Making interfaces more accessable

I have been very aware for a long time that traditional games controllers are very intimidating to people not used to games and even those who are can be caught out sometimes.  The main reason I could see for this was that there are so many different buttons and controls on them that people often feel like they have to know what everything does before they would be able to use them. This is a similar to when people think they need to learn a full program instead of just learning the parts of the program necessary to achieve their goals.

My focus was mainly on making controllers that were simple and accessable, but also allowed depth and subtlety to how the player could interact. However after seeing Hazel White’s recent talk on her work which combined modern technology with personal possessions to enhance their spiritual value, I’ve realised that there is a lot of potential into looking more closely at the actual aesthetic form and feel of the controller. For example, a controller that feels soft and warm to hold with a style that harks back to more traditional hand crafted forms. One of the most interesting ideas that was on Hazel’s site was a ring that could be used to draw on-screen. This felt like a very naturalistic and intuitive way to present a new way of creating. This links in very strongly with my first objective of creating a drawing program that is fun and intuitive. The ideas that I could add to the work that she has already done would be to extend the functionality of the drawing program to allow the drawings to have depth and also to allow people to share and combine the drawings with each other at the same time. I have also talked to John Anderson recently who has helped me to decide the best way to develop my idea in a technical sense, this involves generating a polygonal object that will be created as the line is drawn by tracking the movement of the drawing object and creating a chunky line at that point. This would be instead of trying to use vectors and bezier curves to make lines or multiple instances of a circle similar to the technique used in programs like Photoshop.

Here’s a link to Hazel’s site:

http://web.mac.com/hazelonewhite/Hazel_Research/home.html

This reminds me that I was going to send Hazel an e-mail to talk about this further 🙂

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About garrywhitton

I'm a masters student studying animation and visualisation. I am exploring the use of games technology for therapy and relaxation.
This entry was posted in Context and Review, Development, General, Research. Bookmark the permalink.

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