Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Following the platform guidelines eliminates the problem of users becoming frus-
trated with the interface itself, and reduces the learning curve required to under-
stand the application.
Proper feedback helps the user understand what the application is doing behind
the scenes, and helps reduce the chances that the user will feel “in the dark” about
the current state of the application.
Modality plays a big part in helping guide the user towards performing steps in the
correct sequence, and it helps the user to understand how a complex interface works.
Lastly, with an environment safe for exploration, the user can attempt to guess
what to do next if he is stuck on something, without fear of corrupting his data. A
user will often try a couple of things through guesswork before going to the refer-
ence material, if he can do so without undue worry that he will break things in the
application or project.
Remember that the difference between a good and a great interface is how self-
evident it is. If time is short for the development of a tool, instead of investing time
in producing reference material, a self-evident interface will be more than enough
of a reference for users.
Principle of Moderation
Most platforms have written conventions that describe the appropriate use of ani-
mation, color, sound, and multimedia clips, and they should be used sparingly.
You should never use sound and color as your sole means of communication with
the user; many users are colorblind or hearing impaired. The application should
be able to run with full functionality and productivity without any multimedia
features.
Following the platform conventions, only use multimedia where it makes sense,
and always allow the option to turn off multimedia features like sound effects.
Some users find them distracting, and this decreases productivity.
Principle of Customization
This concept is centered on the idea that users love to customize their work envi-
ronment to match their own personal style and preferences. Generally, offering
work environment customization increases productivity because users can set up
where toolbars are positioned, select fonts and colors that are easier to read, and
show only the dialogs that they use often.
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