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  • Brewing Meaningful UX In Coffee Talk

    - Adlan Arvyanda Ramly

  • Skeuomorphism:

    One interesting aspect of this game is the use of skeuomorphic interfaces. Skeuomorphism is a design of an object that inherits the physical appearance of their real-world counterparts. It was highly popularized as Apple's design system during Steve Jobs' era.

    Skeuomorphism in early iOS versions

    While skeuomorphism is considered outdated in interface design, as designs are moving toward flat and modern aesthetics, it is still prominent in games. The brewing system UI is one of the best uses of skeuomorphism in games that I would say is the main highlight of the game.

    The brewing system UI which features a skeuomorphic cupboard and coffee machine

    I love the aspect of taking ingredients from your cupboard into your coffee machine which emulates the experience of being a coffee shop barista who serves coffee to their customers. This interface allows more players to be more experimental in combining ingredients.

    Suppose the system's user interface is designed in a very practical, yet efficient manner: a drop-down menu that represents each component. Yes, it is more efficient and reduces cognitive load, but does it still emanate the "feel" of brewing a real coffee? Do you still want to experiment different kinds of coffee? Does it break the immersion of the coffee-making experience?

    A rough rendition of a hypothetical brewing system UI that is "more efficient"

    Being familiar with designing user interfaces for mobile applications and research tools, I realized designing user interfaces for games is a bit different. I learned that when it comes to building user interfaces in games, not only functionality or aesthetics come into play. It needs to convey an experience that fits the atmosphere with determined stylistic choices.

    Initial Feedback Survey

    Feedback survey form

    Before my internship started, the team had just received survey results from their initial feedback survey which was made on Google Forms. The initial feedback survey contains a lot of useful questions regarding each aspect of the game which includes writing, art direction, game mechanic, user interface, and music. The survey also asks what are their first impressions of the game, what they think & feel about the experience, and what improvements could be made for the following iterations.

    Feedback survey results

    Based on 27 respondents, I checked their initial thoughts about the game, their current difficulties with navigation, and their suggestions to improve the current existing user interface and experience design. I also wrote some notes about the aspects that can be improved when I played it for the first time.


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