When it comes to crafting beautiful user interface designs there’s a lot you can get wrong to really make the experience an unpleasant one when it comes to using websites. In the world of browser games however, creating a solid UI is even more important. Given the amount of time people are playing hit games without leaving their browsers themselves, getting UI right is crucial.
The fact that the rules revolving around UI design can be extended to web design in general make it all the more worthwhile looking at. And while it’s a good idea to fire up these games at places like browsergamez and see their UI for themselves, the following essential rules can help too.
Guiding users through a clear process, making it obvious what you want them to do next is so critical when it comes to crafting solid UI. Browser games often do well at this, prompting users to take next step actions through buttons or informative pop-ups as well as restricting their access to other parts of the game without passing through one action or section first.
Indicating to your users what the preferred action is enables them to feel more comfortable using an interface and betters their understanding of the what they deem the purpose of your site, game or tool.
Another way to gain the confidence of your users and implement rock solid UI is to provide consistent feedback. Just like browser games indicate to players whether they have executed an action correctly or not, websites and web tools do similarly. Take, for example, Gmail. Users of the service receive notifications for each action they undertake, whether it’s archiving messages, deleting and opening new mail.
Providing this level of feedback, which indicates to the user the actions they’ve just taken, is another core component of good UI.
Browser games, due to the short attention span of their key demographic and the fact that there’s plenty of competition, have to be really on point when it comes to reinforcing the notion of clarity in their interfaces.
If a game isn’t immediately obvious and has a bunch of commands and buttons that make no visual sense, a user isn’t likely to spend the time working out what each does. The same can be said for other web tools, which have been forced to reduce their interfaces to minimalist and clear set-ups with few and obvious commands. If a user is confused by the clutter of buttons and endless menu screens then you’re likely not delivering a solid UI.
Due to the nature of the web and the short history of applications, tools and games, there has risen a level of understanding when it comes to users experiencing new interfaces for the first time.
Rarely do people walk into new interfaces without understanding that general modifications can be made by locating the Settings tab, or that they can store changes by pressing the Save button. This is a matter of context.
Not only does context relate to interface elements however, but it also related to how users expect to control the processes your game, site or tool provides. If you interface delivers counter-intuitive contextual clues, users are likely to get frustrated and confused by your UI rather than embrace it. Placing controls that users understand, in the places they are used to, is another critical part of building a rock solid UI.