Advertising a New Interface

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I know that the interface is nowhere near finished but I was starting to look at how the interface can be marketed and what kind of selling points can be put on the poster so I have designed basic poster with a few colours and shapes.

I have included a picture of the basic interface design just for the purpose of the layout. I have also come up with a name for my interface, I have called it Rapidfire, for the simplicity of the design and the ease of use.

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Basic Interface Ideas

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After looking at all the other interfaces I have come up with a couple of Ideas for a new interface for a games console so I at first sketched up an initial idea for the interface after talking to some friends about what they liked to see when they started up a games console and what features they like seeing on a games console. The one thing that kept cropping up was a way to track the players progress on games and also a player avatar and bio. So when I designed this, I took that into account. Another thing was people don’t want their interface to be overcrowded so they can see what they want without looking too hard.

Here is the sketch of the basic look, and it isn’t very good quality image because the scanner I used wasn’t very good.

This image doesn’t have any annotations or any colours in it which means that it isn’t very clear to see what is happening where so I have also created an electronic version to have a look at as well which kind of is clearer to see the layout, this is over the page.

This is an electronic version of the basic interface design to be able to see where things are. The black tabs are the heading and main sections of the interface where as the nine grey tiles underneath are designed to be drop down menus from when you select the main black tiles so that when you first see the interface it isn’t too clogged up. In the white space, once the colour scheme is chosen there will be a graphic in the bottom left corner or the user can select an image of their choice too.

Analysis of Existing Interfaces

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One of the things I am going to do to give me a starting point to be able to explain why I have made the design choices I have made, I am going to analyse the interfaces for the Xbox 360, The Playstation 3 and the Wii to say what I think works about them and what I think the good and bad qualities of both of them are.

Nintendo Wii

Im going to start off with the Nintendo Wii interface and analyse that first.

When you first turn on the Nintendo Wii, you see this screen. Which until you customize and add things too like is displayed in this picture, looks pretty bare and has a lot of white space on it making it simple but also looking quite bare. One of the things I like about this it is Things are nice and set out into easy to find windows however that is all there is, except the date bar at the bottom and the two buttons in the bottom corners, this is evidently designed for young people or people that are not confident with electronic devices.

Playstation 3

Next, Im going to analyse the Playstation 3 Interface

The Playstation 3 interface is the same one that Sony used for their hit handheld console the Playstation Portable (PSP) which has a much more advanced and to a large extent a much more professional looking than the Wii is. It has all the different categories in on the horizontal and the sub-categories on the vertical which does indeed leave quite a lot of blank space but it it used effectively. One of the things I would add to the PS3 interface is in the top corner I would add a small area that measures the players “Trophy” score, how many Bronze, how may Silver, how many Gold and how many Platinum. Also maybe some kind of player avatar in the top corner with the “Trophy” counter.

Xbox 360

The last of the three interfaces that I am going to have a look at is the Xbox 360 interface.

The Xbox 360 interface is the one that I have had the most experience with as the Xbox 360 has been my console of choice for quite some time, not just because of the interface design, but from the size of the controller, because I have quite big hands it fits better than the PS3 controller, but also for the content, because the Xbox 360 has been out for longer than the PS3 and Sony keep changing the PS3’s shape, design and look. Most of my favourite games are on the Xbox. However, I digress. The one of the things I like about this interface is that you can see what game it is you have in the Disk drive, your gamer avatar, your “Gamerscore” and the last 4 games you played as soon as you turn the console on (Provided you have it set so you don’t automatically load the disk). One of the things that I don’t like about the Xbox interface is that when you go to the other options , it is too spread out and you might have to end up going to three or four menus to find what you want.

Design Brief

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To start off with for the design brief, I am going to look at what is already out there in regards to other similar interfaces within the same area as the one I am going to design. I am also going to look at my target audience and what my expected outcome is.

When I have been thinking about what kind of interface I want to research into and design I was thinking what is there that is out there that is widely used and will have a massive amount of people to ask about and also some people that have used many different versions of that kind of interface to have an opinion that would be of value in comparing the pros and cons of different interfaces. After spending a while and talking about it with one of my younger brothers I finally settled on creating an interface for a games console. Mainly because there is three main consoles that are currently ruling the market which are Sony’s Playstation 3, Microsofts Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii. Each of which have very different interfaces which gives a broad spectrum to work with and so room to create something that has the best ideas from all three combined, what people like about a certain interface may not be featured in another. Also this gives a chance to introduce features that have not been introduced within another console.

Looking at the three interfaces that I have been comparing and the consoles that they reside on. I have discovered that they all have different target audiences, the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have a similar target audience, mainly of late teens to mid thirties to early forties, where as the Wii sort of targets everybody else, the children too small to understand the complex controls of the other two consoles, and I know to someone that plays regularly the control system for something like the Xbox or the PS3 is easy to use, but for someone like a seven year old it can be quite difficult with the having small hands issue and the other issue of too many buttons. Also the Wii targets the older generation as the interface is very straight forwards to use and they games are mostly party and multiplayer games where as the other two consoles have games where you can get lost in a serious story line.

My expected outcome is to create something that is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing to a wide range of age groups which will expand the target audience and selling point for the interface. Something that roles together ease of use with tidy structure.