When you begin playing a game for the first time, you will likely immediately notice whether or not the game includes an intuitive interface or if it feels overly complex and confusing. This is typically referred to as the UX, or the User Experience of a game, platform, or even an online website or community. If you are developing a game of any type, knowing how to improve your game’s user experience can go a long way in terms of maximizing your reach, boosting your game’s overall rating, and ultimately, generating sales.
What is User Experience (UX)?
User Experience, also commonly referred to as UX, is the experience a user has whenever they access a game, piece of software, or even a specific website. All of the interactions a user has with a website or game are considered part of the user’s overall experience.
Those who work with UX in mobile game development know how important it is to consider the values, goals, and specific missions of the companies they represent. They must also have a well-versed understanding of the audience and target demographics the mobile game application development company they represent is attempting to target. The more familiar they are with the audience that is being targeted, the easier it is to ensure proper UX elements are implemented throughout the game development process.
1. Simplify Your Game’s Language
Creating UX that is easily accessible to a wide audience is much easier when you reduce the amount of technical jargon you use to present the game you are developing or working around. Avoid using terms that are too complex, archaic, or simply unfamiliar to those who may have a genuine interest in the game that is being developed.
Use language that is ideal for communicating with an audience that may vary in age range, gender, and even specific locations or regions. Using language and tones that feel universal will also help to keep your target audience more engaged with your game itself.
2. Reduce the Scope of Your Project
As a UX designer, your first thought may be to implement as many hip and eye-catching features as you can muster in order to draw attention to your game development project. However, this is not always the case. In fact, it is highly recommended for game developers to take the time to sketch and brainstorm plenty of options when it comes to the template, layout, and even specific elements of a game that you are considering using. Using too many elements, visual features, or even animations can cause your game to lag, become unresponsive, or simply turn players off altogether.
Brainstorming an extensive number of elements can provide you with a visual overview of what type of UX you may be working with, allowing you more flexibility when it comes to eliminating items and reducing the overall scope of the project itself. Remember, less is more, especially when it comes to User Experience and User Interface (UI) design today.
3. Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Design
Anytime you are working on a mobile game development project, it is essential to consider how responsive your mobile game is and whether or not it has been developed with responsive design in mind. Ensuring that your game is responsive and compatible with numerous operating systems, devices, and browsers will also help to improve the overall user experience for anyone who chooses to download and play the game.
Before launching a new mobile game, it is imperative to conduct thorough tests using multiple browsers and devices to ensure that your game is ready for public release.
4. Consistency is Key
Whenever you are involved in mobile game development, consistency is key, especially when it comes to the development of the UX of a game (on any platform). Implementing features and elements that are streamlined for the UX you want to use is crucial to help with building a brand and identity surrounding your newly developed game.
Using similar color schemes, typography, UI (user interface) graphics, animation styles, and even dialogue tones can have a significant impact on how others view and interpret your game, especially for those who are playing the game for the first time.
5. Conduct Frequent UX Audits
One of the best ways to ensure you are providing your game’s users with the best experience possible each time they play your game is to conduct regular UX audits. Auditing the progress of your UX design decisions as well as the milestones you have reached and implemented can help you to see the bigger picture when it comes to combining both UX and UI.
Whether you are working solo on a project as a developer or if you are working with other mobile game developers on a project, it is always recommended to conduct an audit from time to time for quality purposes. When you conduct a UX audit, ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you are on the right track with your current mobile game development project:
- Does the UX I am implementing in my mobile game application development project suit the needs and desires of my users’ or my client(s)?
- Are the decisions I am making with regards to the game’s UXI am working on aligned with the original vision for the game?
- What can be done in terms of improving the game’s UX that is not currently being done? What is currently stopping me from implementing these elements or aspects into the game?
- How can I use my UX decisions to help maximize reach, visibility, downloads, and ultimately, engagement with my game or the game of my clients?
Implementing various tips to help improve your game’s overall user experience is essential for mobile game developers today, regardless of the market or niche you are targeting. When a user feels satisfied with their overall experience while browsing a website, accessing a program, or even playing a game, they are much more likely to refer the game to others and to remain immersed and engaged in the game for hours and even years to come.