This article goes through an old heuristic evaluation using Katherine Isbister and Noah Schaffer’s criteria found in the Game Usability book. You’ll find an example of presentation slides, followed by an in-depth review of common mistakes to avoid when writing expert reviews. Continue reading Heuristic evaluation of Mini Ninjas and how to describe problems
Optional tutorials give everything away…
Default tutorials for offline players are scattered accross the place. They attrack the player’s attention through animations that add to the ambiance of the game. Bloodbornes tutorials are fully integrated and add to the experience rather than disrupting it.
Customizing the character’s appearance doesn’t really match the player’s logic
Character creation screens are usually complex. The one of Bloodborne is also complicated.
Despite generally implementing usable features and shortcuts for players, the character creation screen is somehow awkward. The screens are very cluttered with many different unrelated settings. Some things are grouped together, others separated. For example, I’ve seen players get really annoyed by face presets changing the skin color of their character.
Clear feedback that conveys personality
Identifying interactive objects : highlights and error messages
Players somtimes confuse natural lighting with iteraction cues but interactive items are easy to identify
Light effects are very effective to draw the player’s attention on objects. In Bloodborne, the lighting tends to attrack the player to decoration that isn’t interactive. It soon becomes easy to make the difference between “natural light” and actual items to pick up thanks to a shiny dot and a highlight in the dark that is active even without a torch.
Conveying cues for well timed actions
People reaction times vary depending upon the type of cue they recieve : visual or auditory. Getting the timing right requires to give clear information on the moment it can be performed. Depending upon the mastery level required and the type of interactions, cues for timings will be more or less evident.
Usability for hardcore gamers
Usability is about removing un-necessary actions to support a user’s activity. In games, this means reducing repetitive and boring tasks that don’t add value to the gameplay. Typically, while the gameplay loops include some difficulty, the interaction design of menus, controls and interfaces should be straightforward. Players need to focus on how to solve riddles, beat a boss or master a level, not struggle with menus or try to start up the game. Only few games like octodad can justify that struggling with movement is the fun part of the game. In most cases, it isn’t.
Lors du Flupa UX Day 2016, j’ai animé un atelier pratique autour du test d’arborescence. Nous avons d’abord réalisé par groupe un test d’arborescence papier sur des arborescences pré-définies. Nous avons ensuite comparé ces résultats à ceux du même test réalisé à l’aide d’un outil en ligne.
Chacun a pu ainsi expérimenter le test d’arborescence en tant que concepteur, animateur et participant d’un test papier, puis en tant que participant et analyste d’un test en ligne.