April 17, 2024

NYT Games debuts redesigned app to boost discovery and simplify navigation

A new redesign of the NYT Games app will make it easier for users to discover new games and monitor their progress. Nearly a year prior to the redesign, the New York Times renamed its games-oriented application “NYT Games” from “NYT Crosswords” in an effort to more accurately depict its expanding family of games. The organization is proceeding with the expansion of its gaming center with the redesign, which includes streamlined navigation and updated game card designs.

Jennifer Scheerer, director of product design for NYT Games, stated in an interview with TechCrunch that the organization redesigned the application to transform it from an initial crossword-only center to a central location for all of its games. As the organization incorporated an increasing number of games, the team determined that the previous iteration of the application had become excessively restrictive and needed to be modified to accommodate the expanding portfolio of games.

The redesign is intended to provide users with a more inviting and technologically advanced environment. The principal product designer at NYT Games, Lian Chang, stated to TechCrunch that the redesign is inclusive of both novice and veteran participants.

“We utilized a great deal of color so that new players could get a sense of the breadth of the games,” Chang explained. “The brand icons have been refined for enhanced clarity, and the typography has been simplified.” Thus, it should be possible for individuals visiting for the first time to locate the games they desire to play. Regarding those who have played a significant number of our games, we desired a more functional feel. The utilization of game cards on the feed facilitates the identification of games that have yet to be performed.

The game card displays the user’s progress the moment they begin a new game, facilitating the identification of previously completed conundrum tasks and indicating the current state of play. According to Chang, the redesigned game cards motivate participants to return to and complete a given game. The redesigned game cards were intended to be both functional and enticing for the purpose of discovery.

Additionally, the organization aimed to streamline navigation by consolidating its entire library of games, archives, and bundles into a single location, thereby facilitating users’ access to their preferred games.

“Before, the game primarily consisted of crossword puzzles, with the remaining activities resembling horizontal scrolling,” explained Scheerer. “Our objective is to provide a comprehensive inventory of all available games in order to facilitate the discovery of new titles rather than concealing them. This allows for the potential to enhance the ease of incorporating new games and expanding game features in the future.

The redesigned version of the application has only three options at the bottom, as opposed to the previous design’s five. Chang states that the group experimented with various tab configurations and quantities to determine which worked best. The team determined, after testing various alternatives, that in order to streamline the app’s homepage, only the “Games,” “Stats,” and “Leaderboard” sections would be present.

Personalized salutations are another element of the redesign, intended to establish a welcoming and cordial atmosphere for participants. The salutations exhibit diurnal variation and are contingent upon circumstances such as whether you commenced a game promptly in the morning or revisited it in the evening to engage in further gameplay.

Concerning the future, Chang and Scheerer state that they will continue to consider user feedback as the organization expands its gaming center, adding that the redesign is merely the start of the endeavors the Games team intends to undertake.