The UI Designer -> ? -> the UI Artist

The world of game UI is still growing, and one area in which it can be improved is the area of team structure. Most teams have a combination of UI Designers, UI Artists, and UI Programmers. This particular entry is going to deal with the structure of the sub teams, specifically the structure of the team in charge of conceptualizing and realizing the interface, the team that involves the UI Artists and the UI Designers.

The UI Designer in the games industry has the primary function of developing wire frames that are to be implemented by the UI Artist. While the UI artist’s primary function is to implement these wire frames in a manner that is visually appealing without changing the design. There in lies the problem with the entire setup.

Production has argued in the past that it is too much effort for one individual to take on both the functional and the visual design. With this I whole heartedly agree. However, I believe that to create a functional and visually appealing user interface, there needs to be an individual who does just that. Not all of it, but is the connection between visual design and functional design. This is a much needed role in the team and would ensure that both the functional and the visual can be combined effectively and efficiently.

The problem right now is that because roles are so specialized in the games industry, when communicating their needs designers and artists get lost in translation. This is where there needs to be someone who can direct both who can liaise between both areas and realize the designers goals by defining it in artistic terms.

Unfortunately, until this type of role is realized, the user interface development process will end up being convoluted, and games will always circum to the curse of the peanut butter.

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