One of the best books I’ve ever read on User Experiences is titled “The Elements of User Experience” written by Jesse James Garrett. In the book, he begins by telling the story of a man who wakes up and wonders why his alarm clock never went off. He goes to make coffee, but struggles with the coffeemaker. On his way to work, he stops for gas, but can’t get his credit card to work and has to stand in a long line to pay. When he is finally on his way, he is detoured due to an accident and arrives far later than he ever anticipated. He ends up irritated, sweaty, and lacking a much needed cup of coffee.
Hey! This is an excerpt from my book Designing Products People Love, which will be published by O’Reilly in December. Learn more about the book and the 20+ product designers from Facebook, Twitter, Slack, etc. who were interviewed about how they work.
Have you ever experienced a user interface that feels lifeless? Have you created a UI that just seems to be missing…something?
Summary: Feeling that there is only one chance can convince people to take action sooner, sometimes without careful consideration of consequences or alternative options.
The scarcity principle is a well-documented social-psychology phenomenon that causes people to assign high value to things they perceive as being less available.
Forget voice commands and touch gestures: A London firm has developed a way for Google Glass users to control their devices just by thinking.
This Place, an agency that specializes in creating user interfaces and experiences for programs used in the medical industry, developed a software called MindRDR that allows Google Glass to connect with the Neurosky MindWave Mobile EEG biosensor, a head-mounted device that can detect a person’s brain waves.
A new study has revealed that gamers are more likely to experience feelings of aggression from playing a game when it is too difficult or when the controls are too complicated to master.
In comparison, the research found there was “little difference” in levels of aggression when the games themselves depicted violence. Overwhelmingly, the deciding factor was “how the volunteers were able to master the electronic game after 20 minutes of play”.
The director behind the innovative video game Nevermind tells us why biofeedback is the new frontier in gaming.
In the future, horror games will know when you’re scared. And then they’ll get scarier.
Proof: the currently-in-development horror-adventure game Nevermind, which just launched a Kickstarter campaign last week. The game pairs classic first-person exploration with biofeedback data from a heart rate monitor in order to tell when you’re scared and turn up the horror.
What stands out about the latest release in the Grand Theft Auto series is the overwhelming size of the game’s map and storyline. However, after playing the game for a while, it becomes apparent that Rockstar Games has done an excellent job at balancing the game by utilizing multiple characters to provide just enough open-endedness for players to explore, while also constraining in-game activities with careful narrative design to keep engagement high during gameplay.
If, while watching WALL-E, your heart broke just a little bit when you saw the title character desperately travel across outer space in search of true love, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Sure, WALL-E is a robot. But its cute, anthropomorphized look and all too human desire to end its loneliness made us subconsciously forget that it is not human.
Video game characters with natural responses to human body language
Researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London have been using theater performers to design computer software capable of reading and replicating the way in which humans communicate with their bodies.
Dr Marco Gillies from the Department of Computing has made virtual characters more believable by enlisting actors to teach them body movement. The actors interact with members of the public through a screen, and their responses to specific body language are memorized as algorithms by the software.
As much as you may love video games and the stories they help you tell, it’s impossible to escape the fact that much of your experience is a trick of the mind.
The thing that separates video games from other forms of media, the ability to interact with and perhaps shape a virtual world, is mostly powered by the artificial intelligence of the characters that populate that experience.
But at its best gaming artificial intelligence systems, AI expert David Mark says, are, like 2-year-olds, basically sociopaths. What he means is that they are intrinsically anti-social. Getting past that problem doesn’t mean imbuing a character with personality, it means tricking gamers.