The purpose of the 'Remediation Toolkit' is to functions as a quick-guide for how to use remediation in user experience and user interface design.
User experience and user interface design, or UX and UI for short, may be difficult for some designers with experience only in static design (print advertising, magazine layout, and pagination design); however, by examining other fields that successfully employ UX/UI design, such as videogame design, designers can identify the following successful principles of UX/UI design:
There are many key factors to understanding UI and how it can enable a favorable UX, but most are centered on principles such as
Although many techniques can be employed to provide a positive UX, most of these principles primarily focus on the UI utilizing remediation to foster user accessibility, interaction, and familiarity.
Aesthetic Remediation is the first tool listed in the remediation toolbox, and can be used by a designer to enhance user experience by incorporating a already familiar aesthetic into your designs aesthetics.
Input Remediation is the second tool listed in the remediation toolbox, because it reminds a designer to utilize (or remediate) already exiting modes of physical input that are familiar to the viewer.
Process Remediation is the third tool available to a designer when tackling UX/UI design, and is listed in the remediation toolbox because the process and goals of the interaction between the user and the design can also be remediated.
Parody Remediation is a design tool that can be employed by a designer, wherein the entire user interface, aesthetics, and process is remediated inside a totally different design.
Interface Remediation is the fifth tool in the remediation toolbox, and can be used by a designer to specifically enhance user interaction by focusing on remediating the interactive mechanics of an already existing design.
PIP Remediation is the final tool in the remediation toolkit because with it an aspect, portion, or picture inside of a design can just be remediated, and call forth another medium inside of your design medium.
If one looks at the 1978 video game Space Invaders – an arcade videogame designed by Tomohiro Nishikado that was one of the earliest shooting games and a forerunner of modern videogaming – the videogame only had a display resolution of 217 by 248 pixels, which reflected the display capabilities of the arcade screen at that time. Now, most videogames are produced for a 1920 by 1080 pixel display screen, even indie videogames, which affords the potential of high-definition videogame imagery, or graphics; however indie videogames employ a UI design aesthetic known as ‘retro style gaming’, which is an example of remediating an older video game aesthetics, and provides a UI that is already familiar to the typical videogame user.
The typewriter or ‘QWERTY’ keyboard was first invented for the Sholes and Glidden typewriter and sold to Remington in 1873 C.E. Additionally, the a ‘touch tone’ telephone keypad as standardized when the dual-tone multi-frequency system in the push-button telephone was introduced in the 1960s. An example of this can be seen in the Western Electric telephone. Both of these input interfaces from the 1870s and the 1960s. are remediated as UI design elements not just in many indie videogame interfaces, but also in videogame console UI design, which constitutes a perfect example of remediation in videogames, and affords the user an ease of use, without a required learning curve.
The indie videogame BIT.TRIP BEAT is an arcade-style music video game developed by Gaijin Games, and released in 2009 through 2010. BIT.TRIP BEAT puts players in control of a paddle that deflects musical beats of size and color – very much like the UX in the 1972 videogame Pong – which remediates the pixelated graphics of the very first videogames of the 1970s. Additionally, as the ‘beats’ come from the right side of the screen they collide with the paddle, which makes a noise. As the player gets better completing the musical beats makes up a song, and the graphics of the game move from 8 bit, to 16 bit, to 32 bit graphics, thus rewarding UX through gameplay; however, as the player does poorly, so does the song break apart, and the graphic mode reverts back from 32 bit, to 16 bit, to 8 bit graphics.
The Oregon Trail was a computer game originally developed by Don Rawitsch, Bill Heinemann, and Paul Dillenberger. The Oregon Trail was produced by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC), and the UX was that of teaching about the realities of 19th century pioneer life on the actual Oregon Trail. In contrast, The Organ Trail is a retro zombie survival game in which players must cross a post-apocalyptic United States of America in an old station wagon (as opposed to a covered wagon) in order to reach a sanctuary free of zombies.
A remediation of King's Quest V's mouse-based UX/UI design can be seen in the 2009 indie videogame Tales of Monkey Island, almost fifteen years later. Tales of Monkey Island is also a graphic adventure video game developed by Telltale Games and LucasArts, but was developed for Nintendo Wii console, and featured an immersive UX with a 3D animated world, full character animation, full audio soundtrack, and full audio dialog of all characters in the videogame.
Guild Wars 2 permanently implemented a ‘Super Adventure Box’ mini-world that is akin to the 1991 videogame Sonic the Hedgehog. According to Mike Fahey game writer for Kotaku, an internationally popular videogaming forum, ‘Super Adventure Box’ was “originally planned as a fake 8-bit update to celebrate April Fools' Day… (but) grew into an expansive three-level homage to the golden age of gaming." This combination of a remediated aesthetic with a remediated UI, creates one of the most successful expansions for Guild Wars 2, providing a fantastic UX for thousands of players, and allowing them to enjoy a natural and intuitive interaction between the user and the medium.