D3. Minimize Friction on Phase Shift

“As I create, I can easily transition between different states. It’s easy for me to go back and adjust or touch up some work I did in a previous state.”

Different states, phases, or modes within the creative process (such as recording, embodying, editing, watching, and so on) are easy for the player to switch between at any time. For the best overall experience, all of the following are true:

  1. Transitions between states are comfortable and intentional, not jarring.
  2. Players are given adequate time to adjust to a new state before they are forced to do something with it.
  3. Shifts are well-signified by feedback.
  4. Players can easily get from one state to another, and players always know what state they are currently in.

During the creative process, it is common for ideas to arrive “out of order”. Creators frequently have ideas later in the process that can only be implemented by returning to a previous part of the process to adjust work they have already done. By permitting players to transition freely between states, a creative environment can avoid disrupting a player’s creative flow and encourage the kind of iterative refinement that characterizes any enjoyable creative practice.

Examples (adhered):

  • Rec Room: In the Charades 3D mini game, players switch between acting out and guessing. They are given the freedom to choose when the next phase starts by pressing a green button that says ‘Start.’ The timer only starts ticking downward after they press the button.
  • Tilt Brush: As the user chooses to change the environment of the canvas, the screen fades to black before fading into the new environment. Aside from the visual feedback of watching the canvas change, a ‘click’ of the user pressing the on-screen button can be heard.