Immersing a Creative World into a Usable UI (USER INTERFACE)
UI designer Steph Chow discusses how to embed a game's world into its user interface (UI), and how to strike the right balance between player immersion and player usability.
Immersive game elements include characters, VFX (visual effects), environments and UI
UI is not just about bright juicy green buttons. UI is part of an immersive strategy.
AR AND UI IMMERSION
VR and UI IMMERSION
ENGAGEMENT IN UI IMMERSION
Players play games not just because they are fun, but because audiences grow to love the unique worlds (fictitious universes) in which they are set.
Details that go beyond characterisation like typography, colour palettes, shapes and iconography can help to keep a player immersed and engaged. Chow aims for a branded experience through both visuals as well as functionality.
The interface needs to be immersive and usable.
The process of embedding a game’s world in its interface unfolds in 3 phases
This is the time to seek out the visual elements that make your world distinct. This can be inspired by history e.g. the 1950s American iconography of the Fallout Series
Or by Nature e.g. Paradise Bay, reminiscent of oceans and rocks
Or by Subcultures e.g. Splatoon 2 takes its inspiration from punk references, including graffiti.
Chow recommends taking research beyond google searches – e.g. watching movies, visiting museums
But if you have a lot of information to show it can be buried in a diegetic look
Deciding between these 2 approaches depends upon 3 things
It’s worth exploring different layout options to judge the best approach.
Things to evaluate
Also keep usability heuristics in mind
Chow, Steph. 2018/2020. Immersing a creative world into a usable UI U.S.: Game Developers Conference.
The USW Audience of the Future research team is compiling a summary collection of recent research in the field of immersive, and enhanced reality media