A Look at Pokemon GO Updates from a UX Perspective

By this time, you have probably heard of Pokemon GO, Nintendo and Niantic’s wildly popular mobile app that allows users to catch wild Pokemon using simple virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology. The application also allows you to battle your Pokemon in gyms where other users Pokemon reside.

Fans are curious about what changed in the recent 1.1.1 updates, so let’s go over the benefits and drawbacks of the new user interface.

#1: No More Step Tracker

The step tracker is referring to the amount of paw prints under each Pokemon in the nearby tab. A scale of one to three paw prints would dictate the distance of the Pokemon around you. All of the Pokemon listed were within a 150-meter radius from users. Players speculate the reason for removing this feature was due to the inaccuracy of the step tracker, which may be due to a larger issue.

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#2: Avatar is Now Customizable

One bonus to the new update is that a user can now fully customize your character, so if a user were one of the many players that picked “whatever” to just get into the game, she can now change that.

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#3: Hamburger Menu on Pokemon Detail Screen

One of the main user interface (UI) issues with Pokemon GO’s UI was the constant scrolling that needed to happen to trade undesirable Pokemon for “candy”. Inordinate amounts of candy are needed to get Pokemon closer to an evolution state and this is the main repeated action of the game. However, improvements still need to be made. The close out button lands directly over the evolution button, which forces users to be extra careful they don’t press it along with the power up button.

The scrolling issue may have been fixed by adding an awkwardly placed hamburger menu in the bottom right corner of the screen, but the favorites option has also been added to the menu making it redundant as the favoriting star already exists on initial load in the upper right-hand corner.

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#4: No More Battery Saver Mode

A major disappointment to many players who face battery issues with the game. Pokemon GO is constantly running a GPS API so it is a real battery suck. It seems that the battery saver mode was causing the app to crash, but many players would opt for intermittent app crashing if it meant that they could play twice as long.

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The Little Things

Other than minor typographical changes and performance fixes, the apps gameplay has not changed much.  Users look forward to expansions such as more interesting gym battle gameplay or allowing user-to-user interaction to occur with other players (i.e. Pokemon trading).

By | 2017-05-16T05:28:33+00:00 August 1st, 2016|Design|