Twitch is a live streaming video platform which focuses primarily on video game content.
Exploration of the Interface
My personal exploration of the Twitch interface influenced the questions I used in my survey. Twitch has two main functionalities provided to its users: the ability to stream their own content as well as view others’ streams. Viewership is emphasized drastically more than becoming a content creator, so I deemed it important to emphasize questions about users’ viewing habits more heavily than that of their streaming habits.
The chats next to livestreams were also a prominent feature, as their size and the speed at which messages go by go so far as to distract viewers from the streamers’ content. One aspect of Twitch that did not meet my expectations was that it added in non-gaming content to its lineup, featuring categories such as “Just Chatting,” ASMR, and Art.
Interviews with Users
Users were volunteers who responded to a request on a gaming Discord server and filled out a Google Form, a link to which was included with the request.
Six users in total filled out the Google Form. Information was also gathered through casual, non-interview type conversation with users who were interested in my project, but did not necessarily fill out the form.
Lastly, some decision-making was based on prior knowledge, conversations and experiences with known Twitch users (i.e. my gaming friends). A sampling of the results of the survey are displayed at the end of this justification.
In the survey, users were asked about relevant demographic information, followed by questions regarding gaming, video viewing, and Twitch-specific habits, which included the users’ preferences and frustrations with the Twitch interface.
Of the demographic information I gathered, some correlations were much clearer than others. The majority of the interviewed participants were single males in their early 20s with bachelor’s degrees. No participants described their sleep habits as being an “early bird,” rather, most selected the “permanently exhausted pigeon” option, followed by “night owls.” All interviewees would use YouTube if Twitch didn’t exist, and four of the six use both desktop computers and smartphones as their viewing methods. The majority also use Twitch for watching livestreams only, with the remainder both watching and doing their own streaming.
Of the questions where all responses differed, only one was given the “creative liberty” treatment for the sake of the persona – the profession question. Because two of the six responses were technically oriented (i.e. “Computer Science” and “Web Programmer”), in addition to my personal experience where other programmers who did not complete the interview have used Twitch extensively, I chose the general “Programmer” title as the persona’s profession.
Certain questions, such as preferred game genres for playing and viewing, were omitted from design decisions. The first reason for this was that my interview sample was biased towards a particular genre. The gaming server on which the survey was linked is comprised primarily of users from a fantasy MMORPG game, so genre-related responses were skewed in favor of these game types. The second reason for this omission was the discovery that the primary content on Twitch now includes non-gaming categories.
Survey Response Data
Gamer photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/nodstrum/