To play games is to enter a new world, to delve deeply into the mind of a team of developers and find out what makes them tick.
You’ve delved into gangland territory, the great desert plains of the Wild West, the uncharted and unfathomable reaches of space, the rocky outcrops of Mars, and the greatest football stadiums the world has ever known.
And while you’ve enjoyed your time in each of these meticulously designed landscapes, you’ve also probably come a cropper more than once.
‘It wasn’t my fault,’ you’ve cried at your television screen, watching your avatar crushed under a mountain of rocks or impaled on a set of spikes. ‘This game’s just rubbish.’
Indeed, while many videogames offer lush visuals and bucket loads of excitement, many more are beset with dodgy controls, a poor user interface (UI) and more bugs than your last underfloor infestation.
And if you’re a games developer you need to know how to avoid those common pitfalls.
So let’s be counterintuitive – instead of looking at games with great UIs, let’s tackle a few websites.
Website design has pretty much nailed it in terms of intuitive interfaces that are friendly to users. Here are some of our favorites.
Medium-sized businesses like Looking4.com have to face a major dilemma when it comes to designing its website – how do you keep costs down but maintain quality and usability?
This airport parking provider’s site has clearly managed both. Its simple booking mechanic will be familiar to anyone who’s used a travel site before, but Looking4.com couples this with user reviews that are visible from the moment you load up the page.
There are fewer better ways to gain trust in your brand than with a customer review. And from a design perspective, it’s a cheap, cheerful and eminently useful option.
Airbnb, the couch surfing site du jour. Again, this site has a simple and functional booking tool that’s visible as soon as you open the page. With Looking4.com and AirBnB, we’re already learning a simple lesson – the most important information should stay at the top of a page.
Below the booking form are a series of eye-catching travel experiences, from encounters with wolves to hikes through vibrant rainforests. AirBnB has tailored its site towards its preferred customers – thrill seekers with exorbitant excess funds.
Onto another travel site, and here’s airline price comparison site Skyscanner. This site is notable for one reason – in over two decades of existence, it’s barely changed a pixel.
Sure, the colors have been modernized and the wording changed a little, but underneath the surface is a site skeleton that’s very similar to its initial incarnation. Give it a look and see what you can learn.
Those are our hot tips! Know any sites that would leave games developers drooling from the mouth? Then let us know in the comments below