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James Pratt's Letter to the Community

James Pratt - UI Designer

Hi everyone! I am the new user interface design lead for SWG. I have been brought on board here at Sony to design and manage changes and updates to the interface for the game. This includes things such as updating the look of buttons on the toolbar, the layout of examine windows, the colors in the Health/Action/Mind bars, and even the way the mouse and keyboard work to move around in the game.

While I have been an avid MMO player for many years, my experience comes from outside gaming industry. I received my doctorate in Human Factors Psychology, and I apply knowledge of human characteristics to design in order to make the experience anyone has with a system a good one. Before coming to SOE, I worked in the international consulting industry creating software interfaces for a variety of different businesses. I also worked in the defense industry designing software interfaces for some of the most cutting edge military applications being developed today.

My high-level goals for SWG are simple:
  • Enhance the fun of the game by making game controls easier to use and more intuitive
  • Design the interface so that it is easier to learn for newer players
  • Assure the option to keep existing interfaces that work for current SWG players gaming style
  • Develop a more consistent look and feel for toolbars and windows
  • Usability test new and existing interfaces so assure quality of interface designs

All of this takes time, and we will be rolling in interface updates as soon as we can make them ready. In the meantime, I would like to hear your comments about the current SWG interface, both good and bad. Remember it is always easy to critique a bad design, and much harder to give positive feedback on a good one.

Thanks! I look forward to seeing you in the game!

James Pratt, PhD
UI Designer

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