Archive for March, 2007

increasing emotional connection

If you are trying to communicate detailed information, a player’s attention is important. If you are trying to generate an emotional connection, perhaps demanding less attention & intense interaction would help.

Brand relationships; strengthed by emotion, weakened by attention – Robert Heath, Bath University, UK
“Learning from psychology indicates that high attention weakens the effect of emotional content, so the implications are that advertising aimed at building strong brand relationships might be more effective if processed at lower levels of attention.”


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“…a core limitation is an inability to concentrate on two things at once”

A straight cut from the NY Times, a couple of good quotes on the cost of multi-tasking.

“Multitasking is going to slow you down, increasing the chances of mistakes,” said David E. Meyer, a cognitive scientist and director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory at the University of Michigan. “Disruptions and interruptions are a bad deal from the standpoint of our ability to process information.”

The human brain, with its hundred billion neurons and hundreds of trillions of synaptic connections, is a cognitive powerhouse in many ways. “But a core limitation is an inability to concentrate on two things at once,” said René Marois, a neuroscientist and director of the Human Information Processing Laboratory at Vanderbilt University.

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newspaper design advice for game designers

1. Fix the body type

If your player can’t read it, they won’t read or understand it

2. Enough with the color palettes already

Ditto, if your player can’t see it, how can they play it

3. Ditto on the headline typography

Think clean, simple Gui/OSD design

4. Promote the short form

Player attention span is short, their passion is unlikely to be as deep as yours

5. Kill those “Here’s everything you need to know about our redesign” special sections

Focus your attention on the core experience, frame everything on the player’s experience

6. No more artwork in nameplates

More around clarity of communication

7. It’s the content, stupid

No amount of cinematic aesthetic or disguise will stop the player feeling the lack of quality in game-play, if your game-play is fundamentally good it will feel good.

8. Take focus groups seriously

You are too close to your design, listen to consumer feedback (don’t take design direction directly, understand their feedback)

9. Stop the design incest

Me too is everywhere


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seeking simplicity

Following on from less is more;

Interesting snippet on simplicity from Edmon;
“The only thing you need to have in order to recognize and pursue simplicity is:

A. courage (to pursue change)
B. competence (to recognize essentials)
C. open mind (to be pragmatic)”


And…how to apply Judo’s principle’s of “Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Effort” to the software construction process in search of ‘doing more with less’.

A few choice quotes;

Prof. Ludwig Wittgenstein
“The aspects of things that are most important to us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.”
Hans Hofmann
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
Albert Einstein
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
Charles Mingus
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”


John Maeda’s Laws of Simplicity

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can it be too cool?


quotes.pngCute, clever, and cool are all important ingredients in a delicious application experience. But often their role is over- or understated. Too much and it’s hard to stomach, too little and it’s all bland.

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extreme to mainstream

Trends, fashion and interests tend to start at the extremes and move towards a softened mainstream position. Look to the passionate extremes of the key influencers for forthcoming mainstream trends.

The recreational habits of young people age 12-24 today are the social habits that businesses will need to adjust to in the very close future.

1. Trend Initiation. New trends reject whatever came before. (Revolution) They tend to start loose and unstructured, and adopted only by those who are extreme, radical, or outside the mainstream.
2. Trend becomes Fashion. As the trend grows it inspires fashion designers and young people first. It begins a process of formalization and stiffening relative to the original trend. (Evolution)
3. Trend Reaches Physical Limits. The initial reaction of the extreme early adopters is to push the trend to it’s extreme physical limits in order to continue being outside the mainstream. (Evolution)
4. Trend becomes Mainstream. Eventually even the extreme styles are acceptable to the mainstream. The trend is seen everywhere and seems more and more “ubiquitous”. At this point it can become to be the kind of trend that “defines an era”, if it is large enough. (Evolution)
5. Trend Rejection. At this point the cutting edge realize that they now look just like everyone else. This is when the trendy reject the trend. (Revolution). They usually choose a new trend that is very distant/opposite to the new mainstream, even affecting the original styles that were rejected in the first place.
6. The cycle starts again.

and Trendwatching (

Game design will be influenced by Pokemon, CCGs and simple web flash/shock viral games.

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