How to Use Signifiers To Indicate The Affordance of Game Objects (Acagamic Tip Tuesday #8)Apr 05, 2022
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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.
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Game UX Tip of the week
Signifiers: Use signifiers to indicate the affordances of your game objects.
An affordance is a perceivable clue about what actions an object can afford. This will tell a user what actions they can do with that object. A signifier on the other hand is an additional layer of information that indicates affordances exist, such as a mark, sound, or label.
You should think about your player’s mental model when designing affordances and then suggest explicit actions by adding signifiers to your design.
Video used with permission from @Brook_Hawk on our new pointer. When you hover over an interactive object, you will see that it changes.— Voxels (@cryptovoxels) February 23, 2022
In #UXDesign, this visual hint is called a "Signifier" and the "Affordance" here is that you can click the working link.
The more you knowww! pic.twitter.com/ErAskfaTXW
Signifier: something that tells you the object CAN be used— Caryn Vainio (@Hellchick) March 20, 2019
Affordance: what features of an object tell you HOW to use it
Feedback: what happens after you use an object that tells you you used it successfully or not
There's something called a signifier, which is like a clue that lets people deduct how something should be used, and then there's this other thing called "affordance" which is all the possible actions that can be done with the object. They are not always linked but should be.— Nani Ramos (@CrazyWarDogNan) March 22, 2021
Two Research Papers
Z O. Toups, Igor Dolgov, and Elizabeth M. Bonsignore. 2014. A theory of game mechanic signaling for interface design. In Proceedings of the first ACM SIGCHI annual symposium on Computer-human interaction in play (CHI PLAY ’14). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 445–446. DOI: 10.1145/2658537.2661318
Ronny Andrade, Melissa J. Rogerson, Jenny Waycott, Steven Baker, and Frank Vetere. 2020. Introducing the Gamer Information-Control Framework: Enabling Access to Digital Games for People with Visual Impairment. Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–14. DOI: 10.1145/3313831.3376211
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