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How to Become a Better UX Designer by Playing Video Games

Irene Fatyanova 0

Video games. Wonder, if there are people who still associate that with Lana del Ray’s breakthrough hit.

Anyway, one thing’s true – there are those who can’t live without gaming. And make money on it. They design, program, play, and test games. They are parts of a huge gaming industry. Meanwhile, mass media keeps feeding us stories about violent outbursts caused by gaming addiction. Isn’t there a bit of a contradiction?

I won’t give you “video games can slow down aging” nonsense. Let’s just talk web design and how gaming can improve the designer’s performance. And also, how can one enter the industry and get the revenues?

When Gamification Meets Web Design

Ever heard of gamification? In short, it means to apply the elements of game design to non-related contexts. Come to think of it, it’s pure psychology. Most people like playing games since childhood. To most of us, something that is fun and interactive seems credible. That’s why using video game elements in website design creates trust. Hence, better user experience.

UX designers use elements like profile badges, cartoon characters, and illustrations. These and much more are but a few examples of gamification. To someone this may look a bit childish, yet who doesn’t want to be a kid at times? Just remember the latest ‘Pokemon Go’ craze. Young and old alike went rampant playing this game. Well, I can relate to that in a way. Is there anything more exciting than a game-meets-reality kind of app?

Being a Designer Wannabe

Curiosity killed a cat, they say. And today’s internet users are no better. Technology is booming, so why not expand the familiar horizons and learn something new? More and more users these days get engaged in web design.

Partly because there are engines like WordPress that can make anyone feel like a web designer. For those and the like, there are complex solutions like ready-made themes. For instance, using games WordPress themes one can put up their own gaming website in mere hours. And start earning money off of creating game reviews and selling games.

This is a cool option for noobs, but what about professionals? What can they learn by playing computer games? The answer might surprise you: structure. Structure, in its turn, helps to create better user experiences. If you think about it, any game represents a structured information system.

This system guides the players and provides them with tools for achieving specific goals. Also, games give feedback to this or that action of a player. Isn’t it how any UX design works – through actions, feedback and loops?

Getting back to psychology again (oh, man, Sigmund Freud’s spirit is out there).

The profession of a web designer is in a way unique. Not only do they create web layouts, they also have to process and transform the ideas of a customer. Transform them into something trendy, something catchy and unique.

Video games can teach designers to guide human behavior. Because games ARE about people’s behavior. As well as they are about storytelling and communication. Only think about it – games educate people, so they can be a real constructive force. This is why designers have to be apt communicators for sure.

Hope, I have convinced you that playing games is important for your professional growth. To finish you off with my persuasiveness today, here’s a game list every designer must play. So, have fun and enjoy your day! And I’m off to play the ‘Sims’.

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