Nintendo Switch App
A concept design exercise for a complete Nintendo Switch experience.
The launch of the current Nintendo Switch app has let down many users; it lacks basic functionalities and seems to be a missed opportunity for what could have been a great experience, both when you’re with your Switch and when you’re away from it.
That led me to design how I wish Nintendo had implemented this experience, in terms of design and functionalities. A general idea of what I would expect Nintendo to deliver from a soon-to-be paid service.
A useful companion app.
This would be your Home screen, the Switch tab.
Colors and Icons are based on the Switch OS light mode, but a dark mode should be an option as well. The rest of the elements are system based, so iOS users and Android users would see their respective styles. In this example I'll work with the iOS ones.
From this screen you can quickly check if your friends are online, message or start a Voice Chat with them, or launch game-specific services like Splatnet2 and others yet to come —for game statistics, in-game purchases, etc.
By tapping on one of your friend's name or icon, you would be taken to his Profile, where you can see what your friend is playing at (if he's online, and privacy allows it), start a conversation with him, or even check his Play activity.
Here's a sample of interacting with your friend. In this case you had already open a conversation with him, which you can reply to directly from the app. You can also invite your friends to a Voice Chat straight from the app.
Once everyone accepted the invite, this is how your home screen would look like with a Voice Chat group up and running.
Stay up to the date.
As seen on the Switch, the News section is the place where to stay up to date regarding game launchs, updates, videos, etc.
The News items would function in the same way as well, they would be based on the channels you follow, so what you see would be tailored to you.
Buy and download games, one tap away.
An integrated eShop would be a very important part, both for the experience and the business.
Being so accessible and one tap away, it would allow users to browse, purchase, and download games directly to their consoles even when they don't have the console with them.
You could browse all the Switch game library at the palm of your hand, which has an enormous potential.
The game screen would display all the information related to the game: videos & screenshots, number of players allowed, age rating, game size, etc.
One would just have to tap on a game and finish the transaction without leaving the app. Then a message would prompt the user if he/she wants the game to begin downloading on his/her Switch —if it's turned on or at least in Sleep mode—.
Re-discover your screenshots.
Another useful feature would be the Album section. Here you could check all the screenshots you have taken with your Switch, and actually save them to your smartphone or share them hwherever you like, not just Facebook or Twitter.
Take control of your Switch.
A Settings section that could actually talk to the Switch, would give users power and control.
From managing your Nintendo Online account and Switch profiles, to taking control of your data —export savegames, uninstall games, downloads management...—.
You could also customize the loading screen that appears when you fire up the app and while connections are being placed in in the background. Or it could be randomized, based on your game-library. The key here is choice!
I consider that an smartphone app should never be a requirement to have a decent online experience with a Nintendo Switch. Features like Voice chat or any other basic messaging form should be core to the console itself, without the need of any companion apps. The following concept exercise is meant to be complementary service, that adds capabilities and other features to the complete experience.