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UX principles.


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Some advice for anyone designing a UX for there assets, or software.. Works for apps or anything really.   I been a UX/UI Designer, programmer  most of my career, some of the basic principles which are super important when designing your user experience.


1: accessible

This is the number one thing to me, alot of people don't know i'm disabled, I won't go into detail, but this is important, to me, and should be to all designers. Alot of Men are color blind, so making sure its accessible to all people...


2:  Let the user have control. 

You need to not design with your OPINION....  It should be designed on what users want, not what YOU do.. when I design a UX or even UI.  I let the user have TOTAL control... Which leads to putting the user at the center..  This is the basics of UX design and SHOULD always be the case, but rarely is, which always shows me that the programmer, designer, does not have the skill or understanding. and this is an easy one, which is something that I never understood..  ( let your ego go).   What I do is get as many users are possible and get there input , and have them test, you should be iterating at this point... ( alot)...


3: IA information architecture

which is information on your screen, and understand what needs to be put on the screen, which always leads to iterations and improvement.. How many assets , or games have you tested that the developer rarely changes the  User experience?    I bet most will say all the time.. This is one thing, I see happen at studios and smaller companies, and more so solo developers..   This is the hard way for most.   

The excuses I hear, its to hard, it takes to long... Well, most people don't understand, designers, good ones,   alot of the times I  use scraps of paper, and design on napkin at dinner, I have ideas that pop up any time of the day and its on scrap paper, and I can iterate faster this way...   This is done before wireframing and prototyping.   You need to understand the platform you are supporting, when going through this process.  This is typically the early process of the UX Design.  

You can also start the basic of navigating through your tool/asset or game, during this process, this is critical, because if you find it during your iteration on paper, you won't waste hours, days of time programming, to find out, that your users cant get around your game or software, making it hard to navigate.


4: Consistency   

This part is super important this is when the user, is learning how to use your game, asset, or software.   If there is no consistency , the user will get lost, or find it hard to use, and stop using it or use way less. 

Alot of times, people try to be to creative and use text that is not readable, or shapes that are hard on the eyes...  Just like you prolly hear me say alot in 3d modeling, texturing, making things modular..  This is no different in this regard.   Its also great for performance, but it keeps things consistent by reusing alot of the same elements, colors, across the software/game. 

You want to make sure people don't have a large learning curve, this is where I for one spent alot of time, making sure this don't happen, its important for any designer, to keep be creative but keep the balance to keep everything consistent through out.    Alot of games, software fail at this...  


5: Giving users to much control.   


This can cause users, to get over whelmed and cause the same  issue, so, even though, some principles you want to give the user as much control as possible, you need to make sure you don't over whelm, them with choice..( being to bloated).  Most users want to be able to create there own functions, and ability to create what ever it is they are making. So, keep this as simple as possible. 

When a user has to many choices, us designers, call this Paradox of choices.  Something you don't want to happen, it happens alot, but you want to avoid this.  So find the balance where users have enough control, but not to the point, they get lost, confused.


6: Usability.  One of my favorites


This one is like IA, in many ways, with this one, we have there own rules as well, we follow, like learnability, efficiency, satisfaction, errors, and memorability.  Now this will be different to everyone when it comes to usability, every team I ever worked on, had a different understanding of what this means.    Now when I think of usability I follow those basic rules/principles.  


7:  User testing.  

is the hardest for most.. because its has to do with 

have you ever watched companies, or games, watch how users interact and act?  they are watching behavior, so if you ever watched someone play a game, watch how they react to key events ,in a game, or the way they react using certain software..  

this one for solo devs will be the hardest..  


So find a friend, have them play your game or your use your software, so you can see how they react to it by there emtion, see how hard it is for them to use, navigate by there emotions.  Also, you can test, to see what works and what doesn't.  I for one, use my mother alot, as she has been a gamer for years, she is 72 years old, but she also struggles with the easy things, so find users who are hard to please, and then find other types..  Have them face to face and test, until they are pleased.  So, get other types of users as well, ones that may not play the type of game, or software you are making... this is important, to find different types of people as well.


Anyways these are some very basic principles I have used, and served me well for years when design user experience,(UX) which is different from UI.. UI, some of these principles can go hand and hand as well.     I tried to break this down, so that users who aren't designers can understand.



Edited by Recon
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