How to Label Unfamiliar Icons in Video Game UIs (Acagamic Tip Tuesday #2)

the acagamic tip tuesday Feb 22, 2022
The Destiny 2 UI showing a large tooltip for the Raven Shard helmet UI icon.

Hey there ๐Ÿ™‹

Welcome to the 2nd issue of The Acagamic Tip Tuesday. Each Tuesday, I will send you a tip from the world of UX Research & Design for games. At my website The Acagamic, I focus on training people to become better researchers and designers for games and beyond. Each tip will take less than 3 minutes to read.

Game UX Tip of the Week:

Label unfamiliar icons. Make your game UI accessible.

Destiny's UI is a Masterclass in design. All information is easily accessible.

Destiny's UI is a Masterclass in design. All information is easily accessible.
Like providing alt text for images (which is vital for blind users when interacting with technology), providing labels for icons should also become standard practice in user interface design. Many players come from different cultural backgrounds, and symbols and colours will have different meanings. It is critical for keeping games accessible to have labels available for each icon.

The game Firewatch goes even further and provides hot labels for items in view.

The game Firewatch goes even further and provides hot labels for items in view.
The examples for this that I am showing in today’s newsletter are from the game Destiny, which has an extremely clean character UI, with lots of extra information available as text, and the game Firewatch, which labelled things of relevance to the player directly in their field of view when needed with both icons and text.
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