GAMES UX

Exploring Nielsen’s Heuristic with a game that allows you to rewrite the rules

In my last article about Jakob Nielsen’s Heuristic and games, I talked about the importance of a match between a system and the real world with a great example of a game that recreates a real-world system to immerse players in the game: Her Story.

This time I will focus on the third heuristic — user control and freedom — with the best example I could find in games: Baba is You. A game that allows players to rewrite its own rules.


In the first article about Jakob Nielsen’s heuristic and critical systems, we talked about system status visibility — the importance of informing users about what is happening to empower their decision-making process.

This time, we will focus on the second heuristic, matching the system with the real world, explaining this using an example from the medical devices industry.

#2 Matching the System With the Real World

Systems shouldn’t use their own terms but rather communicate in the user’s language. Communicate with familiar concepts, words and expressions adapted to your user, in a natural and logical order, following real-world conventions.

Why?
Users feel comfortable with your system; we humans are…


GAMES UX

Exploring the alignment between in-game systems and the real world

In the first article about Jakob Nielsen’s Heuristic and video games, I talked about the visibility of system status and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The importance of informing users about what is happening empowers their decision-making process.

This time I will focus on the second heuristic, the alignment between in-game systems and the real world, with a great example of a game that recreates a real-world system to immerse players in the game: Her Story.

Her Story

Her Story (2015) is an interactive narrative video game written and directed by Sam Barlow. In this game, the player explores a database of…


One of the biggest names on the UX world, Jakob Nielsen, focused a large part of his career on usability and came up with several usability methods — including probably his most famous, the heuristic evaluation.

The heuristic evaluation allows us to identify usability issues in software by looking at 10 major points, the usability heuristics. These are 10 rules of thumb dictating the quality of interactions and usability.

As these 10 heuristics are not specific usability guidelines, they can be applied to different contexts to improve the user experience of any product— like critical systems.


GAMES UX

A UX case study focused on the visibility of status

Jakob Nielsen, one of the biggest names in the UX world, focused a big part of his career on usability and came up with several usability methods, the most famous one being the heuristic evaluation.

The heuristic evaluation allows us to identify usability issues in software by looking at 10 major points: The Usability Heuristics. This evaluation comprises 10 rules of thumb that dictate the quality of the interaction and usability of interfaces. Since these heuristics are not specific usability guidelines, they can apply to different contexts to improve the UX of any product — like video games.

Why not…


GAMES UX

Finding a balance between visual flair and effective communication

Amid all controversy surrounding Cyberpunk 2077, I also have my share of issues with the game. Not only did my physical copy arrive late, because of COVID-19's impact on postal services, but I also had all the well-documented issues playing the game on PS4. When I finally got my hands on it, I had fun and time flew by while playing. The world is so detailed and enjoyable; it’s impossible not to lose yourself in it.

Despite the fun I had, I did notice some UX issues throughout. The menu navigation could be improved. The imperfect organization of information also…


Analysing the onboarding experience for new players in Doom Eternal

How do you become the Doom Slayer? Onboarding a new player to any game is an important design challenge for game developers, but it can be especially challenging in games like Doom Eternal. The development team need to ensure that the experience is finely balanced for both totally new players and longtime series veterans. In this Games UX piece, I take a closer look at the learning process behind Doom Eternal’s first mission, and how the game introduces itself to players more generally.

Doom Eternal 101

Doom Eternal is a first-person shooter developed by id Software and published by Bethesda Softworks. The player…


GAMES UX

Making account access easier for the user

Xbox Passkey is a 6-digit code that users can utilise to access their Xbox Live account rather than using an email and password. In this piece, I’m going to explore how the Xbox Passkey service could be improved. Let’s dive in.


GAMES UX

Exploring (and hopefully improving) the experience around melee weapons and upgrades

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog. It’s set a few years after the events of the original game, released in 2013. Whether you are new to the series or not, it’s worth mentioning that SUPERJUMP has covered The Last of Us Part II very extensively. Here are a few primers to get you in the mood, should you want to dive in further:


I was playing Yakuza Kiwami and commented with a friend that the Majima Everywhere feature was entertaining. He did not believe me.

— You will get tired of him.
— No, I won’t. Even if that extended to real life, I would still have fun.

I don't know when to stop a joke, so I just decided to transform this statement into a design exercise: an app like Pokemon Go, but instead of catching pokemon, you will be caught by Majima. Everywhere. Literally.

So this is the video presentation of the final Case Study:

Video presentation of Majima Everywhere

If…

Maria Meireles

A Designer writing about videogames.

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