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从业人士谈为什么UX设计师应该具备心理学知识

发布时间:2021-06-01 09:13:51 Tags:,,

从业人士谈为什么UX设计师应该具备心理学知识

原作者:Mike Moran 译者:Willow Wu

从门把手到咖啡杯再到战斗机座舱,用户体验存在于生活的各个角落。每个人造物品的设计目的不是为了提升消费者的使用幸福感就是单纯为了方便制造商生产(要是你在使用某样东西的时候觉得困惑或者烦躁,那应该是后者)。

那么游戏世界中的用户体验是什么概念呢?

面对电子游戏这种复杂的产品时,我们的大脑会疯狂运转,消化很多信息。在游戏开发中,心理学知识对于创造引人入胜且令人难忘的游戏至关重要。

在本文中,我们会概述心理学对于创造良好游戏用户体验的重要性。会涉及到的话题包括游戏测试、在游戏中应用可供性的重要性、如何使用心理学来创造易用性和粘性,以及“格式塔理论”对游戏设计的影响等等。

为什么做设计总是要关注用户

站在用户的角度去做设计,产品的实用性会大大提升,而且会更受欢迎。

一个典型的例子就是二战期间的战斗机。这些飞行员精疲力竭,承受着巨大的压力,他们经常会出现人为操作失误,可能会意外地按错飞机仪表盘上的按钮。不幸的是,不同飞机之间仪表盘的设计也不一样。这意味着,飞行员每换一架新飞机就要重新学习操作系统。这样一来,按错按钮的概率就更高了。因此,人们需要一套标准化的驾驶舱设计模板,提升飞行员的用户体验。

这种思维方式同样也可以应用到游戏上,确保游戏的设计是围绕着用户体验来做的。所以,了解用户的心理,你就能做出更贴合用户需求的决策。

还有就是要记住一点:不存在所谓的“中性设计”。我们设计的每一个东西多少都会对用户的使用产生影响。这确实是一个值得思考的道德问题,尤其是那些为了提升留存率,但可能引发上瘾行为或者惩罚离线时间过长的机制。

游戏测试的重要性

每个用户都是不同的独立个体,而我们的观点、想法是基于我们的经验、经历和价值取向而形成的。当你在为不同类型的用户设计游戏时,我们不可能事先知道每个用户对游戏体验的感受。拥有多元化开发团队的重要性就体现在这了。

Cookie Jam(from pocketgamer.biz)

Cookie Jam(from pocketgamer.biz)

这也是为什么游戏设计师需要提前对游戏进行测试——你可以通过测试得知真实玩家对游戏的真实感受。这样一来设计游戏就变成了一种循环式的迭代工作:设计师创造出一款游戏,然后测试看看游戏是否呈现出了他们所想要的效果。如果参与测试的用户给出了消极的反馈,那么游戏就得“返厂维修”。修改完成后接着再测试,由此循环下去。

设计团队可能会设定一些明确的目标,他们需要迭代游戏玩法的各个部分(从对话到视觉效果到机制等等)才能实现这些目标。

说到游戏测试,这里有个重要的小技巧分享给你:游戏开发者不要跟测试者待在一个房间里。这不仅会让测试者感到有点尴尬(甚至是有种“被恐吓”的感觉),还会影响到测试结果。

有开发人员在场的话,测试人员会更仔细地去研究游戏,但如果他们是自己在家玩的话会是一种更随意的状态(这可能是一种对付出心血的开发者表达礼貌的行为)。为了准确测试有多少玩家会快速放弃游戏,游戏测试者应该在完全放松状态下玩游戏。

在游戏中的“可供性”

可供性(affordance)是指一个特定的物体为人的行为提供的可能性。换句话说就是一个物体明确“告诉你”它的作用是什么。

就比如说一个咖啡杯,你把热热的饮料装在里边,握住旁边的把手,把杯子举到嘴边。把手可以帮你避免在拿杯子的时候烫到手指。

在电子游戏中,玩家并不是在使用真实存在的物品。因此,这里的可供性就是所谓的“认知可供性”(cognitive affordances)——引导用户在游戏中使用某个物品。

当设计师往游戏里添加元素的时候,他们希望用户在看到这个物品的时候就能领悟到它的作用和使用方法。

就比如说,马里奥系列游戏中的敌人。库巴有锋利的尖刺,这就明确跟玩家表示不要跳到它的背上,不然你会受伤。事实上,《超级马里奥兄弟》前期的一些关卡很多都起到了教程作用,游戏的每一个细节,从音乐到画面到对话,都在帮助玩家理解游戏的互动方式。

再举一个关于可供性的例子:游戏中的HUD(heads-up display),也就是界面中的状态栏,可以让玩家了解重要信息。尤其是当玩家离开了一段时间再回来时,这些元素就能起到非常好的提示作用。

如何设置挑战

游戏设计的关键在于思考你要给玩家提供什么样的体验。

你想怎么挑战玩家?你想考验他们的战斗技能吗?还是他们的合作能力?或是解谜的能力?这些挑战所对应的玩法是完全不同的。

一旦确定了自己要提供的体验,你就可以开始考虑你的目标用户了,你得思考思考怎么跟他们建立联系,毕竟每个人看待游戏的方式都不太一样——这就是游戏测试为什么如此重要的第二个原因,你无法预测人们会如何跟你的游戏互动,自己猜测的话肯定会有盲区。这就是为什么你需要一个多元化的测试团队,这样能促使你去思考如何减少潜在的障碍,尽量考虑周全,让所有人都能够享受游戏。

易用性和吸引力

为了拥有良好的用户体验,吸引力(engageability)和易用性(usability)是必不可少的两个特性。

易用性意味着玩家能够理解游戏的系统和目标。就比如说,游戏中有制作系统,玩家能够明白怎么跟这个系统交互。

吸引力是指游戏如何吸引玩家的情感和兴趣。一个吸引力强的游戏会让玩家进入忘我状态,全身心沉浸在游戏中。没有吸引力的游戏并不意味着不能玩。玩家明白怎么跟游戏的这些特色交互,但他们或许会觉得无聊。一个游戏除了“可以玩”,还必须做到“很好玩”。但是一个引人入胜的游戏同时也可能是“玩不了的”——玩家可能是被游戏的故事或者设定所吸引,但是玩的时候发现操作很困难,最终只能沮丧地放弃了。

即使是“硬核玩家”也不例外,他们可能已经玩过很多游戏了,但是你游戏中的某个部分可能还是会把他们搞得一头雾水。虽说很多人都在夸这个游戏,但如果游戏很难玩、让人充满了挫败感,不少玩家最终还是会选择放弃的。

所以,你的游戏怎样才能兼具易用性和吸引力呢?易用性是围绕着人类处理信息的方式而设计的,也就是感知、记忆和注意力。吸引力聚焦的是如何让人们在意这个游戏——最终归结为胜任感、自主性和归属感。

易用性的实现:感知、记忆&注意力

在塑造易用性时,我们需要了解人类的大脑以及它是如何处理信息,从而在电子游戏中解决问题的。这就要归结到大脑的三大功能:感知、记忆和注意力。

在生活中,每个玩家都有自己独特的经历,因此他们对游戏的感知也是不尽相同的,意识到这一点很关键。

玩游戏是一个学习的过程,所以你得认真思考玩家会怎么学习、记住游戏中的重要部分。还有,他们离开游戏一段时间后再回来时还能不能想起这些东西。

如果你的玩家没有注意游戏中的某些东西,这个信息就不会被输入到他们的大脑中,自然也就不会记住。这就是为什么游戏中重要的信息都需要加以突出,吸引玩家的注意力。

如果你在设计游戏的时候牢记这三方面,你就可以确保玩家能够理解、记住关于游戏玩法的关键信息。《堡垒之夜》就是一个很好的例子。为了激励玩家学习建造,游戏把玩家塞到一个没有出口的洞穴中,摆脱困境的唯一方法就是建造楼梯。他们是在行动中学习。而且最重要的是,这是有意义的。他们现在很想学习怎么建造,因为他们得出去。当人们全神贯注于正在做的事情时,成功学习并记住的可能性会更大。

吸引力的塑造:胜任感、自主感和归属感

说到吸引力,我们需要着眼于内在动机。换句话说就是,人们为什么会迷上你的游戏,并且不断回到游戏中?

这可以归结到三个主要方面:

-胜任感:在游戏中获得进展,拥有掌控权。但这并不意味着游戏应该做得比较简单,它还是应该具备一定的挑战性。但是,如果玩家失败了,他们应该能够知道原因是什么,避免下次重蹈覆辙。
-自主感:玩家想要成为行动的主宰者,也就是说,玩家可以在游戏中自主做决策。这会促使他们更加关注自己行动的结果。
-归属感:玩家会跟其他人产生共鸣。注意,非多人联机游戏也适用!在单人游戏中,跟虚构的角色产生共鸣也能满足玩家的归属感需求(只要角色塑造得好、有趣就行)。

为了让玩家能够沉浸在游戏中,这些方面都得表现出来。如果玩家没有感受到胜任感,觉得在游戏中无法取得进展,他们可能会放弃游戏;如果玩家觉得他们没有决策自由,无法真正地影响剧情走向,他们可能会放弃游戏。如果玩家无法在游戏中跟其他人产生共鸣,同样也可能会放弃游戏。

所以,想要保持玩家粘性,关键就在于让他们感受到胜任感、自由和归属感。

格式塔理论是如何影响游戏设计的

“格式塔”(gestalt)这个术语指的是一个不等于并且大于部分之和的整体。在格式塔心理学发展过程中,心理学家认为人类感知的是模式和结构,而不是单个的元素。

那这个理论是如何关联到游戏设计上的呢?重点在于,它会影响我们感知事物的方式,并在事物与事物之间建立关联。人类的大脑倾向于把那些彼此距离很近的物品归置到一组。同样,具有相似属性的物品也会被认为是同一类的。在设计技能树的时候,这些理论是非常关键的参考信息。

就比如说《孤岛惊魂》中的菜单设计,通过将图标紧密地排列在一起,并通过形状暗示进阶流程方向,玩家就能更轻松地理解技能发展过程。

玩家永远是第一位

如果你能更好地理解大脑是如何工作,了解感知、注意力和记忆所起的作用,还有动机和游戏心流,这些知识能帮助你设计出更好的游戏。

从心理学角度看待游戏设计将改变你的思维方式,并帮助你预测潜在的问题。这会有助于你理解为什么玩家会做出这些决定,以及你该怎么做才能让他们获得更好的游戏体验。

在设计游戏的时候一定要记住玩家的体验永远是第一位的,我们强烈建议你尽量多做游戏测试。我知道这也是一笔开销,但这绝对是非常值得的投资。这是你获取所需信息的唯一途径,只有测试才能让你知道真人对游戏的感受以及真实的互动效果。

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

From door handles to coffee mugs to fighter jet cockpits, User Experience shows up in everything you interact with.

Every human-made object has been designed, based on either what will be easier for the user or what was easiest for the manufacturer. (Whenever using something feels frustrating or confusing, you can be sure it was the latter!)

But what about the concept of User Experience in the world of video games?

When our brains process something as complex as a video game, there’s a lot going on. Understanding the role that psychology plays within the science of game development is crucial to creating memorable and engaging games.

In this article, we’ll summarize the importance of understanding psychology while crafting the user experience of a video game.

We’ll touch on subjects such as the importance of play-testing, employing affordance in your games, how to use psychology to create usability and engageability, and the role of the “Gestalt” theory in game design.

Why Design Should Always Focus on The User

When the design is focused on the perspective of the user, a product becomes much more practical, desirable, and useful.

A great example of this dates back to fighter pilots during WWII. Exhausted and under pressure, these pilots had a high rate of human error and were at risk of accidentally pushing the wrong button on the dashboard of their aircraft.

Unfortunately for them, dashboards were not consistent between aircraft. This meant the pilots had to learn a new set-up every time they switched planes.

This made it even more likely that they would press the wrong button. Therefore, standardized cockpits needed to be developed which would improve the user experience for these pilots.

This type of thinking can also be applied to video games, ensuring that the design of the game is centered around the user experience. Therefore, by understanding the psychology of the user, you’ll be better able to make design decisions tailored to their needs.

It’s also important to remember that there is no such thing as a neutral design. Everything we design will influence people to use it in one way or another. This is an important ethical issue to consider, especially when certain retention mechanics can create addictive behaviors and punish disengagement.

The Importance of Play-Testing

Every user is different and our perspective depends on our experience, our history and what is important to us. When designing video games for different types of users, it’s not possible to know in advance what every user will bring to the experience. That’s why it’s essential to have a diverse team of designers with different backgrounds.

That’s also why video game designers “play test” their games. This tests how the game is perceived by the people who will actually be playing it. With this method designing a game becomes a cycle of action and iteration.

Designers create a game, then test it to see if it is accomplishing what they wanted to achieve. If insight from audience testing finds the game lacking, it’s back to the drawing board to refine with more information. Then the game is tested again, and the cycle continues.

The design team may have certain goals that they are trying to achieve within the game. However, they will need to iterate on all aspects of the gameplay, from dialogue to visuals to mechanics and more, in order to achieve those goals.

When it comes to play testing, heres an important tip: The developer shouldn’t be in the room with the play testers. Not only will it make the players feel somewhat awkward and intimidated, it will also make the test less accurate.

Players tend to make more effort to understand a game when the developer is watching than they would if they were playing it at home (perhaps out of politeness to the person who has put their heart and soul into crafting the game). To get an accurate measure of how many players would simply give up on a game, play testers should be free to play the game by themselves.

Employing “Affordance” In Games

Affordance refers to when a particular object defines its possible uses. In other words, when an object clearly “tells you” how it can or should be used.

Take a coffee mug for example. It’s pretty clear that the hot beverage goes in the cup, and the handle is used to lift it towards your mouth. The handle is an affordance that allows you to use the mug without burning your fingers.

In video games, users aren’t manipulating physical objects. Therefore, the affordances are what’s know as “cognitive affordances” — signifiers that give the user an idea of how to use something in the game.

When game designers add elements into their game, they want users to be able to understand what that element is for and how it can be used, simply by looking at it.

A great example of this? The enemies in the Mario video game series. Bowser has sharp spikes, which make it clear to the player that they will hurt themselves if they try to jump on his back. In fact, many of the initial levels of Super Mario Bros teach players about how the rest of the game works.

Every detail of a game, from music to visuals to dialogue, helps the player understand how to interact with it.

Another example of affordance? The HUD, or “heads-up display” is an on-screen status bar that conveys important information to the audience. This can be helpful especially when players are coming back after not playing the game for a while — as the HUD can give them important reminders.

Deciding How to Challenge Your Users

The key to designing a game is thinking about what experiences you want to offer your users.

How do you want to challenge your players?

Do you want to challenge their combat skills? Or their ability to coordinate with others? Or their ability to perceive things and solve puzzles? Each of these challenges will involve a different style of gameplay.

Once you define what experience you want to offer, you can then think about the people who you want to play your game. After all, different players will see things in their own way, so you’ll need to think about how to connect with them.

This is another reason why play-testing is so important. You can’t anticipate how people will interact with your game and you’re likely to have blind spots when trying to predict this. So, that’s why it’s so important to play-test with a diverse mix of players.

This allows you to think about alleviating any potential barriers and making your game as accessible as possible, so everyone can enjoy it.

Usability & Engageability: Both Essential For Good UX

Two essential components that need to be present within a game in order to have good UX — Usability and Engageability..

It means that players understand the objectives and the systems involved.

For example, if there is crafting within the game, players grasp how to interact with it.

Engageability is about how much the game captivates the emotions and interest of the players.

A game with good engageability will put the player in a “flow-like” state: completely focused and immersed in the game.

Games can be usable, without necessarily being engageable. Players may understand how to use all the features in your game, yet might still find it boring. A game needs more than just usability, it needs to be engaging.

Games can also be engaging, but not useable. The player may be intrigued by the storyline or premise of the game, but find the controls impossible to master or the in-game mechanics difficult to use. They may want to play, but they are likely to give up in frustration.

This is true even for so-called “hardcore” gamers. They may have a lot of experience playing games, but they might not understand how to interact with a particular part of your game. Even if the game has a lot of hype, many will give up on it if it is confusing and frustrating.

So, how do you create both usability and engageability within your game? Usability centers around the ways humans process information; namely their perception, memory and attention. Engageability focuses on what makes people care about the game and comes down to competence, autonomy and relatedness.

Creating Usability: Perception, Memory and Attention

When it comes to determining usability, we need to think about the human brain and how it processes information to figure something out in a video game.

This comes down to three main aspects of brain function: Perception, Memory and Attention.

Every one of your players will have their own unique experience of the world — and therefore a unique perception of your game.

It’s crucial to remember that everyone playing your game will see it differently.

Playing a video game is a learning experience, so it’s important to think about how your players will learn and remember important parts of the game.

(And whether they will still remember how to play when coming back to a game after a while!)

If your players don’t pay attention to something in the game — their brain won’t encode it and they will not remember it.

That’s why important information should stand out in the game and capture their attention.

If you keep these three aspects in mind when designing games, you can make sure your players will understand and remember the important aspects of gameplay.

Fortnite is a great example. To encourage players to learn how to build, they place them in a cave with no exit. The only way to get out of the situation is to build stairs.

“If you place players in a situation where they have context,” explains Celia Hodent, “it means they can DO the things you teach them. They are learning by doing. And on top of that, it’s meaningful. They care about it right now, because they need to get out.”

When people are paying attention to what they are doing and they care about it, they will be more likely to learn it and remember it.

Creating Engageability: Competence, Autonomy and Relatedness

When it comes to engageability, we need to look at the principles of intrinsic motivation. In other words, what makes people hooked on your game and keeps them coming back?

This comes down to three main aspects:

Competence is the feeling of progressing in the game and being in control.

This doesn’t mean the game has to be easy. It should still be challenging.

However, if the player dies, they should understand WHY they died so that they can improve their performance next time.

Autonomy is the need for the player to feel ownership over their own behavior.

This means that players feel like they are making their own decisions in the game.

This makes them more invested in the outcome of their actions.

Relatedness is the need to feel connected to others.

Note: this doesn’t just apply to multi-player online games!

Even relationships with fictional characters in single-players games can satisfy the need for relatedness. (The characters just have to be well-written and interesting!)

These aspects all need to be present for players to be engaged with a game.

If players don’t feel competent and don’t feel like they can progress, they are more likely to give up.

If they don’t feel like they are able to make their own decisions and meaningfully shape the narrative, they are more likely to give up.

If they don’t feel connected to others within the game, they are more likely to give up.

So, to keep your players engaged, the key is to make them feel competent, free and connected.

How Gestalt Principle Influences Design

The term “gestalt” refers to an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts. In the Gestalt psychology movement, psychologists argued that humans perceived patterns and configurations, rather than individual components.

How does the theory of gestalt relate to game design? It’s important because it affects the way we perceive things and make connections between what we see.

The human brain tends to group together items that are shown in proximity to each other. Also, objects with similar attributes are perceived as belonging together. This is important to remember when designing skill trees, inventory icons, objects and other in-game elements.

For example, the design of a menu in the game Far Cry. By placing icons closer to each other and giving them a shape that infers movement to the right, the progression of skills becomes much easier to follow.

Players Should Always Come First

If you have a better understanding of how the brain works and the main flaws of perception, attention and memory, as well as motivation and game flow, this basic knowledge will help you design better games.

Approaching game design from a psychological perspective will change your mindset and will help you anticipate potential problems. It will help you comprehend why players make the decisions they do, and how you can help them get the most out of your game.

The most important thing to keep in mind when designing a game is the experience of the player. We advocate so strongly for lots and lots of play testing.

Paying for play-testing is an expense, but it is absolutely a worthwhile investment. It’s the only way to get the information you need, so you can understand how real people will perceive and interact with your game.

(source:user wise )


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