25 July 2019, By Steffanie Hoek

When designing interactive playground equipment, there are a few things to keep in mind. UX / Game Developer Christiaan Ribbens and Senior Product Developer Rob Tuitert give more in depth information on the design principles of the Research & Development department and their work process when creating, improving and upgrading interactives.

Design principles are fundamental pieces of advice we apply and follow at the R&D deparment when we select, create and organize elements and features in our work. With our interactives we have collected 5 key words that we look at whenever we create, improve or upgrade an interactive. Each with a few wisdoms that we really think are fundamental in the work process. This really helps us to keep focus on what we think is important and not forget the bigger picture whenever we look at the smaller details. These design principles hang in our R&D office, so whenever colleagues enter our space, they all know the fundamentals of our department.


Fun – Interactives Design Principle

  • The key ingredient: If it’s not FUN, noone will play
  • Makes people laugh!
  • A high ‘one-more-time‘ effect

A principle that can easily be forgotten whenever you look at all the technical specifications of a product. Our products should bring fun and joy to our users and interactive owners and stay fun for a long period of time. If a product is not fun, we will not release it and we will keep on improving it until we reach a point where users come back for more.


Easy – Interactives Design Principle

  • Simple to use: No manual needed
  • Intuitive and easy to learn all users
  • Quick and simple to install & control

Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a cool product, but not being able to use it because it’s way too complicated. Whenever a user touches one of our interactive products, it will say “Wanna play a game?” or “Press the button”. It must be as simple as pressing a button to play a game. This principle is something we value highly. Players are not the only end users of our products, so are the owners. Interactive owners must be able to adjust settings in a simple manner. Whoever maintains or assembles the product, must be able to do this in a quick and safe way.


Out – Interactives Design Principle

  • Inspire & challenge everyone to go out and play
  • Built to last: indoor and outdoor
  • Play in any type of weather or condition: sun, snow, rain, wind, day and night

Besides creating fun experiences, our mission is to stimulate users to go out and play. Our interactives are built to work both outdoors and indoors and are vandal resistant. No matter the weather conditions, they’re built to withstand any type of weather and available to play at any time of the day. Users should be able to go out and have fun whenever they want.


 

Free – Interactives Design Principle

  • Freely accessible to anyone who wants to play
  • Stimulates creativity, create your own game and story!
  • Players are free to break the rules

Our products should be obstacle free. No special equipment is required to play and no complicated forms of unlocking an experience. The experiences should not specify specifically what’s wrong or right. The user can add their own rules, stories or elements to the products. We love to see users play and explore the boundaries in a fun and safe way.


Fresh – Interactives Design Principle

  • The products receive new content on a regular basis
  • Constantly evolving: new cool functionality is added
  • Returning users have something new to look for

The products should be futureproof. New games and content is added on a regular basis and users should always have something new to play. The products should be able to adjust to change in preferences and wishes of the users. The interactives now, are the interactives of the future, we’re only scratching the surface with the possibilities of our interactives.

Christiaan Ribbens, UX / Game Developer – Rob Tuitert, Senior Product Developer