Enhancing the Gift-Giving Experience on Microsoft Store

Damir Bašić, UX / UI Designer

The process of gifting games on the Microsoft Store can sometimes lead to unexpected roadblocks, leaving both gift givers and recipients frustrated. One common issue is the region lock, which prevents the redemption of game codes purchased in different regions. In this blog post, we explore a simple solution that can make the gifting process smoother and reduce the burden on customer support for refunding unredeemable codes.

Gift-Giving Experience

A close friend decides to surprise you with the gift of Minecraft, the beloved game available exclusively on the Microsoft Store. The process starts off like a breeze—your friend selects the game, provides your email address for code delivery, and smoothly completes the transaction. So far, so good. But here’s where the twist begins.

Unlike some other platforms like Steam, where a simple notification does the trick, you’re asked to input your email address. An unusual step, but nothing too alarming, right?

Fast forward to the moment of truth. You eagerly attempt to redeem the code in your Microsoft account, anticipating the thrill of gaming. However, reality delivers a different outcome:
“This code cannot be redeemed. It was purchased in a different region than your account.”

The reason behind this roadblock? Your thoughtful friend happens to reside in a different country. Despite your collective efforts to navigate account regions, a solution remains elusive, leaving you both scratching your heads. In the end, you find yourself resorting to Microsoft’s customer support via chat, hoping for a lifeline.In the following sections, we’ll explore a potential solution to this gift-giving conundrum and how it can make life easier for you and your friends

The Gift-Giving Process Unveiled

When one sets on the journey to gift a game through the Microsoft Store, a sequence of steps comes into play:

Step 1: The user begins by selecting the desired game and clicking on the “Gift” option. At this juncture, the choice presents itself: sending the code via email or opting for an Xbox friend as the recipient.

Step 2: Now, the user will select an Xbox friend who will be the receiver of the game code.

Step 3: To add a personal touch, the user proceeds to enter the purchaser’s name, making the gift all the more special.

“Your gift will be in the form of a digital code, which the recipient can redeem in the country or region where you purchased the gift. The recipient must meet all applicable age requirements. For more information, see the Terms of Agreement”.

This text, discreetly positioned in proximity to the user agreement, might easily be dismissed as routine corporate fine print typically associated with product acquisitions.

Following these steps, the user will proceed to provide their payment information, finalizing the transaction seamlessly.

Subsequently, the user will receive the game code via email, which they can redeem the game within the Microsoft Store’s ecosystem.

However, in unfortunate circumstances where the redemption encounters issues due to regional restrictions, the user may find themselves in need of assistance. This may require initiating a support ticket or engaging in a chat with Microsoft’s customer support to facilitate a refund for the game code, should it prove unredeemable.

The proposed solution

Step 1 and Step 2 shall remain unaltered. However, in Step 3, If the recipient’s location differs from that of the purchaser, a module will appear, explicitly addressing the issue at hand:

1. Prominent Notification: A bold message will take center stage, promptly alerting users to the incompatibility due to regional disparities.

2. Explanatory Text: This notification will be accompanied by an explanation of the region lock with the reassurance that Microsoft’s team is actively engaged in resolving the issue.

3. Recipient Information: The recipient’s identity is once again shown to clear any confusion or doubt.

4. Educational Content: To empower users with knowledge, an opportunity will be provided to delve deeper into the workings of the gift system and region lock.


With this simple change, we can expect people to be less frustrated when they find out their friend can’t redeem the code before they purchase it and reduce the pressure on customer support through the refund system.
  • Gift-Giving Experience
  • The Gift-Giving Process Unveiled
  • The proposed solution
  • Conclusion

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