April 23, 2014

Hamlet’s Hit Points Applied to User Experience Design

A Thing I Always Say is that the beat analysis system from Hamlet’s Hit Points can be used to look at much more than what we traditionally consider as narrative. News broadcasts, commercials, and political speeches all resound with the emotional up and down beats that engage our attention over time. One area I’ve never thought to examine, because I know nothing about it, is user experience design—the methods used to navigate us through web sites and keep us from closing that tab.

Matt Leacock, who we in the tabletop world know better as the genius designer of Pandemic, knows a lot about user experience design. In his civilian identity he does it for Sococo, a virtual office space site. And in the presentation below he applies beat analysis not only to the play experience of his board game Forbidden Island, but to the process of engaging with a site like LinkedIn. This last choice is not coincidental, as he’s speaking to designers from that company.

The entire talk will well reward your time, even if you don’t care about user experience design. It includes great insight into his process, the development history of Pandemic, and even the German market’s preference for meeples over abstract pawns.

Thanks for the insights, Matt!