What makes a video game blast the monotony of repetitive actions and sometimes mindless clicking? The short answer to this is the story and the interface. Because in a video game players expect great content to be delivered to them without breaking the fantasy, it is my belief that web designers have a lot of things to learn from them.
Similar to gamers, web users prefer content that is easy to understand, intuitive, engaging and does not imply a lot of scrolling or clicking. In addition to the user interface – which let’s face it is one of the instrumental elements that gives a game its personality – web designers can also take advantage of the other higher-end concepts in their creations. Let’s elaborate.
1. Never forget the big picture
Granted, in the vast majority of situations a website’s goal is completely different from that of a video game. Simply put, efficiency must reign over the entertainment element. This is why the web design team must make sure that they select the suitable interface items to fit the project and be in accordance with the services/products promoted by a certain website.
A further helpful element web designers can “steal” from video games is the hub-and-spoke type of architecture, especially for websites that incorporate a large amount of information. Nonetheless, some SEO professionals agree that multiple menus that build paths for the visitor to follow can work equally well when considering a sales funnel on a site.
2. User engagement: Are you doing it right?
Not just video games can benefit from the users’ feedback, but also your website. It all starts with asking yourself what do gamers appreciate the most about video games. Think back when Skyrim was launched – and the internet got flooded with references to this game – and find out what users find so appealing about this popular game.
In practice, this can mean something like asking the users if they would like to learn more about the subject after placing an order. As you learn the answers to what makes a great video game, use that information by incorporating it in the interface of your website.
3. Customized cursors
Custom cursors are not new, nor uncommon to the world wide web. In fact, this capability is built into most of the current browsers. So, if it’s there, why not use it to highlight information that you find important. The only thing to remember in creating an interactive design is to use the cursors in moderation: for clickable content, when providing help or when you want visitors to notice a certain piece of information, etc.
4. Icons improve navigation on the site
Remember when I told you that you should be careful when choosing the appropriate UI interface? Well, the icons are among of the paramount interface items that are often not treated with the importance they deserve. In games, they help players recognize a vendor, foe, trainer and other relevant character.
Essentially, the icons that are consistent with the rest of the elements in the design, employ solid colors, contrast outlines or easily recognizable shapes will accelerate navigation and contribute to a more satisfying user experience. Moreover, because there is no rule that the icons should be static, you can use them to draw attention to key topics on the site.
5. Tabbed screen and full-page carousels
Sites with a lot of information can greatly benefit from presenting the data with the help of slides, carousels and tabs. However, given the variety of screen sizes these days, you cannot implement them precariously and without careful planning.
Since the scripts that provide placing custom scroll bars in the div container exist, why wouldn’t you use them to build your menus? With regards to the menus, it is necessary to mention that the whole idea is to keep the users on one screen with the help of scalable menus. The advantage of this approach is that you will not have any limitations regarding the number of items you can add under each menu.
7. Pivot screens
Considering that users make their first impressions from the overall design of the site, then a good idea is to blow their minds with a pivot screen on the homepage. And, the best part is that it is not very complicated: you can use two images and a bit of Photoshop to create a breathtaking depth and approach sensation.