Be nice. Or else.
Palo Alto, California Product Designer at WhatsApp Joined almost 3 years ago
Hey Jon, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.
You totally need a Switch and if you liked HZD get ready to have your mind blown by Breath of the Wild.
Games do have a tricky position of making things easy enough on the player to understand and progress, but hard enough so they are challenging and fun to figure out. When working on interfaces that are for communication, commerce or productivity things always needs to be as easy as possible. Something that interests me is where game designers introduce friction in order to make the experience more engaging.
I know what you are saying about games and tutorials. Breath of the Wild is an interesting game because it seems like there is no obvious tutorial, but actually the entire game is a long tutorial that teaches the player a library of actions that they end up having to use in new and interesting ways.
I agree with that definition of skeuomorphic design. The way I am using the term here may seem a bit abstract, but a town offers you a series of non-linear options of things you can choose to do. A menu is a series of non-linear options of things you can choose to do. It's not as closely related as a calculator UI to a real life calculator, but I think you would agree 'walking your character to the lobby to join friends in a game' is more skeuomorphic than 'selecting a lobby and friends from a menu list.'
I think that is a strong way to describe the 3D menus. I still feel the thing that ties all the examples together, both 2D and 3D is the skeuomorphic elements. Mainly because the sense of space on a 2D plane isn't as obvious as the representation of movement between 'physical' locations. I agree 'skeuomorphic' doesn't explain the paradigm in full, but for me, it tied the article together.
Yes I agree 'immersive' works well for the 3D examples, but it feels less defined and doesn't work for the 2D examples. To me, the interesting element of these menus are their relationship to real life actions. You visit the options of a menu to do things, you visit the places of a town to do things. That paradigm seems to encompass all the examples, even though it's not what we classically think of as skeuomorphic design.
I'm suggesting that the skeuomorphic element in the menu of options is the specific locations in a physical space. Relating real life physical choices, to visiting options in a menu. I couldn't find another name for this type of menu design, and this felt the most closely related. What would you call these type of menus?
I don't believe there is any difference at all whether the UI is display on the Switch's screen or an external display. It is always displayed at a 16:9 ratio. The system knows what it is outputting the display to. Nintendo choose to make it exactly the same.
After thinking about this more. I might argue some of the earlier controllers like the NES or SNES were special because they were so light in the hand. I retain my position that the Xbox 360 controller felt really great and balanced overall.
The button swaps for confirms is brutal. I haven't tried the companion app, I will give it a go.
Totally true. From what I've seen those designers seem attracted to VR/AR design where they face a similar set of complex problems.
Ah that makes more sense. :)
Be nice. Or else.
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