So here's a surprise - I found myself amidst a sea of enthusiastic gamers at a game con. This unexpected journey into the world of gaming helped me discover how the UX principles I work with every day have found a home in an industry I'm not so familiar with 🎮
This weekend, a friend invited me to ExileCon, a gaming event for fans of Path of Exile. Although I'd never played the game or any similar games like Diablo, I thought, why not? Let's jump in and see what happens. To my surprise, I stumbled upon some intriguing applications of UX principles in the gaming world.
🧠 Let's start with cognitive load - that's the mental effort required by your users to process and understand the information in your product. Given that our cognitive capacity is a limited resource, we, as designers, need to make information clear and easy to understand.
This principle was executed brilliantly in Path of Exile. For instance, when designing the game items, the team ensured that all the shields faced the same direction. This meant that even with a quick glance, gamers could identify an item, reducing their cognitive load. Considering there are hundreds of different items in the game, ordering them in a way that's easy to recognize and choose is a fantastic way to keep the cognitive load low.
Next, let's talk about reducing friction. When you're playing a game, unexpected obstacles or confusion can throw off your whole experience. Path of Exile made some smart moves to avoid this. In the upcoming game version, Path of Exile 2, the developers have come up with an inventive way of introducing new information without disturbing gameplay.
Let's say a gamer arrives in a new environment and needs information about that location. Instead of popping up a notice board or having the gamer return to an information center, the game allows you to summon an NPC (a non-player character, like a bounty hunter) who can read the scenario and provide you with the info you need. This ingenious solution helps gamers understand the story without pausing gameplay or disrupting the narrative flow 🗣️
These gaming moments may seem trivial to non-gamers like me, but to see the crowd's reaction to tiny details - cheering and clapping - was quite an experience. Whether it was the option to pet a puppy in the game, or the ability to create unique gemstones to customize character skill sets, every little enhancement was met with jubilation. To me, this was a powerful demonstration of knowing and listening to your customers - the bedrock of good UX 👏
ExileCon was a great reminder that the principles of UX design apply far beyond apps and websites. It's not just about arranging pixels on a screen, it's about understanding your users and creating an environment that responds to their needs. Whether you're designing a software interface or a fantasy world, the principles remain the same 💡
#UXDesign #GamingIndustry #UserExperience #PathOfExile #ExileCon #beartalk
Did you find this article valuable?
Support Bear Liu by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!