UI/UX design or User Interface and User Experience design are two connected elements of game development that are integral to player engagement and interaction. They represent both the player’s visual journey, the connection between the visuals and the gameplay, as well as a cohesion between the player’s tools and the wider world of the game itself.
Well executed user experience and user interface is one key piece that makes the difference between a player sticking with your game or abandoning it early. User interface is the visual language through which players connect mechanics with the game itself. And the good UX design is a part of the game design process. Particularly, it focuses on the player’s behaviour and how that can correlate with the intended gaming experience.
UI Design delivers the look and the visual bridge through which players interact with the game and the game interacts with the player. It can be as simple as efficient and ergonomic menus and interfaces.
UI design and UI art also encompasses communication of mechanics as well as in and out of game information that the player might need. This is where game designers choose what is most appropriate and fitting for each piece of information.
The user interface can be designed around any and all of these four types of features. Is it in the game’s space or not? Is it represented as existing within the game world or not? Any combination of these, whether diegetic, non-diegetic, spatial, or meta, are ways to communicate to players how the game operates. These also contain choices for world-building and immersion for players.
Non-diegetic representation: Something not represented in the 3D game space and doesn’t exist in the fictional game world. These typically include menu screens and health bars.
Spatial representation: Something visualized in the 3D space but doesn’t exist in the fictional game world. These typically include indicators for where a thrown object might land and highlighting characters as enemies or allies.
Meta representation: Something that exists in the game world but is not represented in the 3D game space. These can include blood splatter effects on the screen to indicate damage or effects on characters to represent a status effect or ailment.
Diegetic representation: Something that both exists in the game space and exists in the fictional game world. These include ammo counters visible on weapons and many Heads-Up Displays like in Halo or Metroid.
UX sounds quite technical but if you think about it as the user experience it becomes far easier to understand. The user experience is everything from understanding the game’s rules and features to engaging with the systems in place. Will it be enjoyable? Will it be understood and embraced? If not, why not?
These are the questions good UX designers and game designers will ask themselves. It’s all about designing an experience that players will immerse themselves in, return to, and recommend to others.
How do we do that? Playtesting and surveys can help you narrow down what players get from your game or the experience you’re offering. Determining the type of game you want to create, what experience you’re aiming for, and looking at similar titles is a good start. Gathering as much data and information as possible on your ideal audience will help you to deliver the best experience. That type of service is what our UI/UX design teams offer.
These two parts of game design and development go hand-in-hand easily. With one handling the overall experience and the other addressing the visual elements players engage with, they are connected through the user journey. Good UI design will enable a better user experience. Without the cooperation, not only will the UX design be hampered, it might be directly harmed as well.
In addition, accessibility is a challenge that needs to be addressed by a combined front. For those with accessibility needs, the user experience can only be enjoyable if the UI is up to the standards necessary.
If you’d like to work with our international team to deliver stellar UI/UX design services, get in touch today. Our expertize isn’t just limited to the art and design choices for UI/UX design, we also offer comprehensive real-time VFX, art production, full-cycle game development, and much more. Contact us today and let’s create magic.
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