Struggling [to be] a[n] artist











{3 April 2014}   UI Artist

This is something that’s been struggled with through out the games, the interfaces and menus.

This is just a gathering of initial research about the discipline I’ve found.

Forum post on Game Artist – Quick Impressions and notes 

  • A UI artist works through the flow of the game menus. Not just the HUD. Websites are a common UI that we’re familiar with.
  • A working knowledge of basic graphic design method and theory is applicable (specifically typesetting, wireframing and layout/composition knowledge), as well as being able to use tools like PS, Illustrator and Flash. A good grasp on coding and animation will help, too.
  •  Go to Speak Up Archive: Top 10 Design Questions: Student Edition and search for Gary R Boodhoo’s comment. He’s a UI designer for games. Here’s his site: CLADINBLACK4 | Gary R Boodhoo : art + design + interaction
  • Programming languages maybe: XML, LUA, SPLGTDP, ActionScript etc or whatever in-house item they may use.
  • Be a constant student of Iconography. Develop your sense of communicating without words through icons.

 

A Polycount Thread 

Visual hierarchy – Organizing data visually, so the user catches all the important elements at first glance. A good UI has to be Informative, but that doesn’t mean slapping help text and popup hints all over the place. Clear, simple phrasing and visual metaphors can get the job done more effectively with less clutter.
Usability – How does it feel to use the UI? On-screen, and with the input devices the game will have. The best way about this is to test often, and have other people test your designs often. Prototype, and try to design for people picking up the game for the first time. Resist the temptation to make your UI complex or obscure. This is the possibly the trickiest area of UI design, since everyone thinks their own taste is best.
Graphic design – This is the de facto skillset, but I would say the least important of the three. The graphic design helps to brand the game and set the tone just as much as the in-game art direction does, but can easily be tasked out once the skeleton UI has been built.

Be an Avid gamer. Play a multitude of games and observe their interaction, inventory management, online presence options, finding games to play with friends, communicating with friends, how information is displayed to the user in game & out, etc etc.

Be a planner and organizer. The idea may start small and balloon quickly.

Here’s an article from Get In Media about the job and the duties, education/skills, and what to expect.

And an Interview with an  UI/UX artist, Tamara Knoss

This is more about web design, but UI is UI.



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