Research, Ideas and Development

As my MA comes to a close, I would like to reflect on my project. To fully understand the progress I have made, I would like to look back at my research, ideas and development.

I began my research by looking into how a good interface is created. I found a number of great sources online which taught me about how aesthetics and function are utilised during the design process and how the four main categories for UI function are key to creating a successful design.

I then looked into bad interfaces and what makes a design fail. I started to look at examples from my own experience and looked at whether these were subjectively good or bad to other players. I found that a lot of complaints were made by colour blind players who struggle to differentiate between various hues. I found that many games’ colour blindness presets are still not enough for most players as colour blindness is a huge spectrum that varies from person to person. This kickstarted my ideas on player based colour customisation and how that could be used to create a unique and enjoyable experience.

I began to follow online tutorials for Adobe XD, a widely used program in industry level interface design. While creating UI designs of my own, I quickly realised how difficult it can be to create a HUD layout that is objectively good and would work for everyone. Just because a design works for me, does not mean that it would work for someone else and how could I overcome this? I realised that the software I had been using, Adobe XD, allows users to move menus and panels to any location on the screen. This pushed me to explore my previous customisation idea further and I realised that the concept of customisable UI could be widened to include panel movement. If players can recolour and relocate their interface elements, the final logical addition to this system would be to allow players to resize their panels too.

With the concept in my head, I then reached out to a number of professional game and UI designers to better understand how the games industry currently caters to disabled players and to get their opinions on my idea. After a number of very interesting and insightful conversations, I had an overwhelmingly positive response to my concept. This reaction was just was just what I needed to push my project forward to completion.

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