What leads to better User Experience?

As I begun my research into finding out how to create a good user experience, UX design was the main thing that kept popping up in my searches. It was an interesting concept and I remember my supervisor Craig mentioning it to as well, so this blog is semi focused around the concept of UX, in hopes it will help with my question.

From what I understand UX is quite a new term and their are still a lot of misconceptions about it, so whether or not what I write down is correct or not, I will do my best to make the information concrete.

What is UX?

UX design is neither game design nor UI design. It’s a separate but intrinsically linked role, because it holds UI and game design together, providing the glue for the game you are making. It should be the starting point for any game design, and the blueprint from which everything else is created.

Why is it important?

UX design is important because with a good UX design, games can be become more immersive to the players, UX designers are the architects of the game environment. The best kind of UX design is one where the user doesn’t notice it, removing friction between the lpayer and the game.

The Misconception of UX

According to this article ( The-7-factors-that-influence-user-experience ), UX design is commonly confused with usability, which describes to some extent how easy a product is to use. UX started with Usability as a discipline, but has no grown to accommodate more.

  • Useful – Has no purpose, if no one finds it useful
  • Usable – enabling users effective and efficient means of achieving the end goal
  • Findable – Easy to find the product
  • Credible – Users trust in the product
  • Desirable – The more desirable the more the user will want it
  • Accessible – Providing an experience which can bring out the users full abilities
  • Valuable – product must deliver value

In all honesty I think this article and it’s information didn’t really provide any information towards a better user experience as much as the others I have read. It also felt like it was more focused around the selling of a product.

It is kind of hard to determine who’s version of UX design is correct and true, but it also could mean that the different concepts are all the same really, just interpreted differently.

Don Norman, a man known for his work in design, he is most known for his book ‘The Design of Everyday things’, suggests that when it comes to the term of UX, most people are getting it wrong, he says that just because someone can design a website or an app that is not entirely getting into user experience, and states “Everything that touches upon your experience with the product” that defines user experience. “Its the way you experience everything, apps, computer systems, games etc.”

Effective UX design

  1. UX design is definitive; it produces a blueprint from which to develop the game system. UX design should be treated as a separate task to game design, but they need to work closely together to complement and strengthen each other.
  2. It’s a fundamental way of approaching your entire design and production pipeline that starts right from the initial game idea and follows through to release.
  3. A UX design process should make your game design documentation better.
  4. A good UX designer needs to have a certain set of skills and what we refer to as “systems thinking” – an ability to map out complex systems in their head. UX designer needs to not just have an extreme attention to detail but also be driven to find the simplest solution to each problem.
  5. This brings us to the final point and that is programmers vs UX designers. In one sense, programmers can make great UX designers. They can actually be a better fit for the role than game designers, because they have the same problem solving and attention to detail traits. However, there is a natural conflict between what is best for the user, and what is the easiest way to code, which can only be solved if you have two separate entities working from and representing each point of view. The way to approach this is to never allow the same person to program and do UX design on a project, even if they have the ability to do both.

How does a good UX design affect a game?

UX design seems to be quite an important factor when it comes to game design, a good UX will determine the outcome of the product. Judging on what I’ve been researching user experience is a key essential to creating a successful game. There are so many factors you need to take into account with user experience, and it mainly revolves around your users, targeting them seem to be key.

So, a good UX design can either create a well put together game that creates immersion for it’s users or will break the game entirely.

Conclusion:

The reason for these questions being asked and answered is purely for me to get an understanding on what I need to know and consider when it comes to designing my AI to enhance the user experience of my VR Environment.

I think if I am going to continue down this road with creating an AI that functions inside of a Virtual Reality, using this UX design to properly think about the outcome will improve my chances of creating something great. It will also help me with the scope, what the environment will have, what sort of AI I should create to make the environment it will be in seem more real and flow together.

References:

Why good user experience design in games is no longer a luxury

5 Misconceptions about UX (User Experience) in Video Games

 

 

 

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