The LEGO Ninjago kids-facing website required multiple updates over the course of 2 years. These updates consisted of site reskins to match the new TV season and product design guides as well as unique experiences such as the Ninjago Museum and gamification of the site to add interactivity and rewards for kids.
Role: User Experience and User Interface Design, Gamification Design, Brainstorming & Concepting, User Testing, Research and Development
In the Spring of 2016, LEGO Ninjago (the popular Cartoon Network Television Show and product line) launched an exciting new campaign for fans. Kids were asked to "Join the Wu-Cru" to sharpen their skills and harness the wisdom of the ninja. This global campaign was activated through messaging on packaging, a US mobile tour obstacle course, a YouTube short form content series and a web and mobile experience encourging kids to find thier inner ninja.
On this project the user experience design team worked closely with content strategy to develop an enticing training experience for the children users. These type of training exercises consist of LEGO building challenges, Quizes, Seek and Finds and game missions. Over the course of 2 weeks, we developed a fully functional prototype that included some more challenging user tasks (especially children aged 7-11) such as log-in and registration flows. The prototype was then tested at an International School in Vejle in a statistical usability test. Late in the design phase, we were challenged to add a 'Leveling Up' system that needed to be intuitive and meaningful for the young users.
To do this, we utilized the various ninja 'guis or outfits that had been used throughout the several seasons of the show to tell the story of level progression. We then devised a reward system that would tie in closely to the television show's emphasis of metals and gemstones to motivate users to stay engaged with the level up missions. This was then tested several times again prior to the product release.
By the end of 2016, the Wu-Cru experience had resulted in a 15% lift in site visitors and a 48% increase in users submitting LEGO creations in the site gallery.
This experience tied in very well to the wealth of content we had compiled into the museum by giving challenges to kids related to the museum.
The Museum provided deep dives in the different ninja and other characters from Ninjago as well as vehicles, weapons, and locations. A complete digital encyclopedia of Ninjago for kids to search through.
In the Fall of 2016, LEGO Ninjago launched an immersive new experience to accompany the "Ninjago: Day of the Departed" television special. The child users were welcomed into the haunted Hall of Villainy, where they were free to fly to each statue of the villains of season past as well as learning more about the mystical Yang Blade.
To achieve this enveloping experience, the user experience design team partnered closely with content strategy to storyboard this exciting video and html 5 mashup. Working with same studio responsible for the TV series, we storyboarded out a spirited first person video that allowed users to be pulled into the front doors of the Ninjago Museum and zoom from point to point. Additionally, the users were greeted with exclusive character info and facts that they could only learn about through this experience. For mobile, we developed a handheld specific experience that allowed users to access the same great content without the latency of loading a video file.
As part of this update to the skin of the site there were two experiences we had planned for the Ninjago page. One was a museum filled with an entire catalog of information from characters and vehicles to weapons and locations all related to the Ninjago TV show and sets. The other was a component of gamification to encourage kids to sharpen their skills and harness the wisdom of the ninja. I was tasked to conceptualize and create an image that teased what was to come to get kids excited for the upcoming season and updates to the site. I sketched out the idea of this master book of Wu's that contained the secrets of the Wu Crew. Then working with 3D specialists brought the image to life.v
When first starting on this project there wasn't a clear method of handing off site styles to the development team, which at the time was located in India. In order to make the process as seamless as possible I created a vertical web style guide that included all the details of the entire site for the reskin. This quickly became a standard practice for all the sites we created as it made the hand-off process much easier, with less questions being asked from developers, and less of a need for rounds of updates after the initial handoff.
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