09 April 2012

Make a Better Game – Limit the Player

Make a Better Game – Limit the Player

Quote:

You go to the grocery store because a friend asked you to pick up some flour for a recipe. Now, this happens to be a very unique grocery store with forty varieties of flour to pick from. You find yourself rattled standing before this Great Wall of Ground Wheat Product… What should I pick? Does it even matter? My friend wants to bake some cookies, is there a special kind of flour for that? Before fully succumbing to a panic attack, you race for the nearest emergency exit and make your escape.
Your next destination is a much more typical grocery store, and this time around you find but three different kinds of flour: all-purpose, bread and cake. You think about your options for a few seconds, but it’s pretty clear that cookies are neither bread nor cake, so you quickly settle on the all-purpose flour and return from your shopping trip flush with victory.
While this story is a bit silly, the obvious lesson is that contrary to what you’d expect,presenting someone with a huge number of options does not give them more ‘freedom’ –  in fact all it does is overwhelm them. This has long been a tenet of good interface design. There’s a bit of a ‘rule’ which states that a user’s attention should be split between no more than seven items. The human brain is equipped to weigh only a handful of possibilities simultaneously. I’m sure at some point all of you have opened up some random website that had waaaay too much going on. And you probably weren’t thinking, “oh boy, I can’t wait to dig into all of this, where should I start!” Once someone passes that invisible threshold the end result is nearly always frustration.
Full article here: http://jonshaferondesign.com/2012/04/03/make-a-better-game-limit-the-player/
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