Considering The Medium
Since the birth of OpTic Gaming in 2006, the organization and its members have used video to establish themselves as an esports powerhouse. The website should complement the content they create and not dictate it. Taking this into consideration, I needed to consider some challenges that came with video content:
- Page load time - Videos are large files and all users should be able to browse the site without worrying about it loading.
- 16:9 Aspect Ratio - Videos and their thumbnails are a specific shape, and dictating a new shape for thumbnails on the site would mean more work for the content managers.
All websites contain static content, though most also contain dynamic content. Whilst static content can, of course, be changed, dynamic content specifically refers to the parts of a website that the content manager updates. A good example for this is news articles.
Considering the purpose of the site, a reliable and valuable source of information is key. Dynamic content will typically be in reference to upcoming events or results from recent events. To establish OpTic as a source of news that users return to, it is important that information be clear and easy to find. To better facilitate the communication of information throughout the site, I started with the events page and built the following pages based on what I had learnt from this.
There are three types of events OpTic teams regularly compete in: online tournaments, online leagues, and LAN tournaments (Local Area Network / Offline). After listing the information users would need to know about each event type. Therefore I developed three layouts:
- League Matches: These are single “team vs team” events that take place regularly.
- Upcoming Tournaments: These are events consisting of multiple events against multiple teams over a short period of time. This promotes the event, and indicates how fans can spectate it.
- Past Tournaments: This summarises past tournaments, and the placement of the team.
It is likely fans will continue to consume content through video and social media. This means content will often reiterate or summarise videos. The site should help the article complement the video, if needed, and provide any relevant information that the video references.
Visitors to the site should understand how important each individual member is to the organization. The brand was, after all, built upon its members and their presence in the gaming community. This is why I decided to rethink the way most eSports organizations presented their teams and members.
Each team has its own page, and each player fills a considerable portion of the screen. Whilst many organizations strive to promote their own social media over its players, the OpTic brand isn’t JUST the official social media accounts, the brand consists of all its members and they take that in to consideration. Proving each of their members are esports celebrities in their own right further supports the brand.
I spent a lot of time considering the fans and the content, but OpTic Gaming is a business that operates to make money. The organization has a responsibility to its sponsors and partners.
OpTic already provides promotion through a variety of platforms where they communicate with their audience. Up until now, their website was not utilized to it’s full potential. I provided them with another avenue to promote their sponsors. Consequently this improves the service they offer current sponsors, and provides them with more to offer new ones.