The Sims FreePlay: UX & Visual Design
Much of my work on The Sims FreePlay (2014 - 2018) consisted of translating high-level conceptual requirements into engaging, intuitive and innovative user experiences for a wide range of mobile devices.
I began by outlining the UI requirements needed for each particular feature, and sketched up the initial wireframes. I created flows and clickable prototypes to demonstrate the desired player-experiences to other team members (in order to align our goals and facilitate the development process). Once everything was approved, the final step was to actually build the layouts and create the relevant 2D assets.
My work entailed daily collaboration with our Software Engineers, the Game System Designers, the Production Team, as well as the rest of the UI Team, in order to develop and implement elegant, user-centered solutions.
The Christmas update is always one of the most important updates of the year, and so a lot of work goes into creating fresh, exciting player experiences for the lead-up to Christmas each year.
The Pregnancy Update
The ability to have visibly pregnant Sims characters was the single most requested feature of the game's first six years.
We worked for months to create an engaging playing experience that would adequately reflect a real-world pregnancy, by displaying the Sim character's journey in the UI throughout their three trimesters, along with a clear overview of the sheer amount of new related content that they would be able to unlock along the way. I was responsible for all of the UI for this feature, which was iterated upon several times after each set of user testing. It is always a great challenge to seamlessly integrate new features in this game, as there is such a massive amount of existing legacy content.
While we had always had careers as part of the game from its inception, players had for a long time requested the ability to follow their Sims to work and to continue to play with them there. As a result, we created interactive work locations, as well as a range of new professions - each with varying job specialisations. The UI needed to have a clear overview of not just each Sim's specialisations and promotions, but also of the player's inventory, the resource exchange, as well as the various upgrades to each work station around the workplace.
Single Player Live Events
These Live Events are the highest-return and highest-engagement system in The Sims FreePlay. We took a relatively successful multiplayer system, and turned it into a highly successful single player system, based on our player's feedback. The UI features an overview of the player's progress, as well as all the content they have yet to unlock.
Each Live Event has a different theme. The images shown to the left are from the Wedding Event, called "Wedding Belles".