How do bots play HQ Trivia

What HQ Trivia can teach us about UX

Posted by Sean McGowan

Dear reader, I am sad to report that I have been drawn back in. At first I had dismissed it as a fad, another Flappy Bird or Trivia Crack. Then, after tentatively dipping my toe in its water, I was hopelessly addicted. This took about two weeks before I and my app managed to break out of my trance. Now the mobile trivia app, which is simply called HQ known as Trivia is under control again.

If you haven't been indoctrinated as a HQ trivia fanatic or, as host Scott Rogowsky says, "HQutie", the premise of the game is simple: answer twelve multiple choice trivia questions correctly in a row and win money. It is the proven model who wants to become a millionaire , but HQ Trivia's cribbed game show format doesn't stop there. HQ Trivia games are broadcast live twice a day and primarily serve as a television program that users tune into and actively participate.

The HQ Trivia model has created a new design for mobile platforms that takes the popular live streaming experiences of apps like Periscope, Instagram and Facebook to the extreme: an application with a user experience that is completely real-time.

With just a handful of screens and just a basic user flow, the HQ Trivia app is a particularly fascinating example for app developers looking to replicate their success. As a UX design agency, we at Codal will take a step back to investigate what HQ Trivia's unique user experience means for the entire industry landscape and how the revolutionary game show app still has some UX issues.

HQ Trivia recently celebrated a major milestone in its acquisition, hosting its first sponsored games in partnership with Nike and Warner Bros. Brokerage of multimillionaire dollar deals with these marquee companies heralds a bright future for HQ Trivia, but the app continues to fight technical problems difficulties and scalability problems.

In the beginning with only a few thousand players, the games regularly ran smoothly. Audiences grew faster than HQ Trivia could handle, however, and the app paid dearly for promoting games with the highest cash prize ever, only to experience delays, bugs, glitches, and delays that as good as it did players made impossible to join.

It is likely that the responsibility for these technical difficulties lies with the HQ Trivia development team, but they result in a poor user experience for the Trivia app. The problems plaguing HQ Trivia are an excellent reminder that UX quality goes beyond the designer.

This may seem obvious, but since UX design and development are often broken down into two distinct processes, it's easy to forget how closely the two are intertwined. This is one of the reasons why so many companies choose to develop their digital products in a full-stack agency - to avoid the problems that arise from completely different design and development teams.

But even with design and developer under one roof, project handover between the two teams can still be a complex affair. It requires complete transparency, careful documentation and a constant communication channel.

This doesn't mean that HQ Trivia suffered from a poor handover process, but the app's technical difficulties weigh on the overall experience. This is an excellent reminder that we cannot divorce design and development as easily as we tell ourselves.

"Do I publish my app on iOS first, Android first, or both?" We hear this question all the time at Codal and are a constant source of discussion among entrepreneurs, developers and designers. The advent of HQ Trivia as a mobile app startup doesn't definitely answer the question, but it adds an interesting data point to the argument.

HQ Trivia was originally developed for iOS devices only. The release of the Android version is planned much later in the company's business plan. However, after HQ Trivia's exponential growth in late 2017, thousands of Android users vying for the quiz game were disappointed to find out that there was no counterpart to the iOS version.

That Android-sized hole in the market, coupled with the glitches in the game from HQ Trivia and delayed live streaming, soon resulted in a surge in HQ Trivia's rivals, including The Cash Show, Beat the Q, and perhaps most importantly, The Q.

From its poor production value to an audience dwarfed by HQ Trivia's user base, The Q has been classified as a fake. However, this does not mean that it is harmless to the original mobile game show which are monkeys. The very fact that the Q exists is evidence that HQ Trivia doesn't scale properly. With a more recent version for Android, bargain copies like The Q may never have stolen any part of HQ Trivia's users.

Ultimately, all of the problems plaguing HQ Trivia - the glitches, the lag, the late Android version - can be traced back to a single culprit: Scalability . HQ Trivia embodies the problem of getting too big and too fast. It's not a serious problem, but it's a problem nonetheless.

And HQ Trivia shows not only the extreme version of the growing pain every burgeoning business suffers, but also the impact those errors have on the user experience. HQ Trivia is not a popular application due to its UX. it is still popular.

If HQ Trivia is to continue its success, it has to do more than raise the stake with thicker cash prizes. It needs to make sure that its technical difficulties don't scale with its booming user base, and it may need to improve its user experience with more engaging features, whether it's adding social features to a community or even debuting different types of games.

Regardless of whether HQ Trivia continues its meteoric rise or gets stuck at some point, we can learn from its mistakes and successes. Until then, I'm torn between playing to win that cash prize and turning off to avoid that clunky, choppy user experience.

If you want to become an expert in UX design, design thinking, UI design, or any other related design topic, you should take an online UX course from the Interaction Design Foundation. For example design thinking, becoming a UX designer from scratch, conducting usability tests or user research - methods and best practices. Good luck on your learning journey!

(Main image: Depositphotos - Affiliate Link)

Originally at UsabilityGeek published by Sean McGowan, a Codal technical researcher and writer who blogs on topics ranging from UX design to the Internet of Things. Sean works with developers, designers, and marketers to help the writing team ensure Codal produces engaging web content of the highest quality.