Can the design of Video Games be compared to Websites?
When you think of websites, you probably think the equivalent is a magazine or newspaper, but what if they’re actually closer to video games?
This thought had never crossed my mind until a fellow Big Blue Digital team member, Lesley, and I were discussing the connection between the two. I have designed and made a few video games myself, and there are a lot of similarities between the design and construction of the two media. Here are some examples….
User Interface and Navigation
A good video game User Interface is intuitive to use - just like a good website.
When executing a command, the less input required to do something, the better. For example, in a video game you don't want your player to have to hold down or tap multiple buttons to select a new weapon or to open a treasure chest.
The same applies for your website.
The user must not have to click through multiple links or scroll down an endless page to get to an important piece of content or a major section of the site. Pages must be easy to navigate and it should also be easy to get back to places you’ve already been.
Most video games require the user to explore in a similar process to a website! A small on screen map is provided (mini-map) that gives you a big picture view, which can be equated to a website's site map and bread crumbs.
Just like in a video game, you want to keep your user engaged without getting frustrated.
Whether your game focuses on collecting items, or participating in mortal combat, you don’t want the user spending hours in the menus trying to figure out how to actually start the game or make any progress to the next stage.
The same applies for your website. You don’t want the user to spend time navigating through your menus because they are unable to find the content they are looking for.
Create a Relatable Environment
Your website’s content must be relevant and easy to read, just like a video game’s theme and purpose needs to be easy to follow.
Well designed video games stick to a familiar topic or setting, and you can easily make the connection and transitions between the first and final stages of the game. When in a character-based game, you grasp what the game setting is about which immediately gives you an expectation of the game. For example, Skyrim is based in a Lord of the Rings type of setting, so at no point in the game would you expect to see a skyscraper or a flying car.
The same applies for a website’s design style - the brand, layout, content, purpose and imagery must all be connected to each other, and not fractured anywhere in the site.
The last thing you want to do is confuse your user with clutter or confusion - making them close the website page, or quit playing your video game!
It is important to make sure that when you update or create new content, you think about the end user’s purpose in wanting or needing to consume that piece of information. What problem is it going to solve? What do you want the user to do once they’ve consumed it? This helps ensure your site is less complex, and more purposeful and thematic for the user.
Video games are designed to run smoothly without lag or time delay issues, especially as some run on multiple platforms.
At Big Blue Digital we handle the technical side of optimisation and responsive design so your website can run on multiple platforms and devices too.
There are things you personally can do when updating your website that can help optimise it, without getting too far into the tech side of things, including:
- Make sure your images are not unnecessarily large
- If you’re creating a new page or blog post, make sure the title and description of the page are optimised for SEO to increase your ranking opportunities
An Interactive Way to Think….
Thinking about your website or video game in terms of the user/player that will be interacting with it will always help. You must appeal to the user’s needs! Content must be in the right place, images must match content, and content must be engaging - satisfying a real need or want that viewer or player has.
Use all of those interactive thoughts to build a “world” that you’re creating on screen for your users!
Sometimes, when you’re thinking about creating purposeful, outcomes focused digital elements for your business, it’s easier to relate them to a real-world example you’re familiar with to take some of the stress and confusion out of it.
We love making sense of the Digital world for you and your business! Get in touch - let’s build something awesome together! Call us on 1300 721 481
to get started.