The UI. It’s such an intrinsic part of video gaming that we very often don’t pay it any attention, except for when it’s awful and draws attention to itself. UI design is the focus of a newly released video from the folks at Extra Credits, which goes into diegetic versus non-diegetic UI elements, whether they work best, and what makes a game’s UI good.
The video hearkens back to the PS3 and Xbox era, when new graphical fidelity provided opportunities for game devs to try and make their UI elements more immersive and part of the game world — aka diegetic — as opposed to flat elements on a game screen. The video ultimately concludes that these kind of elements, while clever, could often lead to more inconvenience than they’re actually worth developing, and finds that most modern games seem to have wisely eschewed the practice altogether. In short, “good UI should be legible first and stylized second. You know, form after function.”
As with other videos from the channel, this episode of Extra credits is well-illustrated and thought out, with art presentation from Alisa Bishop, who is an actual UI designer by trade. You can check out the complete video below.