How to Avoid Too Much Cognitive Load For Players

The Acagamic Tip Tuesday #07

Fortnite screenshot showing the UI. Fortnite screenshot showing the UI

Each Tuesday, I will send you a curated tip from the world of UX Research & Design for games. At my website The Acagamic, I focus on training people to become better researchers and designers for games and beyond.

Each tip will only take a few minutes to read.

Avoid putting too much cognitive load on the player when engaging in game actions. People are bad at multitasking.

If you want present complex information to players it is usually best done during a break or pause in the game or after a match. If you are not building a game with real-time actions (like turn-based strategy), you can choose to present more information to players because they have more time to process it before deciding on a move.

Fortnite’s building UI is a Masterclass in presenting relevant information accessibly.

The scoreboard in League of Legends: Wild Rift has lots of information after the game.

Gears Tactics presents tactical information on the UI to inform player strategy.

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Lennart Nacke, PhD
Lennart Nacke, PhD

Hey there, I am a Professor and the Research Director of the HCI Games Group at the University of Waterloo in Canada. I am a world-leading expert on what makes games engaging and how we can use them to improve products, systems, and services. My research is widely discussed and recognized by the New Yorker, Forbes, MIT Technology Review, CTV News, New Scientist, The Daily Mail, PC Gamer Magazine, and elsewhere. I have edited a textbook on Games User Research and authored hundreds of academic articles in gamification, user experience research, human-computer interaction, and game design.