findings, we proposed a platform that would serve as an all-in-one "game night concierge". If a family or group of friends signed up for the platform, they would be able to easily schedule games with each other. Users could also input their game preferences so that they get customized recommendations for what a group would enjoy playing. Finally, groups could play their games and video chat within the same platform, to make set-up a snap.

Screenshot from a google survey asking users how long it takes to plan game night and how convenient the process isThe webpage used for outdoor testing. On the left side of the page is a set of scrabble tiles spelling out "Stay Home" One the right side of the page is text that says "Connecting with friends and family can be hard. We can make it easier." Below is a description of GameShop and an email sign-up for those who are interested


We conducted both an indoor and outdoor test to test our hypothesis that our product would increase convenience and satisfaction among users.  

For our indoor test we used a "wizard of oz" method. For this test, we asked users to take a survey measuring their current satisfaction with setting up game nights as well as their gaming preferences. Using their preferences, we sent users recommendations for a suggested game night activity and then ask them to complete a post-survey.

Without any time or money spent on engineering, we were able to rapidly prove our hypothesis when we learned that users found our version of managing game night 35% more convenient and were 30% more satisfied with the games chosen that they had been before using our services.

For our outdoor test, I created a landing page and sign-up form for a smoke test. This allowed to us to observe actual user behavior and determine if there was real demand for our proposed product. During this phase, we achieve a conversion rate of 7.6% of site visitors requesting more information about the product, which further validated our concept.