Last Updated: December 24, 2021.
UI in games is often given a secondary role. However, it is from the interface that the user’s relationship with the game begins, the interface creates the first impression of it and determines what the user experience with its elements will be like.
In other words, UI-design (User Interface) is a set of graphic solutions that determine whether an application will be convenient for users or not. Let’s have a closer look at the components that help design app game successfully.
The UI should help the user to enter the game without hindering the gameplay. This is especially important for casual and hyper-casual games. The user has no time to understand the controls, so the interface of such games should be as simple as possible.
To make the interface better, it is worth leaving on the HUD screen only what directly affects the gameplay, getting rid of text and additional elements, and finding such a visual solution so that any user intuitively understands what needs to be done.
Another way to simplify the UI is to replace the status indicators with visuals. For example, in some mobile shooters or platformers, the HUD does not include a health bar and a small amount of it is indicated by a red screen.
Zero UI means that the user instantly enters the game: he launches it for the first time and intuitively understands how to play.
In its purest form, zero interfaces are found in sports simulators for the Wii. The player puts on gloves with controllers and guesses that he needs to swing to make a shot in the boxing simulator.
In mobile games, the zero interface is still a rarity. It is used in hyper-casual games, shooters, but only in conjunction with a tutorial. Without training, an inexperienced player will not immediately understand the game mechanics.
In any game, you need to strive for an intuitive entry into the gameplay and, if possible, get rid of learning where you can do without it.
In the integrated interface, all elements (from the health bar to the loading window) are inscribed in the game’s setting and become objects of the game world.
To integrate a UI into a setting, its elements must be intuitive and consistent with real-life imagery. In card games and casinos, the interface organically fits into the setting, since the cards and roulette were simply transferred from reality to the game, without changing anything.
In games of other genres, interface elements are placed in the setting not directly, but using images from life. For example, the character selection panel is presented in the form of an arena with heroes, the option for changing the costume is presented as a wardrobe.
Targeting user habits
There are well-established rules for interface design for every genre of mobile games. They are not changed so that users familiar with the genre can enter the game faster without understanding the controls.
A modern UI should be flexible and lively. Games, where the interface is created only to fulfill its basic functions, immediately lose a large share of the attractiveness for the player.
Each important element of the interface signals itself and attracts with the help of color, size, animation. At the same time, it is important that the used effects do not irritate the player and do not draw all his attention to themselves.
You can learn with Fireart that a good interface helps and guides the player: when the user scores points, the character settings are highlighted in case they decide to upgrade. To create such a responsive UI, game designers prescribe possible behavior scenarios.
More and more products with identical functionality appear on the market, and UI design can become a competitive advantage. Of two identical games, the user will choose the one where the interface is more convenient and responsive.
Drawing the line, UI design today is not only about the interface, but also about the impression it makes on the player. Good UI fascinates — buttons are pleasantly pressed, icons appear beautifully.
He surprises and literally reads the user’s mind, predicts what he wants to do in the game, and shows the shortest path to the goal. These little details help create a game that users love and want to come back to.