It’s clear from the last few years that modern games have lost their basic 2D interface, typical of the games that we reminisce about from our childhoods. Instead, games have taken the visual experience of their players one step further, adding 3D effects (as we saw on the Nintendo 3DS) or creating immersive, ongoing worlds to explore with budgets sometimes larger than Hollywood films.
While investigating Grand Theft Auto might seem far away from the problems of a web designer, there are many lessons that can be learnt from effective (or not) game design to be integrated into building new websites, especially ones that aim at a similar audience.
Whether you’re designing a ten hour game or a brand new website, the audience designers are targeting is at the heart of the decisions being made to formulate an experience. For both an interactive video game and a journey through a website, it is vital that audiences put down their controller or close their web browser feeling positive about the media product they have just used.
No Man’s Sky is a great example of this, a game recently receiving major criticism after gaining extreme expectations and hype from players, yet was condemned for the repetitive nature of its open world as well as its poor visual design. With the rhetoric of a ‘user’s journey’ becoming incredibly important for web design in recent years, web designers need to comprehend the narrative customers want to have throughout the website, unlike No Man’s Sky expected. Considering an easy interface for navigation and attractive visual style that takes a user simply from home page to their desired page is becoming important for the development of both game and web design.
User experience is not just ease of use, it is the entire experience of the user from start to finish. And that is not just an online experience.
Clever design of things such as the menu, key touch points, and key aides to conversion rates such as forms and contact details are all key to improving the users experience and ensuring they can easily reach their goal.
If their goal is different to your goal, either they are the wrong customer, or you are the wrong business, or you have not correctly displayed your value proposition to them.
Ultimately, if a website or game looks bad visually - in a world full of images – people will notice this and now thanks to a variety of social platforms, people have the ability to share their negative reaction with their colleagues, clients, friends, family or Twitter followers.
While there are fundamental differences between games and websites, like the further need for interactivity in games, it is clear that when it comes to designing and creating these forms of media, the importance of audiences and user experience is essential for developing great products.
What other lessons do you think can be learnt from game design? Let us know below.