GAMING THE INTERFACE

Another SXSW-inspired post – about something that has kept me thinking at least since fall 2009: what can we learn from game designers about how to design interfaces for complex applications? The basic idea is: applications present you with their full set of features from the get-go, maybe give you a little video and their help and that is that. It’s a bit like being dropped in the middle of the jungle with a map and a pat on the back: good luck old chap, you’ll figure it out. Most users never progress beyond a simple set of tools they quickly get familiar with and never venture any further, forever using the space-bar instead of tabs to position text.

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