The Free to Play Game Design Bible: User Experience Design (UI/UX) & Onboarding


It’s important developers consider how players will interact with their product, given it can have a multiplying effect on your retention. In the words of Apple, great user experience “just works”.

Ensuring you user test your game with a large number of people is far more valuable than attempting to evaluate it from your own perspective. People’s emotions are a powerful tool in mobile games: understanding how the brain’s natural reward pathways, operant conditioning and social queues can help you create tighter experiences.
User Experience Design (UI/UX) & Onboarding 1

Getting to grips with UI/UX design doesn’t stop at making buttons look pretty. Rather, it’s everything to do with a user’s experience in the game – how to effectively communicate mechanics, and how to ensure that the game makes sense.

Almost every developer out there will have enjoyed successes and suffered failures over the years, so we’ve put together a “best of” series of links that relates to:

  • Touchscreen controls
  • UI design
  • Onboarding and tutorial design
  • Playtesting and and usability testing

For more on creating a great user experience, check out the following articles:

Touch Control Design: Less (Control) is More
Related Read
Touch Control Design: Less (Control) is More
In Design
Adam Telfer
Touch Control Design: Ways of Playing on Mobile 12
Related Read
Designing a Touch Mechanic
In Design
Adam Telfer
Touch Control Design: Ways of Playing on Mobile 9
Related Read
Touch Control Design: Ways of Playing on Mobile
In Design
Adam Telfer
Mobile Tutorials & Storytelling 2
Related Read
Mobile Game Tutorials & Storytelling
In Design
Adam Telfer
Mobile Game Design: Stats, Skill and Luck 6
Related Read
Mobile Game Design: Stats, Skill and Luck
In Design, Top Posts
Adam Telfer
Title Source Complexity
Ways of Playing on Mobile Mobile Free to Play
Designing a Touch Mechanic Mobile Free to Play
Mobile Game Tutorials Mobile Free to Play
Less (Control) is More Mobile Free to Play
3 Stages of making Wireframes Alexander Mescheryakov
The Gamer Motivation Profile Quantic Foundry
Laws of UX Jon Yablonski
The Gamer’s Brain Celia Hodent
A tale of two talent trees Psychology of Video Games
Micro vs Macro Gameplay Game Makers
UX Walkthrough Prototypes Om Tandon
Chemistry of Game Design Dan Cook
Advanced UX Prototyping Om Tandon

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