In video games, user interface is everything. It helps create an engaging experience that allows players to immerse themselves in the game.
Over the years, games have continued to refine their approach to the interface, experimenting and iterating ways to present vital information to users without breaking their faith in the experience. Today we’ll talk about how UI/UX design can affect the player participation in games.
Why UI/UX is important in video games
The interface is an integral part of any game. Designers must balance the information displayed in a way that moves the player forward without interfering with gameplay: too little information can confuse the player, while too much information can overwhelm or frustrate them. That is why UI/UX design services are so in demand in the video game sector.
From ammo counters in first-person shooters to health indicators in fighting games, the way games display information is important to how players play.
For example, in games Call of Duty, if a player takes too much damage, blood stains the edges of the screen and the character gasps in pain. Other games typically display a health bar at the top or bottom of the screen, but Call of Duty’s approach allows players to focus on everything happening around them, adding to the dynamism of the game.
How UI affects players’ UX
Although most websites have very similar interfaces – navigation menus, search bars, navigation chains – video games differ in that they create interface elements that actually serve their users.
Let’s look at three main ways game designers are shaping interface trends, and how they can be used for web experiences.
Many video games require players to perform various actions through menus (such as maintaining their in-game inventory or upgrading a character). However, instead of simple lists or folders, game developers pride themselves on creating unique experiences in their menus.
In some RPGs, players can improve their characters through a skill tree that allows them to follow one or more “branches” to “inflate” their character in a certain way.
Although this is a common game mechanic, usually shown in the form of lines that connect skills, in Skyrim The designers decided to show the tree in the form of constellations, in line with the fantasy theme of the game. When opening the skill tree, the character literally looks at the sky, providing a more immersive gaming experience.
2. Points of interest
Just as a marketing site may want to capture the user’s attention with a call-to-action (CTA) button, game developers often try to capture the player’s attention with points of interest (essentially points of interest). A medkit lying on the ground is useless to the player if they don’t notice it.
For example, in the open world game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it’s easy to overlook frogs in the wild, essential in some recipes, if you’re not looking for them. However, if you focus on a frog, a small line of text will appear above it.
If the game’s frogs were too easy to spot, they would prevent players from fully immersing themselves in the game world. If they were too difficult to spot, it wouldn’t be fun to hunt them. If you had to click to see more details, it would become tedious. Immersion in Breath of the Wild depends on the interface being there when you need it and disappearing when you don’t.
3. Simplification through customization
Compared to some video games, even the most complex programs seem simple. Instead of trying to create a one-size-fits-all solution, game designers sometimes prefer to give players the ability to customize the interface to their liking.
In world of warcraft, Interface customization is an integral part of the game due to its incredible depth and complexity. Players can add many mods to make it easier to manage the hundreds of things they can do in the game. The game developer encourages them to do so.
Many other complex games have similar customization that allows players to display information in the most convenient way possible.
It is not uncommon to see game reviews, forum posts, and even marketing materials discussing a video game’s interface. Great interfaces help users not only use the product, but also enjoy it and come back to play.
The video game industry’s decades of working with easy-to-use interfaces have made it a breeding ground for UI/UX innovations that impact player engagement in games. And that’s only going to continue to evolve.