Project: Belong Gaming
iOS and Android App For A Streamlined Booking Process
Belong Gaming is one of the world’s fastest growing esports arena and software infrastructure companies. They bring together gamers of all ages and skill levels in physical arena spaces with the latest and greatest gear and online games across the US, UK and beyond with their products and services spanning 5 continents (at the time of writing)! Gamers can connect with their local communities at the arenas by watching their favorite teams compete in custom viewing areas, playing with friends on top-spec PCs and consoles, joining and practicing with esports teams in Pro Rooms (including participating in nationwide tournaments), and meeting other members of their local arena squad at curated community events. Their arenas offer a wide range of formats for gameplay, such as couch play with consoles for groups, tabletop play for board games and trading card games, individual game stations with high-performance PCs for online gaming, and studios for streaming gaming sessions via Twitch, Youtube & other online platforms.
Belong Gaming came to us before opening their first arena in the United States looking to create mobile apps that would improve their guest’s booking experience. With the ambitious goal of opening 500 arenas around the United States over the next five years, these mobile apps would need to connect to the company’s larger product and engineering infrastructure and scale efficiently as they add arenas over time. The focus of this project was to ideate, design, and build a mobile booking experience for Belong Gaming that gets gamers to arenas, improves their in-arena experience, maximizes game play time and increases staff efficiency inside physical arenas.
- UX/UI Design
- Native iOS App Development (Swift)
- Native Android App Development (Kotlin)
The solution? Native mobile apps for Android & iOS that allow users to create, manage and share bookings in real time.
Rather than leaving guests to approach arena staff to create bookings, check in on remaining time in their session, or request extension of their session, our goal was to create effective mobile apps that streamline the guest experience with simple management of bookings, notifications for time remaining on a booking, and an easy way to extend time for an ongoing session. While the mobile app shares many features with the Belong Gaming website and web app, there are several features that are unique to the mobile apps, especially those centered around the in-arena guest experience, highlighted below.
Mobile Optimized Booking Management
One reason that mobile apps are preferred by mass users is there is more opportunity to optimize the experience for use on a mobile device rather than a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile website. Our team worked in tandem with Belong’s backend engineering and web development teams on this shared feature to optimize UX/UI designs around creating a new booking, changing existing bookings, canceling bookings, and completing bookings for both membership users and single-session users.
The session timer is a unique feature to the Belong Gaming mobile applications that allows guests at arenas to view how much time they have left in their session. The timer has a modal feature where the guest can see a countdown on the homescreen of their mobile device while they’re in the arena rather than stepping away from their gaming computer to consult staff regarding their remaining session time.
Guests are able to extend bookings directly through the mobile applications. When they see the session time ticking down, gamers can add time to ongoing sessions, ensuring they can finish levels, play one more round, and continue to enjoy all the experiences offered at their local gaming arena.
Payment Processing At Scale
Through dedicated development, testing and iterative fine tuning across features and applications, we successfully integrated Square payment processing into both mobile applications and connected them to Belong’s larger, complex product suite, enabling the mobile apps to accept, process and refund payments. This feature adds the capability for payment processing to scale in real time.
The mobile apps are able to send Belong users push notifications via SMS and text messaging about upcoming promotional offers, local events, and pro esports team meet-and-greets and tournaments, all designed to further connect and engage users in their local gaming communities.
In conclusion, not only did our teams help get more Belong users to Belong Gaming arenas and create an improved guest experience in their arenas, which resulted in happier guests, but we also created an additional access point for their sales funnel, resulting in increased bookings through session extensions. With research showing that mobile device users spent 90% of their time on their devices using mobile applications in 2021, Belong Gaming made a great investment in taking advantage of many of the mobile optimized features of building native applications for their gaming communities across the globe.
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