Being a highly competitive area, UX designers are often scrambling and racking their brains for original ideas, trying to reinvent the wheel to come up with something not yet seen. However, most tools and techniques for UX design are already out there. The gathering of fresh ideas can be tough when there seem to be no sources to draw inspiration from. However, an often overlooked and largely untapped resource for such ideas in design actually comes from a surprising source: video games.
The entertainment industry’s most profitable performer (generating about $116 billion annually) the video gaming industry is doing something right to appeal to the gaming audience. Its audience is one of the most solvent ones around as it encompasses both male and female gamers. There is much to be learned from this industry in terms of marketing. This is the reason why gamification has been a prominent marketing strategy for some time.
Clay, a San Francisco based UX design studio, is an example of a company that highlights that you should find out certain pertinent aspects of a UX company before you hire one. One of the most vital is how their designs will work to engage your audience. To do so, many use gamification techniques.
The art of video game design is interesting because it possesses a way of visually representing large sets of various data. Oftentimes, the games don’t even notice this data, but that doesn’t mean they do not perceive it during gameplay. In other words, throughout the gameplay experience, gamers have to keep track of a vast amount of information and metrics. These include, but are not limited to:
- Map location
- Life indicator
- Character name/type
- Time remaining to complete an objective
- Items in inventory
This is a lot of data and if you were to judge it solely by the list, it could feel cluttered. However, gamers adjust quickly to viewing, understanding, and using parts of these data sets. If your business utilizes an app, you might consider disclosing most of the critical information about your product on the first screen to the end-user. This list contains UX agencies that bring in intelligent design to assist in conveying a message to the user and letting them know where they can find what they are seeking by using your digital product.
Dynamic Cross-Platform Design
Fortnite is one of the most popular video games in the world. One of the primary reasons for its vast popularity is that it can be played by games on most devices including various gaming consoles (Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, etc), computers, and even smartphones. The most pivotal part is that no matter the device used, they can play against the same users, from any other platforms.
What Fortnite clearly illustrates is that success can come about from providing end-users with a similar user experience regardless of the platform. Therefore any website or app that is being designed should be used with an equal level of efficacy regardless of the device it is accessed from.
Perks For Returning Users
Can inspiration be drawn from the niche of mobile gaming? This area of gaming is often considered the Wild West of the gaming industry. Small companies are popping up daily and producing ‘unfinished’ games that get players addicted enough to their intriguing nature to keep playing and purchasing small game rewards for real money. Does that sound a bit crazy? In reality, what they are doing is putting together an app that continues to draw an audience to use it.
A reward system is a typical and important tool for keeping and exploiting users of mobile games. Challenging a gamer to pass a level within a time period (like today) can net them game currency or tokens, while playing for two days in a row earns more perks, and so on. While developers are spending no money on the design of the fake ‘currency’ and prizes, the number of players, and loyal customers, continues to grow. The greater the number of players, the more ads they are shown, the more money earned by the game developer.
Of course, you do not need to get an audience addicted to using your digital product, but by providing rewards for returning users, you are creating an effective method of increasing visits and your conversion rates. Giving the audience a chance to create accounts is another way to improve their user experience in an app or site. You can establish some type of reward system that will keep customers coming back, increasing customer loyalty. Discussing this aspect with your UX company is sure to yield some valuable insight into this approach.
The video gaming industry is here to stay and it will only continue to grow. Therefore, including gamification techniques into your digital product can greatly enhance the user experience. There is nothing wrong with taking this approach. After all, you are taking your queues from the most successful industry in the entertainment realm.