This is the original main menu from the Sims 4. In my personal opinion, it is far too vibrant and the colours clash, fighting for the player’s attention. The llama gif in the lower right is distracting as it constantly moves and removes the player’s focus from the more important elements of the menu. The pack icon colours do not look right to me either, they are too similar to contrast but too different to match and it can cause many issues for players with colourblindness. The brightness of the clashing colours also causes migraines and headaches for players with sensory issues.
My goal for the main menu redesign was to reduce these effects by choosing more understated colours that compliment each other better. In theory this would prevent migraines and create a better gaming experience for players with sensory issues.
For this redesign I decided to focus more on recolouring than layouts as I would like to spend longer researching the technical aspect behind a good UI layout. Perhaps this could be the focal point for a future project?
My design uses a gradient of blue that was present in The Sims 4 logo before the 2019 rebrand. These paler blue and green tones compliment each other far better and provide a great base for the rest of the menu.
I used the darker of the blue gradient to frame the news section on the right and pack panel at the bottom. I also used a paler, lower opacity version of the gradient to recolour the triangular shapes in the pack panel in order to make them less vibrant and loud on the menu.
Getting the icons right was very difficult as I wanted to base my design off the opinions that I gathered in my previous research. Some players liked that the packs were differentiated by category; while others preferred packs to have their own individual colours. Some players liked the balance of colours between packs but others claimed that the colour palettes were too similar.
I decided that I would try to balance opinions by matching the colour swatches to each other and to the rest of the menu. I created two variations of the pack icons that are the reverse of each other. These represent packs that have been purchased or not so the player can clearly see what they have installed. I decided that this would help players with colourblindness to differentiate between purchases even if they are unable to see the gradient between the pack categories.
I created two versions of all of the pack icons – one in green and one in blue. I like the green icons as they tie in the plumbob from the logo nicely. However I do not think that the green icons stand out as nicely from the pale blue triangular background as the blue icons do. For this reason, I personally would choose the blue icons for my menu.
To make sure I was making the right decision by picking the blue icon theme, I sent both versions to my MA classmates and created a poll for them to vote for the one they prefer. The result was 5 blue : 1 green.
In conclusion, I much prefer the redesign with the blue pack icons as the colours are far more fluid and uniform compared to the original design. I think my version is a lot easier on the eyes and it allows the player to clearly differentiate between purchased and outstanding packs. It would be interesting to see if this has reduced the effects on people with sensory issues but I believe that will be a much larger task and might be an experiment for another project with further research into how colourblindness and sensitivity affect colour choice.