A lot of UX myths have arisen in user experience design. Some of these myths begin to perish dangerously in the design of player experiences. It is worth talking about it out loud now so that we are aware of it. In this post, I will briefly introduce some myths, as well as how game designers should be careful about them.
People read in games (myth#1)
Just like on the Internet, the same in games – the user tries to read as little as possible. He scans the text and looks for an option that will allow him to jump further. Or he is looking for information that he needs at the moment. For the same reason, people skip dialogues in games or don’t pay attention to the descriptions of weapons.
For Game Designers: defining the needs and bringing the most important information to the fore (e.g. by Information Architecture). Not basing the user experience on the text message. Permission to find the most important information.
Player should have everything accessible “in 3 clicks” (myth#2)
This myth stems directly from the belief that, like web interfaces, people don’t like clicking. It is unknown where this belief came from, but it has already done a lot of harm to UX. Research shows that the user will keep clicking as long as he is convinced that he will find what he is looking for at the end of his path.
For Game Designers: building a readable and understandable interface architecture. Hierarchy of functionality and testing it on target players. The important thing – just because you have a lot of buttons at your disposal doesn’t mean you should use them.
The Accessible game is an ugly game (myth#3)
Another myth that sets itself dangerously in the minds of game developers. Accessibility doesn’t have to be ugly. A well-made accessible game not only visually conforms to the current industry standards, but can also set new directions. WCAG leaves a lot of room for flexibility.
For Game Designers: don’t leave availability as the next step in design. Design from the outset for those who need to play the game with physical or technological limitations. If you take this as a priority – it won’t be ugly.
Design must be original (myth#4)
It doesn’t have to. Of course, if we look at design only as visual effects embedded in the game, they should be breathtaking. A visually refined and perfect design does not mean originality. When we look at design in a broader sense, including interfaces, controls, onboarding for a team game – there is no place for originality here.
For Game Designers: don’t look for originality. Refine the details. Focus on playability, first immersion, not on finding innovative solutions. When it comes to elements outside of gameplay (interfaces etc.) – originality is strongly undesirable here.
Icons increase usability (myth#5)
One of the more hated myths that has done a lot of harm to web users’ UX. There are literally a dozen universal icons that will defend themselves without a signature. The remaining 97% of unlabeled icons may confuse the player. Icons help, but shouldn’t be the only determinant.
For Game Designers: Use icons wisely. Test them out of context and see if they defend themselves. Players can get used to the graphics, but such getting used to it can spoil the most important – the joy of the game.
The myths I described above do not exhaust the topic. I will definitely come back to the thread in the near future and link here. The perception of UX has already done a lot of harm to the design of digital products. Let us not allow them to become embedded in the minds of game designers.