Halo: The Master Chief Collection
A single user-experience uniting 10 years of gameplay for Microsoft’s most celebrated title, Halo.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Created for Microsoft, Xbox One

The Halo franchise is the cornerstone of Microsoft’s games division as one of the highest-grossing video games of all time. To create a highly-anticipated anniversary collection, there was a need to rationalize 10 years of the gameplay title as a single unified experience and interface. We created a strategy and designs informed by test-driven iterations to deliver a fast, intuitive method to play across titles while improving upon a rich history of complex user experiences.

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Three key pillars defined our strategy and aligned multiple user experiences - the ability to easily navigate across years of game titles, unifying narratives and mechanisms for discovery as well as online multiplayer gameplay across titles.

With each proposed solution needing to answer to these pillars, we constructed an iterative process that included rapid wireframing, styleguide-driven design, and animated prototypes.


Needs and Opportunities

Starting with a thorough audit of interaction flows and variables across game titles, we established a foundation to begin to construct possible outcomes and user journeys for the single unified experience. This practice also highlighted key areas of need to create continuity as well as opportunities to introduce new storylines and methods for deeper engagement.

Working from desired outcomes, we reworked potential userflows expressing the necessary steps of user interaction in each scenario.

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Controller-based Interaction

Controller-based user input created a need for a clear and non-intrusive selection patterns to get users into gameplay with the least amount of input required while maintaining the opportunity to dive in and customize their experience.

XBox Controller

With the objectives to simplify navigation and unify storylines, we refined and eliminated the possibilities to arrive at journeys specific to the single flow of a unified experience. Moving onto designing the user experience and interface, we had fully defined needs and opportunities to address.

Styleguide-driven Design

Delivering immediate value was imperative to the timeline and partnerships contingent on our work. By first defining and designing the primary elements of the interface, we created a working styleguide for our team and development teams to start using.

We continued to focus and iterate on the user experience and as a result, purposely further the design of the interface.

UI Highlights

Using Motion

Animation behaviors were defined throughout the design phase in order to create depth within design elements and develop visual consistency and hierarchy between states of the experience.


Rapid Insight

We relied on continuous user testing to gain rapid insights. For each round of testing we created high-fidelity animation prototypes for users to respond to the designs, interactions, and flows in motion.

It’s good to see how you’ve addressed some of the most confusing aspects of the Halo 4 UI, like the UI elements that constantly shift or even move off of the screen, making it difficult to know where to look or create a mental model of the UI. Visually, it’s looking great as well!
— User Research feedback excerpt
 

We applied these critical findings and feedback throughout the process of designing the user experience and interface to refine the designs to their final state.

Our work concluded with a seamless interconnection of gameplay across all titles, delivering designs for a unified interface paying homage to Halo’s legacy.

At a Glance

What it Was

An anniversary collection compiling 10 years of Microsoft’s best-selling game title for Xbox One presented as a single unified user experience.

What We Did

Strategy and user experience, art direction, interaction design, design, and animation guidelines.

Why it Worked

We designed an engaging and streamlined system to play across years of games with a consistent unified user flow and minimum input required from the user.