What do UX and user interface (UI) designers do?
UX designers make sure a game is nice and easy to use (as distinct from being easy to win). They ensure the players get clear and effective feedback from the game. Their main concern is that players don’t get frustrated by a game being badly explained.
UI designers are concerned with the user interface; the point at which the game and the players interact. They create the look and feel of things like the heads-up display (HUD) showing the score, lives, and levels. They make sure that the menus and commands are clear.
In larger games companies the UX and UI roles are done by different people but in smaller studios, they are combined into one job. UX designers tend to focus more on the information a player needs for the game to flow well. UI designers tend to focus on how that information is communicated. They make it look good and sound great.
What’s a UX or UI designer good at?
- Empathy: imagine what it’s like to be a player, think about if the game is usable, champion the players always
- Art: create things that look good at the user interface and fit the style of the game
- Animation: design motion to enhance the UI design
- Communication: give very clear information to players, collaborate with the rest of the design team, understanding what game designers (or programmers) want to do, communicate how you intend to solve the presentation
- Analytical thinking: design things that can be built, know what your engine and tools can do, assess the circumstances, find the best solution