Welcome back to The Acagamic Tip Tuesday.
Each Tuesday, I will send you a tip from the world of UX Research & Design for games. At my website The Acagamic, I focus on training people to become better researchers and designers for games and beyond.
Each tip will only take a few minutes to read.
Game UX Tip of the Week
Progressive Disclosure: Use progressive disclosure to push back features in your visual hierarchy or entire that are seldom used or make access tiered.
Progressive disclosure comes from user interface design, where we are trying to keep the cognitive load of the user manageable by only revealing the features they need to see for a given task (a famous example is accordion UIs in web design). In a way, you can see a levelling system as progressive disclosure because more functionality (or attacks or items) becomes available to a player at higher levels (or in game maps, like in Super Mario World, where completed levels become waypoints in the world map).
Actively think about progressive disclosure for your game beyond just the interface design and see how you can apply it as an in-game element to keep playability high and cognitive load manageable.
Three Game UX Tweets
I spent some time over Christmas writing about the approach we took to designing UI for visually impaired gamers. Really pleased with how it turned out, and hope it provides some insight for other devs. https://t.co/FsuDhU0WWk— Tom 'Catatafish' Gandale (@tomgandale) January 13, 2020
UX Games Research Tip of the Week
The authors of this 2018 study investigated how audiovisual feedback influenced enjoyment and brand recall. They studied 561 players, on average 26 years old, and slightly more (57%) women playing four different online games (enjoyment: high vs. low and cognitive load: high vs. low).
According to their results, players experience more enjoyment when a character’s facial expression, vocal sounds, and a progress bar confirm game achievements. The brand recall was slightly lower (25% retention) than product placement in movies (30%).
When a player’s cognitive load level was high, their attention narrowed at the expense of noticing the ads within the game. If the brand is unrelated to the gameplay, the recall of the visual brand is lower. Players who experience a higher cognitive load pay less attention to the brand.
In-game feedback, specifically a status bar, auditory feedback, instant (positive or negative) feedback by reducing characters’ speed, and facial expressions were key for experiencing enjoyment in the game.
Increased enjoyment can have a negative effect on explicit brand recall. Brands looking to work with games must make the game mechanics about their brand and not simply rely on the visual placement of their brand.
Read the full study
Vyvey, T., Castellar, E. N., & Van Looy, J. (2018). Loaded with fun? The impact of enjoyment and cognitive load on brand retention in digital games. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 18(1), 72-82. https://doi.org/10.1080/15252019.2018.1446370
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