Bad Interface Design Kills! Be Aware and Be Responsible!

Hi, everyone. We’ve talked about the responsibility of coming up with an usable design. Now let’s talk about the serious consequences, if we don’t do our job. This article is about how an bad interface design caused the death of John Denver (He’s a country singer, for folks like me who have no clue). I especially like the comment that the author wrote about the interface design on computers. I strongly agree that even computer applications are not likely to kill people directly, but “slowly driving people insane” is still unacceptable. The take away from this is like the title “be aware and be responsible!”.

Comments, Suggestions and Follow-ups are always welcome.

Aren’t you tired of website design already? Buckle up. It’s game time baby!

Almost half way into the course, we’ve seen so many examples of website design that I already lost count. Now is the time to say “I’ve had enough!“.

I’m gonna take matters into my own hand, and share with you guys something that’s exciting, outside-the-box, and totally new. Wait for it …

No, it’s not the iPhone 5.

It’s time for video game interface design!!!

Here are links to two interesting posts that teach you the basic concepts of video game interface design with great examples from concurrent games.

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My take away from these two articles:

I believe the general philosophy of video game interface design is to provide players (yeah! Now it’s players not users anymore.) clues about their characters’ current status and help them advance in the game, in a least intrusive way possible. We are doing fine with our daily tasks in the real world without status bars, window dialogues, and menus to tell us what to do. Since games are mostly simulation of the the semi-real world, so it makes sense to not have them bothering us from the flow of completing quests and missions in games too. On the other hand, you also don’t to be lost in the game, and having to look for cheats and guides in order to pass a level or complete a quest.

Nowadays, game designers have come up with some great solutions to this. There are four different types of interfaces in games. They are diegetic, meta, spatial, and non-diegetic. And the articles have provided many self-evident examples to illustrate each of them. My favorite one is diegetic. I was completely blown away by it in the dead space series. It was just awesome.

You may have sensed this already, but just so you know there will be a review of the UI design of Dead Space coming up probably during the October break. And the concepts and principles of these two articles will be put into use by me.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome.  Thank you.