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UX and UI in movies. Episode 1

A bit of history before the fun bit

UX and UI hasn’t been around for very long. Not labeled as such. The terminology is quite recent, but the concept behind it isn’t. The terms user experience and user interface have being used as such beginning with the 90s.

Yet, one way or another UX and UI has been around for far more than that. This article goes so far back as naming Walt Disney the first UX designer. He might even be right.

Either way,  UX & UI development grew immensely with the appearances of the console games, Super Mario Bros, Pokemon and everything else in that period. The game developers of that time weren’t just pioneers, but were defining gaming storytelling. Just remember how easy and quick it was to start Super Mario and get the hang of all you needed to know to play the game and, most important, enjoy it.




Since then technology has evolved unimaginably fast and UX and UI has seeped into our daily life to such a degree that even non-designers notice a bad kerning or delete an app that makes the login process too tedious.

UX experience is all about flow and efficiency, while UI is all about functional design that will help the user understand a product, service, game, story or app.

And because UX & UI are becoming a more and more important part of our lives we thought we might do some fun research on how it is integrated in movies and what we can learn from this.

UX and UI in movies has the important role of creating the setting, atmosphere and setting the timeframe - usually future. Iron Man, Black Mirror, or Westworld are great examples of not only what UX is, but also what it can become.

We will start our analysis on Westworld and discover a few things about plot devices, character development and insight in human behaviour.

So, for the movie-lovers and UX aficionados, here’s a deeper look into UX & UI.


UX as a location experience

First of all let’s have a look at the beautiful map of Westworld. What makes the movie spectacular is the mix of wild west architecture on one side and techy large screen paneled spaces on the other, the first surveilled by the second.

Notice how intuitive are the circles on the map. It’s almost as if the person located there is not searched for, but targeted by a sniper looking thorugh it’s lense. We must admit that nothing in this map is futuristic. We have the means, the apps and the interfaces to track people even in real time. Just imagine google maps, 3D view, but in real time.




UX as functional design

Second, take a second to admire the emotion pallette available for androids. See how the personality of the android-character blooms from the shape of its traits. Of course it’s inspired by psychological analysis, but that’s exactly the point: making an android human. Also, see how easy it’s to trace the dominants.





And if we look at the response variables you might just be impressed on the level of detail they went for. But notice how the main word-choices are surrounded by a line and how they stand out, being enlarged. The word flow is clear, while in the top left corner you can observe the character and other different details about it.




What makes these interfaces great is their functionality. With only one glance you see what’s important. Your eye, and thus your brain, is guided to see what’s essential for the story, making it easy to understand what’s everything about.

And of course, red is always for warning.





Notice that even the avatar has turned in a red hue. And if you spend a bit of time on this image you notice all sorts of gems: like the main menu top left. The pad for inserting the needed to reboot the android’s system - a pop-up in the lower right corner, quick to access.


UX & UI as a necessity

Thirdly and lastly, try to unsee what you’ve just seen and imagine westworld without this beautifully designed experience and these amazing interfaces. How much would the series lack? How unattractive - it would be like reading code on a page. What UX and UI do is to translate code into accessible, intuitive visual data.



What we can learn from Westworld is that UX and UI do not only make your life easier, but they are able to enrich your experience on a visual level and make working (or watching for that matter) more enjoyable.

Businesses would do good to learn this lesson and invest more in their digital interfaces in order to create easy to access and easy to follow visual guidelines on their websites and within their apps. Well-thought UX translates in a well-satisfied client. And just like in Westworld (except maybe for Robert Ford, Anthony Hopkins character) everyone wants pleased clients.

If you enjoyed our short incursion into user interfaces and experience in movies share this article using the available social media icons. What movie would you like to see analyzed from this perspective? Leave us a comment on facebook.


Also, if you are currently considering to refresh the UX/UI of your web or mobile app contact us. We do so much more than just reviews.



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