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UI and UX of Elite Dangerous AKA Let’s Get Dangerous

What were my goals for this presentation? Through a lot of work on self-driving cars, their interfaces and autonomous devices, I came to the idea or notion that we would be moving away from the idea of “Driver” to one of “Captain” as it connects to our perception of our ownership of “Cars”. Our current function of cars still operate as our personal horses that we must learn to control and adapt to their different interfaces, but as we lose that “control”, we gain a lot more in social and technology freedom. Our vechicles could begin to operate and serve as the basis of a future with spaceships and the like, and with that in mind we should take care with how we design the interfaces for the future regardless of if they are concepts or actual products.

So with that idea, concept and the task of “Evaluate how a program/software helps new users learn their systems and interfaces”, I wanted to look at a “Small” niche game where you control a pilot with free range of exploration in the Milky Way (built to scale!). The game is notorious for its steep learning curve but praised for the freedom of controls once mastered. There is a lot to be learned from this to inform designers on how to be build better interfaces and functions that not only help with simple tasks, but also allow for mastering of even the most complex ones.

If we look at how a video game/dev team can teach users how to have complete control a fleet of fictional spaceships and vessels, while navigating a Map Software that spans the entire Milky Way and learning the various rules and functions of the game, I think we can find great information on how to design better interfaces for the present and digital future with simple to complex functions and features. At the very least, those in the “Automotive” industry can learn about designing interfaces for “Drivers” and their cars as we inch closer to a future where we may not be behind a steering wheel.

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