Academicxs II

In 2016, Sioux Group created a game to solve the problem Santander was facing: the difficult to choose students for a scholarship exchange in Boston. After the success of the first edition, it was time to create the second one.

Some screens of the User Interface

The challenge

Santander was having trouble to choose the students that would earn the scholarship for their entrepreneurship exchange program. There were students that had to came back to Brazil because they realized that they didn't know English, for example. To solve this, Sioux Group created a game that would evaluate the students interested on the exchange program. The best students on our ranking at the end of the campaign would earn the scholarship.

The first edition of the mobile game Santander Academicxs went well (more details here). So, the question was: "what to do now?".

Image of some screens from the first edition of the game Santander Academicxs
From the first edition of Santander Academicxs: a beautiful mockup made with its screens.

What now?

Obviously the first thing to do was looking for what didn't work on the first edition. We collected some inputs from the students whom played it:

  1. Some of them were frustrated because they couldn't see which points were computed with all the details.
  2. We didn't represent all the ethnicities on our avatar constructor.
  3. People were angry because just Santander customers were able to play.

What to do?

Knowing the problems, we had to think about the improvements we needed to do. Beside the student's inputs, Santander didn't want the same structure for the game. The main assumption was that the game was not talking to its public. The illustrations were too childish and the tasks on the game wasn't so clear.

Thinking about methodology, one of the mistakes from the first edition was the fact that we left the main activity screens to be worked on the final of the project, when the team were already tired and with less energy to contribute. For the second edition, we wanted to start by those most important screens.

My role

I was working on this project as the UX/UI Designer, on a team composed by a Project Manager, a UX manager, two Illustrators and a multidisciplinary DEV team. I was responsible from the wireframe to the final interface and prototyping, colaborating with the whole project, though.

Image of the information architecture.
The first version of the information architecture, made by the UX Manager.

Hands on

After the first inputs, we turned some problems into features to the game:

  1. To resolve the problem of students whom couldn't see their detailed points, we had the idea to create a dashboard, where everything would be described.
  2. As people were angry that only Santander customers could play the game, we unlocked the first ten stages to everybody (but it was very important that we assure that people would be informed since the beginning that after this, just the Santander customers could continue).

To resolve the problem of lack of ethnicies, the illustrators worked to find a way to represent everyone on the avatar constructor.

Six illustrations of avatars created with our avatar constructor tool on the game
When you create an avatar constructor, it is important to ensure that people can see themselves on it. Made by the illustrators, not by me, of course.

Working as an agency

As we were working in a traditional agency model, the client was expecting a big package of deliverables. That's not the way I like to work the most, but we have to adapt ourselves to these situations.

We had to draw the whole platform in wireframes. As there were some points that was difficult for us to decide without the clients, we took those points to discuss on the presentation.

4 screens of the wireframe, with descriptions about them above each one.
That's how we presented the wireframes (obviously just one slide here). Good pitch + detailed explanations on the presentation.

That's the old-fashioned way of working: a long pitch and a document to show the clients. That document had to be very detailed, because it would go through many hands before the final approval.

Also, because of this, we created interactive wireframe prototypes that could explain better how we were thinking each part of the project.

Pixel by pixel

Creating the interface with the approval of the whole wireframe document was easy. It just took one week to finish everything. The work with the illustrators was balanced so we could end together and deliver the whole experience to the client.

Also, during our journey we shared a lot of insights, as we were working very closely that month.

8 screens from the final interface.

As the objective was to ensure that the students could have a great experience through the campaign, the experience was being shared by social media. It was fun to see how people engaged. I hope that the winners could have a great experience in Boston :)

Facebook post from Santander, announcing the 30 scholarship winners. People whom won commenting "Partiu Boston", which means "Going to Boston".

What we learned

As many projects we do in agencies, the deadline we had was very short. Obviously, that was not an excuse to "forget" our users during the middle/end of the project. Usability testings would be great there, as we spend a lot of time trying to create the solution without an input from a real user.

Also, we had some trouble with the development that could be sorted out if we had a developer in our squad, since the beginning.

On the media

Academicxs Game 2.0: game dá como prêmio bolsa em universidade dos EUA

Catraca Livre:
Programa dá como prêmio bolsas de estudo nos EUA com tudo pago

13 motivos para não visitar Boston jamais

Correio Brasiliense:
Jogo premia estudantes com bolsas de estudos nos Estados Unidos

Other projects

illustration of a person doing an usability test


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illustration of the Farol Santander building

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Recreating the history.