Workflow Wiz

Role: User Researcher, Designer, and Prototyper
Deliverable: Master’s Thesis

This project investigates how beginners, intermediates, and expert animators find the optimum 3D Character Animation Workflow for game engines.

Problem Space

The 3D animation industry’s Integration of game engines into 3D production has improved the production process. However, due to the dynamic nature of game engines, several workflows have emerged to accomplish the same task. For example, my primary research discovered that the same 3D character animation can be achieved using 17 different workflows in a game engine like Unreal.

Therefore, finding the optimum 3D Character Animation workflow involves a time-consuming trial-and-error process further complicated by the lack of extensive, skill-level-specific documentation.


The double diamond design thinking process was followed in this project. Secondary research on existing Unreal Engine animation workflows was initiated first. Next, 15 animation professionals with beginner (<1 year), intermediate (1-2 yrs), and expert (2+ yrs) experience levels were interviewed to understand their needs and their mental model of finding the optimum workflow. Based on the research insights, user personas, journey maps, and design preferences were created, and prioritised according to Moscow Prioritisation. During this phase, 18 ideas were generated through several ideation methods. These ideas were then evaluated using the COCD box and Harris profile to select the final idea. Following this, a prototype was constructed, and a user study was conducted to evaluate the prototype.


Research Questions

  1. How does the animation workflow usage vary for creators with
    different skill levels?
  2. How can we streamline the optimal UE, 3D animation workflow
    finding process?

User Research: 1

A qualitative user interview study was undertaken to explore the variations in animation workflow selection among creators with different skill levels. The participant pool consisted of 15, 3D animation professionals who use Unreal Engine. These individuals were meticulously categorised into three distinct groups based on their UE experience.

Sampling Strategy
Key insights

User Personas

All beginners found workflow finding challenging. Experts and intermediates acknowledged it was more challenging when they were beginners. Therefore the project focused more on beginner-level persona.

User Journey Map

 “Finding the optimum workflow” is the most challenging step


Based on design principles, 18 Ideas were generated. Then the generated ideas were evaluated using a COCD Box and Harris Profile.

Final Idea: A recommendation system that categorises workflows based on experience levels with a community-driven platform to share experiences on workflows

Design and Development

Information Architecture
Design Sketches

User Research: 1

A summative usability study was conducted to evaluate the tool. The study was conducted with 12 Professionals with Unreal Engine experience. They were given four tasks to complete using the tool and fill out a questionnaire. 

Task 1: Find a workflow that suits your Animation Experience, Experience with Unreal Engine, and Tools you are familiar with using the Find Workflow option.

Task 2: Find a workflow that suits someone who has, Intermediate level animation experience, Beginner level Unreal Engine Experience and access to Unreal Engine and DCC Application Maya

Task 3: Find the Best Practices for Motion Capture Retargeting without using the Find Workflow option.

Task 4 : Freely explore the “Workflow Wiz” and its features for 3-5 minutes.

The questionnaire was constructed using existing user testing frameworks

  • System Usability Scale-  (Brooke, 1986)
  • SUPR-Q (Sauro, 2015)
  • Net Promoter Score (Reichheld, 2003)
  • Technology Acceptance Model (Marangunić and Granić, 2015)
Findings of the Usability Study

Fina Product 

Workflow Wiz Prototype: