Enjoyment and comfort during gameplay often depend on several factors: graphics, sound design, characters, mechanics, etc. All this creates the first impression of the game, but how long the user will wake up inside the game world depends on the quality and level of the UI. Based on this, there is one of the main elements of any game - User Experience. UX is how people feel when they use something. First is the user impression, and then mobile game UI interaction.
Understanding Video Game UX Design
Mobile game UX and UI always go hand in hand because they are so closely related. In some large agencies, user scenarios and visual interfaces are thought out by different specialists, which affects the level of the final product.
If UX is about functionality, then UI is about the art of the visual component, attention to form, color, space in detail, and adherence to style. Video game UX design and UI complement each other but serve different purposes. But the primary goal of UX is to help any gamer quickly and easily understand how to start playing and continue to do it regularly.
Elements in Mobile Game UX Design
Surprisingly, many people think the interface is the only element in UX design. This doesn't seem right because UX is not limited to mobile game menu design and icons.
1. Visual Design
The visual aspect is key in shaping the video game UX. Despite everything else in the game, if what gamers see on their device does not suit them, they will close it in less than a minute.
Graphics is an element both for advertising and the product's profitability because the era of retro games has already passed, where the story was more valued than visual.
2. User Interface and Controls
The connection between mobile game UI design and UX was mentioned earlier, and this is not a coincidence. After all:
- UX is how the player interacts with UI's mobile game;
- Mobile game UI is how designers present information to users through icons, messages, vibrations, sounds, etc.
Mobile games can run everywhere. On the one hand, this is a plus because you can play anywhere and anytime. But on the other hand, the user may be less focused on the gameplay. Given these factors, designers create an interface and controls so that the gamer does not have any difficulty with some small fonts or excessive complexity of mechanics.
3. Storytelling and Narrative
Even for simple and light casual games, a storyline and narratives are integral to gameplay and mobile game UX design. At the level of graphics, gamers are very actively demanding a storyline so that the game is not boring and not a typical click-to-move project.
4. Sound Design
Many mobile gamers play without sound since the gameplay often occurs outside the home. But still, sound design is just as crucial for UX in video games because it adds atmosphere and quality to the project.
5. Interactivity and Gameplay Mechanics
Last but not least, an essential element of UX is the interactivity between gamers and the game that can be achieved through gameplay mechanics. It seems complicated, but in fact, everything is much simpler. Various events, quests, achievements, and other gameplay elements are the basis of modern games and attract different categories of gamers.
Best Practices for Video Game UX Design
One of the main practices for video game UX design is multifunctionality and accessibility. The text, in this case, plays the secondary part. When solving problems, players avoid reading text. They only use it as additional information. The user first analyzes the shapes and colors and only then begins to read if unclear.
It is also quite often to see games with the interface selection at the hand of the players (right-handed and left-handed), which is quite warm and positively affects the gamer community.
The Future of UX Design in Video Games
Undoubtedly, in the future, UX design in mobile games will only evolve and improve. This is hinted at by major game dev studios that are actively using new tools to develop their projects and achieve new goals:
Advancements in Technology and the Impact on UX Design
UI and UX designers constantly develop innovative tools to improve their work, and trends and technologies are evolving. This explains why we regularly monitor new developments, such as analyzing the audience of their actions in the game, etc.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Video Game UX Design
VR was a big trend; today, it is the standard gaming tool. Unfortunately, there are not so many good mobile games with augmented reality. But with a constant upgrade of VR technology and video game UX design, the number of mobile games with augmented reality will increase.
Designing the perfect user experience for mobile games in the early stages can seem difficult and sometimes impossible. At the same time, mobile game UI design is created based on user experience research. These two elements ( UX and UI ) are the basic knowledge that needs to be learned.
As a result, knowledge of programming languages is not enough to create an ideal and high-quality mobile game. The game will be weak and unprofitable without an analysis of experience and a convenient interface.