Technical Communication and Interactive Design
Research in human-computer interaction (HCI) has shown inconsistencies in the relationship between users’ perception of usability and the quality of visual design in digital products. Research is lacking in the gaming domain for visual design in user interfaces on tablet screens. Despite extensive research on visual aesthetics and perceived usability, best practices offer limited guidance for game interfaces from a user-centered design perspective.
The objectives of this study are twofold: to employ a design-oriented methodology to create a real iOS tablet game app from start to finish using ideation, focus groups, iterative prototyping, usability testing, and empirically evaluating game participants’ experiences; and, to use experimental methods to examine the effect that the quality of visual design in a tablet game interface has on perceived usability and user engagement.
In Phase I, we designed and developed a real iOS game; the user interface was rendered into two visual design conditions for hypothesis testing. In Phase II, we recruited 56 participants to play each game condition for 10 minutes for a within-subjects study. We administered the Multidimensional Mood, AttrakDiff, and User Engagement Scale (UES) questionnaires to collect data.
Findings demonstrate that high-quality visual design does not necessarily promote perceived usability; although, both low- and high-quality visual designs showed significant influence. Participants rated their perceived usability of the game conditions to be equivalent. Findings also demonstrate that participants experienced a higher level of user engagement in the game interface with high-quality visual design.
Journal of User Experience
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Kokil, Uttam and Harwood, Tracy, "The Interplay Between Perceived Usability and Quality in Visual Design for Tablet Game Interfaces" (2022). Faculty Publications. 4958.