A tool that enabled Astro Gaming products to utilize the expansion of audio presets and ensure compatibility with newer gaming consoles.
The engineer who owned the project helped educate me on all of the products that were compatible for firmware updates. We went through each one in detail to understand their unique setup and how they were updated.
Applicable products
The following products are those eligible for firmware updates.
Mixamp ProThis mixamp enabled users to define the voice and audio properties for the A30 and A40 Astro Gaming headsets.
A50 USB DongleThis device enabled wireless connection to the A50 headset through a PC.
A50 TxDThis is the A50 Headset counterpart that enables a wireless or wired connection to a gaming console.
A50 HeadsetThis is the only headset of the Astro Gaming line that has a all of the audio and voice presets built directly into it - meaning that it needs to be updated for future game and console releases.
Firmware update enactment
For all the applicable products, we staged how they would be updated to provide a thorough understanding of the process involved. This helped ensure us that we delivered the appropriate messaging throughout the software.
Secure transmission deviceOnce the update begins, the firmware will first be downloaded onto the connected device. In this example, it is the A50 USB Dongle which serves as the transmitter since it is not the one being updated.
Wireless transferWhen the firmware has been finished loading on the A50 USB Dongle, it then proceeds to transfer to the target device wirelessly.
Target deviceOnce the package has been delivered to the intended device (the A50 Headset in this example), the device will reset. This was critical to understand and inform users about this step in the process.
Improving accessibility
Beyond the firmware tool itself, another issue lied in locating it on the site. The layout and navigation of the website needed to be significantly overhauled to become more intuitive for users. This included the support section which housed the firmware along with the techincal support for all products. The current setup lumps everything onto one page even though most of the information isn't applicable to most consumers or their specific purpose. To resolve this, I proposed a new system that prompts the user to select their device up front in order to access their specific firmware (or other product support related destination).
After understanding general logistics of the project, it was time to define and explore the needs that were required within each of these elements. This was important to ensure a high success rate for users.
  • Enhance the firmware access points through the website

  • Understand the details of each applicable product

  • Define all possible user actions and outcomes

  • Create a simple upgrade experience mitigating potential user errors
It was imperative that we defined all possible user actions to mitigate any potential errors that may occur during the update process. We took the time to understand the nature of each product in detail which helped us define proper messaging and create pathways that would lead users to successfully update their devices. The following example references the details of defining the A50 headset firmware update which proved to be the most challenging considering the wireless connection.
Defining all possible user actions and outcomes
Overall, this proved the be the most challenging update considering the fact that the wireless connection is the only possibility for the update transfer. Not only were were wireless transfers more error prone, the probability of user errors was also higher. Defining an extensive user flow helped understand all possible actions so we can ensure they were followed by resolutions.
User flows like the one above were defined for all of the products that are applicable with the firmware updater.
Quick iterative wireframes
These helped visualize the entire user flow and define the interactions. All of the visual cues were also developed to help relay the appropriate messaging to users throughout the process.
Visual design
The language and visual design were delivered to match the Astro Gaming brand and UI style guide.
Synchronous visual cues
Software and hardware communicate the update to the user with the progress bar in the updater tool and the flashing LED lights on the physical devices.
All details of the firmware build are defined to the user so they understand how it will affect the performance of their device.
Reactive messaging
For any action that a user may take, the tool is built properly to provide the necessary information that applies to the situation.
A timer is built in to ensure users are aware of the required time period during the blind file transfer where no hardware cues on the device confirm the action.
Ready for play
The final screen that we want to ultimately drive users to reach to get them back into their game.