In reading Jakob Nielsen’s recent Alertbox article Kinect Gestural UI: First Impressions, I found it very relevant not just to those doing usability studies to design games, but also as a teaching tool for those (clients) who might not understand eye tracking, user movements, and success rates when describing web usability.
Many people are familiar with games and can grasp concepts like controlling the Wii and Kinect even if they have never played since the “press A-B, then C to slam the table tennis ball” is now replaced with “swing your arm just like you would if you were playing real tennis.”
Since we are bringing real world concepts to UI it should be interesting to see how this can be used as a teaching moment for non-game based design. Great user interface design is key and we need to evangelize.
Another key concept Jakob addressed was error messaging. Specifically when the user is engrossed in their actions and seeing where they are within the game, error messages on the side of the screen can be missed. I, myself, find it very hard to look at the race track map on “Mario Kart” while involved in intense driving on the Wii. Applicable to a web site, messaging can be missed if the user is engrossed in the subject matter or not focused on the “correct” part of the screen.
I’d also like to see video of Don Norman and Jakob Nielsen playing the Kinect. Sounds like fun!