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Playful UX Design: Building A Better Game

Playful UX Design: Building A Better Game
Advertisement I sincerely believe that the user experience community should add game design to its toolbox of competencies. If we’re truly committed to creating satisfying user experiences, then there’s no reason why games, which can satisfy people so richly, should be excluded. Operating successfully in the games domain means learning a new set of competencies, and I don’t want to oversimplify the challenges of designing high-quality game experiences. 1. Trading off the quality of the player experience in favor of some real-world objective is always self-defeating. Schwab MoneyWise’s It’s Your Life game has a noble mission: to convince people to save more money for retirement and other long-term objectives. At each step in Schwab’s It’s Your Life game, the choice that will lead to a winning outcome is pretty obvious. The problem is that the designers were much more interested in hammering home their message than creating an actual game experience. 2. 3. 4. 5. Who are your players? 6. 7.

Mobile Considerations in User Experience Design: “Web or Native?” Advertisement Our brand new Smashing Books #3 and #3⅓1 have been released last month and we’re sincerely grateful for the tremendous feedback, reviews and photos submitted by our truly smashing readers across the world. We appreciate your time and your interest, and thank you for your support and love. Today we are happy to present a yet another sample chapter from the book. — The Smashing Editorial Team Written by Aral Balkan, reviewed by Josh Clark and Anders M. As you probably know, user experience design is the discipline concerned with all aspects of the design of interactive products. A Web Designer Is a User Experience Designer Essentially, a Web designer is a user experience designer with specialized knowledge of the medium of the World Wide Web. Designing an application is as much about drawing a pretty picture of an application as designing a car is about drawing a pretty picture of a car. Designing Documents vs. Designing for the User First Purpose of This Chapter Figure 9.1.

Designing Websites for Kids: Trends and Best Practices Advertisement How would you like to design a beautiful, colorful, stimulating website that is captivating, memorable and allows you to let your creative juices flow without the need to worry too much about conventional usability and best practices? In today’s Web design market, it’s rare that such a project would present itself — unless you were asked to design a website for children! Websites designed for children have been largely overlooked in Web design articles and roundups, but there are many beautiful and interesting design elements and layouts presented on children’s websites that are worthy of discussion and analysis. There are also a number of best practices that are exclusive to Web design for children’s sites — practices that should usually not be attempted on a typical website. This article will showcase a number of popular commercial websites targeted towards children with an analysis of trends, elements and techniques used to help keep children interested and stimulated.

Designing For Android: Tips And Techniques Advertisement Android is an attractive platform for developers, but not all designers share our enthusiasm. Making an app look and feel great across hundreds of devices with different combinations of screen size, pixel density and aspect ratio is no mean feat. There are hundreds of Android devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. At Novoda, we build Android software for brands, start-ups and device manufacturers. This article provides a set of practical tips and design considerations for creating Android apps. Pixels Visual design is hugely important in the perceived quality of an app. Scale Nicely Android is a platform of many screen densities. Optimize graphics for different screen densities. It’s not always practical to hand optimize graphic assets for each density. Be State Friendly Touch states provide important confirmation of clicks and selections. Size is important too. Use Fonts Android has two fonts: Droid Sans and Roboto. Use 9-patch Drawables Handle Design Legacy

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic rewards in Klei’s latest game: Don’t Starve Greetings! Klei Entertainment is working on a game that has been recommended to me by just about everyone who has played it, and when Jamie Cheng offered to write up a post about player rewards and the thought behind them, I thought it was a great idea. Also, I’m traveling and needed the content. I learned some interesting things reading this this post, and I’m happy to share it with you. Back in 2010, Chris Hecker presented a talk about Intrinsic vs Extrinsic rewards, titled: Achievements Considered Harmful? In January, we started working on a new game called Don’t Starve. We were inspired by building games like Minecraft and Terraria, as well as simulation games like Dwarf Fortress. With that, I’m going to start with some background, and then get into the surprisingly pointed consequences of using external incentives in our game. Also, because we’re Canadian, we’re going to stick the letter “u” in words all over the place. Behaviourism in games You press a button to collect a coin. 1.

More, better, faster: UX design for startups Startups don’t have capital to burn or luxurious schedules for big-design-up-front. But unless your idea is by-and-for-engineers, design isn’t something you want to skip on your way to market. For a startup, design may mean the difference between simply shipping, and taking the market by storm. But with tight budgets, and aggressive timelines, how to include design and get the best value for the investment? Eric Ries proposes a cyclical model for development in a startup: Build > Measure > Learn (repeat). In a recent Lean UX workshop hosted by the fantastic Janice Fraser (Luxr) and Cooper’s own Tim McCoy and Suzy Thompson (also of Cooper) suggested that the cycle was right, but that it begins in the wrong place. I buy it. So we have a cycle of Learn > Build > Measure (repeat). Faster How fast can we run the cycle? Once we get the upfront work of personas and high-level scenarios done, cycles take on a regular pattern. What do we get? More, better Let’s start with the first cycle: Learn

Designing Web Registration Processes for Kids Since the term “kids” is so broad and subject to interpretation, and since kids grow so significantly in cognitive/technical ability in short periods of time, this article focuses specifically on kids ages six through eight. Designing websites for kids is a fascinating, challenging, rewarding, and exasperating experience: You’re trying to create a digital experience for people who lack the cognitive capacity to understand abstraction. You’re trying to establish brand loyalty with people who are influenced almost exclusively by their peers. And you’re trying to communicate subjective value propositions to people who can only see things in black-and-white. Add to this the need to collect data from people with a deep-seated fear of sharing personal information, and you’ve got your work cut out for you. Fortunately, it’s possible to create a successful registration process for these folks with an understanding of how their brains work. Successful registration forms for kids: Fig 1. Fig 2.

13 Tips to Designing Websites for Teens In marketing to teenagers, playing safe is one of the easiest ways to fail. Being boring is the other. Long gone are the days when teens flocking to the mall were less than welcome by sales staff worried they would keep paying customers away. With an estimated $200 billion in buying power, and almost half of that spent online, teens are a demographic no longer to be ignored. And in designing websites that cater to teens, it never hurts to review what works and what doesn’t in capturing their interest and dollars. Bright is beautiful If there’s one thing teens absolutely abhor, it’s boredom. Lights, camera, action Slideshows, videos, images. Less text, more interest Since most teens have relatively short attention spans, too much text will send them packing. Keep them engaged Teens like websites that keep them engaged and make them feel a part of a community, so online contests, polls, and quizzes can be a good drawing card. Watch your tone Going mobile Make shopping easy Choice is good Socialize

Games, Gamification, and the Quest for Learner Engagement Game-based learning can turn disconnected, bored learners into engaged participants. Juan sits in front of his laptop while slowly, painfully progressing through a customer service e-learning course. He is bored and disinterested. Juan wants desperately to click the "next" button in quick succession and rush through to the end. A "clever" designer has forced Juan and other learners to listen to the entire script on every screen before proceeding (so learners don't simply click through to the end without learning the content, the designer told the client triumphantly). Meanwhile, across the globe in a training course on the topic of conducting internal investigations, Mary, an MBA graduate, catches herself looking out the window again. The problem Unfortunately, scenarios like these are all too common. Enter games As instructional designers, trainers, learning professionals, and even learners search for more engaging designs of instruction, one model looms large—the model of games.