Steam Analyzation

Steam Analyzation
Photo by fabio / Unsplash

The website I chose to analyze was SteamCommunity, which is the website version of the gaming platform, Steam. While exploring the site, it appears to be a very complicated but well-put-together site.

Exploring the Site

The site does require a login to fully explore and access all features provided. The site also has a store page when you click on the store tab called SteamPowered. Starting with the store page, there are multiple different menu options that drop down from the store page. There is also a separate menu with more options related to the store when you are on the main store page. Community has its own set of drop-down options, and then following Community is your username, which also has its own set of drop-down options. There are a few different search options available. One of the search options is for the store and the games available in the store, there is one for the community so that you can find others in the community, and there is one available for "hubs" in the community which are collections of game-centric discussions, workshop items, screenshots, videos, and news. It is both community created and official content.

While Steam does have an app and a mobile website, it is not exactly mobile user-friendly. Dr. Gerald R. Lucas mentions in Responsive Web Design that a truly responsive website provides optimal user experience among a variety of devices. The mobile site is accessible but is fairly difficult to navigate and has bad usability.

Organization and Content Hierarchy

The organization of the site is well put together. The menu options are in order from most important for the site to least important. The first menu option is the store, which is how the site makes money, and the last option is 'support'. While support is an important aspect, in terms of Steam's website, it is not needed by as many users as the other aspects of the site are. The subsections are also organized from most important to least important. For example. the 'store' section starts with the home page of the store and ends with the 'about' section of the store. The hierarchy of information is presented in a way that makes it easier for the site user to access the information they want without being bombarded with information they might not be interested in.

Labels and Terminology

The site is very well labeled. The labels are easy to understand and you can deduce what each label is for by the name. For example, I know that clicking "Discussions" will lead me to the discussion board for the game I am viewing or the general discussion board. As mentioned in the subject of the discussion board, the terminology of the different sections is easy to understand and written in a way that the user of the site will not be confused by the language.

The navigation pathway appears to be fairly easy to navigate. If I wanted to access my library, I would hover over my username for the submenu to display, then click 'games'. From there, I can choose from 'recently played', 'all games', and 'perfect games'. If I were to go to 'all games' and click a game on the list, it would bring me to that game's store page so that I may see the description and reviews of the game.

Mobile Site Usability

As mentioned earlier, the mobile site is not the easiest to navigate. There is a lot of information on a single page and it takes a while to scroll through. In fact, the home page and the news page appear to be never-ending scrolling, which I do not see as a wise choice for mobile viewing. The app is definitely the wiser choice to use when wanting to access the site on your mobile phone.

My site

My site will not be nearly as complicated as Steam's is. I would like to have a search bar of some type so that people may find what they are looking for easier. I also really like the idea of more subsections within pages, but I think that may be more complicated and something I want to steer away from just for ease of access use. I also would want to avoid the never-ending scrolling. It makes it harder to get back to a certain spot if the user wants to scroll back up to something they would like to revisit.

Haley Roney

Haley Roney

Haley is a student at Middle Georgia State University. She is currently working on obtaining her Master's degree in Technical and Professional Writing.