Today we will discuss an important aspect of mobile gaming- the User Interface or UI.
What is user interface?
In a game, user interface is the interface between the game and the person who is playing the game.
So user interface means everything designed in a device through which a player interacts.
Here, it would refer to user interface on a device which is touch sensitive like mobile phones or tablets. The user interface would allow a player to perform the different functions that are required to play the game.
User Interface for mobile phones
The user interface for a mobile phone is significantly different from a desktop. Here the screen size is smaller and the controls are touch screen. So the user interface has to be designed in such a way that it is easily understood and accessed. Because of lack of space, some controls may be hidden till they are accessed.
Now we look at 5 aspects that make a good user interface. The designers and developers need to keep each of these aspects in mind.
User interface design
The user interface needs to be easily understood. A user should also be able to easily navigate through it. A player would be familiar with several interfaces, so the interface should be built keeping that in mind. For example in a racing game a player should be able to accelerate, brake, move left and right with ease. Players may not like something that is radically new. So a sense of familiarity is essential. The features of a game a player needs to use should be most prominent. They should know how to perform the same function repeatedly.
User interface clarity
A user needs to easily navigate through the different controls and options in the game. Visually and also in terms of content the user interface needs to be consistent. The user interface should be simple, easy to understand and use.
User interface should be responsive
The user interface should be such that it is very fast and responsive. Any time of lag will put off a user. The interface should be fast and move with the pace the user expects. If that is not possible, there should be a waiting sign that tells the user how much he needs to wait. If the wait time is too much users will get frustrated.
User interface should be consistent
As a player plays a game he should become used to what different buttons, tabs and icons do. They will know how these work in a certain context. This will help them to operate these in a quicker manner, based on their previous experience. A high learning curve can put off a user.
User interface should be attractive
The user interface should be visually appealing. The colours, the design and the font all is a part of that. The aesthetics of the game user interface would also depend on the type of game it is and who the target audience is.
Here was a quick look at the features that game user interface needs to have. Check out the exciting new quiz game Muqaabla by downloading it from the Play Store. Do let us know how you like the user interface of Muqaabla in your comments.