Jump to content
SMD

Crappy User Interfaces

Recommended Posts

I love UI design and despite that guy being annoying as hell, he is spot on with a lot of it. 

Too many people want to redesign the simple menu, when in actual fact, there is no need to improve on the functionality. Natural progression will lead to improvements, but tearing up the blueprint here just doesn't work. 

 

It does remind me of a project I started a couple of years ago and want to get back into for redesigning the console UI in current machines. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've moaned about this in a couple of threads, but I think that too many designers try and ape the overly busy fancy neon hologram UI's you see in films. Tony Stark's helmet view looks very impressive in brief shots and might make the audience ooh and ahh about how hi-tech his suit is and how many functions it displays at once, but it’s not like Robert Downey Jr. actually has to use the bloody thing in real life. Also couple this with whoever is charge of font size being under the impression that everyone sits about two inches from their screen. Ubisoft are particularly bad for this.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldnt really pay attention to what he was saying (despite his "LOOK AT ME" presenting style) because hes wearing a white fucking shirt with white tracksuit fucking bottoms like he's 14 years old and has been told he has to dress smartly to visit his Aunt Beru

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is an awful UI because you cannot understand with ease where you should go to do what. It is cluttered and ugly too with way too many different aspects fighting for your attention. 

Going from text menu items to icons in the same panel is really poor, then changing again to panels for something else and then what appears to be yet another panel for online lobbies and alerts which still do not fit with any of the other design principles. 

 

Yes be creative with the designs and make it stand out and fit your games overall style, but that GT5 UI is an abomination because it fails to follow any kind of UX principles at all.  

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was generally in favour of the video up there, that was until he got to Netflix and failed to bemoan the fucking "play preview" video you get when you rest on every fucking title. Maybe I'm in the minority but I tend not to enjoy the "Netflix skip to next video before the audio fucks you off" mini-game it thrusts upon me each time.

 

My self-imposed title of the mini-game needs work I grant you that.

  • Upvote 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Similar to the saving options above, my other menu pet hate are RPGs where you can compare equipment but they just colour code if the numbers increase/decrease so you have to switch back and forth anyway to compare.

 

Also, any menu that insists on making some sort of online check (and then throwing up a error screen with an OK button if offline) can kindly piss off.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zbrush is absolute balls and it's like it's actively trying to be different from all other creative software. For how much this costs it's crazy how tacked on everything feels.

 

 

image.png.379ab2bd8b0f6b8e00f8253ed7405f82.png

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Retroid said:

Zbrush is absolute balls and it's like it's actively trying to be different from all other creative software. For how much this costs it's crazy how tacked on everything feels.

 

 

image.png.379ab2bd8b0f6b8e00f8253ed7405f82.png

 

 

 

I haven't used it in a while but it frustrated me how you have about a billion different ways to save a file but each was unique in how it worked and that it clearly was a 2d program that became 3d yet merged them both together so you didn't always know if you was working in 3d or 2d and then the menus made no sense and didn't follow standard windows program and now my head hurts.

 

Having worked in game UI/UX I can tell you sometimes decisions are down to what the engine can do (it can throw around millions of polygons but can barely handle the English alphabet), stupid game design elements that are implemented with no thought as to how they should work or interact with the player and may even be scrapped late in development, or trying to redo someone else work without having any budget for code meaning you have to create something new without touching the existing stuff.

 

Luckily ui/ux is seen as important now, mainly from a f2p money perspective but there's still a way to before companies take it seriously and an important part of the game experience.

 

Edit: oh I forgot sometimes there's requirements that make no sense. Eg. A client or even an overseeing group of companies will dictate that an icon or button has to be placed somewhere and do something specific, even if it goes far against what's natural. Like a quit sign being green or having a certain button always flash or be in a position of the screen but it isn't always on screen and there can never be a gap. Just lots of stupid things thought up by someone in management who doesn't even use the thing you're working on yet demands certain things because they it that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, deKay said:

I hate it when you have a choice of two options but all selecting one over the other does is change the colour of the text or background. So you can't see which one you've actually chosen.

 

Um Jammer Lammy is guilty of this, but thankfully the only options are NEW GAME and MENU

 

Going back a bit, but Batman: The Caped Crusader on C64 always baffled me. I think the three hands in the middle of the below image are (from left to right) drop item, exit menu and use item... it kind of makes sense from the closed and open hand, but why not just have some text?

 

batman_the_caped_crusader-5.gif

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Kirby said:

If anyone plays Overwatch, it drives me nuts that with Moira's orb ability the right trigger uses her left hand and vice versa. :facepalm:

 

Assuming it's the same with the console versions, you can at least set unique controls for each hero and so avoid that problem. What I can't stand is that some characters' ability modes are cancelled by pressing the button used to trigger them (e.g. Moira's orbs, or Hanzo's special arrows), while others use the right mouse button (Torbjorn and Symettra's turret placements). When you've just switched from one hero to the other it can be easy to get your fingers mixed up which isn't great when you really need to get to shooting someone quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original Japanese gba version of Rhythm Tengoku is a masterclass of UI and UX.

 

I think its the best UI I've ever used, and I can't even read it.

 

It's simultaneously a menu, an achievements list, a source of happiness and a joy to interact with. 

 

It's a work of beauty.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Wiper said:

 

Assuming it's the same with the console versions, you can at least set unique controls for each hero and so avoid that problem. What I can't stand is that some characters' ability modes are cancelled by pressing the button used to trigger them (e.g. Moira's orbs, or Hanzo's special arrows), while others use the right mouse button (Torbjorn and Symettra's turret placements). When you've just switched from one hero to the other it can be easy to get your fingers mixed up which isn't great when you really need to get to shooting someone quickly.

 

Yes you can customise indvidual hero's controls on consoles, I have jump/wall ride for Lucio on L1 rather than X so it allows me to keep my thumb on the right stick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Ketchup said:

 

I haven't used it in a while but it frustrated me how you have about a billion different ways to save a file but each was unique in how it worked and that it clearly was a 2d program that became 3d yet merged them both together so you didn't always know if you was working in 3d or 2d and then the menus made no sense and didn't follow standard windows program and now my head hurts.

 

 

I'm trying to learn it at the moment and I haven't felt this way since first picking up Dwarf Fortress! :lol:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't bothered figuring out the xbox one, I do everything through the xbox button an menu. The other 75% of screen space is just a complete waste..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always liked the original Halo and Goldeneye menus, to begin just three options, single player, multiplayer, and options.

 

Both perfectly suited their games and were easy to navigate.

 

I can't stand difficult to read fonts, tiny text or poor colour choices, the most recent worms game had white text on a light blue background.

 

Xbox menu is a real pain, bring back the blades!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's something to be said for the appeal of the original Halo's simplicity (those chunky, screen-filling mode selection boxes). But as the series went on and started adding more and more features, I thought Halo Reach's menu system did a great job of organising them. Many of the options were kept accessible whole the game was loading single-player or matchmaking an online game.

 

Also: being able to press L or R to instantly skip to the top or bottom of a list of menu items is one of those things that every game really should have adopted as standard!

 

The only way I remember thinking it was a step backwards from the previous game was with its video clip saving: in Halo 3, you could press X next to a recent match to instantly save its replay with an auto-generated file name, whereas Reach made you specify a file name - useful for helping find videos again later, but sometimes an instant replay save between multiplayer matches was what I wanted so that I wouldn't miss the pre-game voting. (Also, IIRC, 3 and ODST let you rename saved video files, whereas Reach only let you Save As a new copy with a different filename, meaning you'd have to go back afterwards to identify the original and then manually delete it. A minor thing, but if you were as meticulous about saving replays of good matches as I was, it could get fairly time consuming.)

 

 

The other 360 game I want to praise for having a really robust interface is Rock Band 3. It featured loads of filtering and sorting options that worked with hundreds of individual DLC songs and several different instrument controllers. It wasn't perfect (a few things were a step back from RB2 like the inability to specify select venues or NPC band member roles; and there were a few things that the Guitar Hero games still did better, like more detailed post-song stat breakdowns and per-difficulty high score saving). But it was impressive all the same... rock solid, you might say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sony and MS could learn from the Nintendo Switch OS. Instant, snappy, easy to understand, though it helps that it’s not trying to be an all in one media box.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Kirby said:

This might be only me, but I struggle when modern games have tiny text or UI elements. The developers seem to assume everyone plays on a 80" 4k TV, yet my TV is 32" and 720p in addition to my eyesight not being that great. Xenoblade X and Dishonoured 2 were both terrible with tiny writing, probably affects most "AAA" games.

 

824439-xenoblade-chronicles-x-wii-u-scre

 

It’s a problem that seemed to become much more prevalent overnight at the start of this gen. I think that as games started to display at 1080p, a lot of PC games in particular got ported over “as is” without considering that looking at a TV on the other side of the room is a bit different to looking at a monitor that’s inches away. I remember Armello in particular being simply unplayable for this reason on the PS4. 

 

It’s one of the reasons I like the 3DS. Games are designed for the small screens and you get big chunky fonts, easy to press buttons and so on. On the Vita and even the Switch you often get the impression that games are designed primarily for the big screen, and everything’s smaller and more fiddly as a result. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Kirby said:

This might be only me, but I struggle when modern games have tiny text or UI elements. The developers seem to assume everyone plays on a 80" 4k TV, yet my TV is 32" and 720p in addition to my eyesight not being that great. Xenoblade X and Dishonoured 2 were both terrible with tiny writing, probably affects most "AAA" games.

 

824439-xenoblade-chronicles-x-wii-u-scre

 

It’s less an assuming about TV sizes and more because everything is done sitting at a desk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to cut Football Manager some slack because there's a lot going on, but it sure does make the player have to work hard to find some stuff, sometimes putting similar options in different locations depending on the particular team you're looking at. You access youth team training differently to how you access first team training, for example.

 

But that's not why I mention it. Instead, it's shit like this:

 

lPGoW2R.png

 

That's the league table. Look at all that white (well, grey) space. Even if you changed the display to show separate home, away and total columns, there's still an enormous amount of real estate not being used, and it takes an extra mental step to understand what record belongs to what team if you're considering the mid-table. There is a better screen for competitions that shows an overview, with a league table accompanied by various other statistics and fixtures, but that one omits the goals for/against columns. The ideal sweet spot would involve shifting all those records over to the left, and using the other half of the screen for related data and something to break up the monotony of text.

 

Many screens are like this. The game's often flexible enough to allow you to add columns to tables such as in the squad screen, so credit there, but it's still a game that appears to struggle with higher resolutions.

 

To its credit though, you can increase the size of things on screen. Setting it at 125% makes some of those space issues go away, though brings in the occasional new one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, bradigor said:

That is an awful UI because you cannot understand with ease where you should go to do what. It is cluttered and ugly too with way too many different aspects fighting for your attention. 

Going from text menu items to icons in the same panel is really poor, then changing again to panels for something else and then what appears to be yet another panel for online lobbies and alerts which still do not fit with any of the other design principles. 

 

Yes be creative with the designs and make it stand out and fit your games overall style, but that GT5 UI is an abomination because it fails to follow any kind of UX principles at all.  

 

I've ranted about this a few times over the years, but there is a huge flaw in the GT5 UI that I can not fathom out how it remained in the release version:

When you win a new car, it gets put on to the delivery truck (labeled "car delivery", towards the bottom left of the image above). To get your car, you go through the following steps:

Go to main menu

<loading>

Click on Car Delivery

<loading>

Select the car you want, click yes to "deliver car to garage"

<loading>

Animation of car starting and driving a few feet forward plays. This is unskipable.

Select either yes or no to "get in car now"

<loading>

Returns to main menu

 

You'll notice in the above image, there are three cars in the car delivery truck. You have to repeat the full process for every car sat in there. GT5's loading times were notoriously long, so each car took a couple of minutes.

 

It was unbelievably annoying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh man, the Xbox One interface drives me nuts. Press A to enter a menu but press Left to back out? Who decided that was a good idea? You instinctively press B but that just takes you back to some arbitrary menu N  levels above the one you're currently in.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, misterSquare said:

Oh man, the Xbox One interface drives me nuts. Press A to enter a menu but press Left to back out? Who decided that was a good idea? You instinctively press B but that just takes you back to some arbitrary menu N  levels above the one you're currently in.

 

B takes you back. 

 

Go to your games from main menu. B goes back to the main menu. Go to the store from your games. B goes back to your games. Go to the main menu from the store. B goes back to the store. 

 

Think of B as the browser back button, and the D-Pad to navigate the page you are on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Mr Tony said:

 

B takes you back. 

 

Go to your games from main menu. B goes back to the main menu. Go to the store from your games. B goes back to your games. Go to the main menu from the store. B goes back to the store. 

 

Think of B as the browser back button, and the D-Pad to navigate the page you are on.

 

Aye, I only use one intermittently at work, so I'm sure I'd get used to it if I was interacting with it on a more regular basis, it just seems inconsistent. On screens with a list of items on the left, I'd rather A wasn't available at all as a method for moving to the tiles on the right - that way it'd enforce the notion that A/B = move forward/back between screens and D-Pad=Navigation on the current screen. As it is, A can be used for both navigation on the current screen and between screens, whereas B is only used for navigation between screens.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only got an xbox one about a week ago as i was able to pick one up cheap.  I have to agree that the xbox one menu is very hard to navigate however It’s not like they haven’t had plenty of chances to fix it if lots of people have been complaining so maybe some people like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prison Architect on PC - great game, terrible interface. Full of inconsistencies and weird, hidden behaviour.

 

Titles like this and Oxygen Not Included have big interface problems stemming from games going through Early Access. Many devs make a basic interface and then add new features and functionality to the game - bolting on new bits of interface. However often, especially with menu heavy games, the devs never take a step back to evaluate the entire interface experience... or overhaul it.

 

The other issue with Early Access is that you get people to play the game from the start of development. They become familiar and comfortable with the interface - even if it's flawed at first. Those players will adapt to new interface additions because they learned the interface over many months.

 

Early Access players and the developers have got so used to the interface and its wonky ways that they don't register the flaws. So the devs don't realise the glaring interface problems until its too late.

 

Prison Architect is a classic example of this, with unintuitive controls, a wonky menu system and a host of other issues. Early Access developers need to remember that when they release the game properly, the new players will have a completely fresh perspective on the game. They will be much less forgiving of bad interfaces. Early Access devs need to get in external playtesters for the final release, ahead of time, rather than just rely on the skewed feedback from their Early Acess patrons.

 

It's worth noting that the interface for Prison Architect on console is much better designed and consistent - handled of course, by a different developer.

 

Oxygen Not Included already has interface issues in Early Access and is a similar type of game to Prison Architect, which worries me. I hope they overhaul the interface and fix all its problems sooner rather than later - or eventually it'll be too hard to change.

 

 

 

 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, misterSquare said:

 As it is, A can be used for both navigation on the current screen and between screens, whereas B is only used for navigation between screens.

 

Yeah I get that, and muscle memory has you hitting B and going back a page instead.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.