Evaluating Educational Game via User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) Elements

  • Khairul Yusri Zamri Department of Game Studies, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Sungai Long, Bandar Sungai Long, Kajang, 43000, MALAYSIA
  • Han Keong Tan Department of Game Studies, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Sungai Long, Bandar Sungai Long, Kajang, 43000, MALAYSIA
Keywords: user interface, Human-computer interaction, user experience, educational game, gam-based learning, educational technology


The user interface (UI) is an access point where users interact with applications and systems. It might be as simple as a visual display overlaying on a screen, controlled by a pair of analogue potentiometers. Nowadays, UI has become a crucial component in video games and a significant factor in the user experience (UX). Users judge designs quickly and care most about usability and appeal, for instance, the surface and overall feel of a design. This research proposes an approach for evaluating UI in existing educational games that can assist educational game designers in developing even more engaging and rewarding games. The critical analysis is based on the ten (10) UI elements connected to each selected game. Simultaneously, this study describes an educational game in terms of experience and its impact on players based on UI elements. To this end, a conceptual framework for designing and developing an educational gaming platform based on the UI elements identified has been explored and analysed for future development.


Download data is not yet available.


Arnab, S., Lim, T., Carvalho, M. B., Bellotti, F., de Freitas, S., Louchart, S., Suttie, N., Berta, R., & De Gloria, A. (2015). Mapping learning and game mechanics for serious games analysis. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(2), 391–411. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12113

Ayob, N. Z., Che Hussin, A. R., & Dahlan, H. M. (2009). Three layers design guideline for mobile application. International Conference on Information Management and Engineering (ICIME 09), 427–431.

Becker, K. (2006). Design Paradox: Instructional Games. Future Play, The International Conference on the Future of Game Design and Technology.

Bernhaupt, R. (2015). User experience evaluation methods in the game development life cycle. In R. Bernhaupt (Ed.), Game User Experience Evaluation (pp. 1–9). Springer International Publishing.

Bernhaupt, R., Isbister, K., & de Freitas, S. (2015). Introduction to this Special Issue on HCI and Games. Human–Computer Interaction, 30(3–4), 195–201. https://doi.org/10.1080/07370024.2015.1016573

Calvillo-Gamez, E., Cairns, P., & Cox, L, A. (2015). Assesing the core elements of the gaming experience. In Game User Experience Evaluation (pp. 37–62). Springer International Publishing.

Cecil, R. (2006). Designing The Mobile User Experience. https://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2006/10/designing-the-mobile-user-experience.php

Czauderna, A., & Guardiola, E. (2019). The gameplay loop methodology as a tool for educational game design. Electronic Journal of E-Learning, 17(3), 207–221. https://doi.org/10.34190/JEL.17.3.004

Forlizzi, J., & Battarbee, K. (2004). Understanding experience in interactive systems. Proceedings of the 2004 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems Processes, Practices, Methods, and Techniques - DIS ’04, 261. https://doi.org/10.1145/1013115.1013152

Forlizzi, J., & Ford, S. (2000). The building blocks of experience: An early framework for interaction designers. Proceedings of the Conference on Designing Interactive Systems Processes, Practices, Methods, and Techniques - DIS ’00, 419–423. https://doi.org/10.1145/347642.347800

Gee, J. P. (2005). Learning by Design: Good Video Games as Learning Machines. E-Learning and Digital Media, 2(1), 5–16. https://doi.org/10.2304/elea.2005.2.1.5

Gong, J., & Tarasewich, P. (2004). Guidelines for handheld mobile device interface design. Proceedings of DSI 2004 Annual Meeting, 3751–3756.

Gorlenko, L., & Merrick, R. (2003). No wires attached: Usability challenges in the connected mobile world. IBM Systems Journal, 42(4), 639–651. https://doi.org/10.1147/sj.424.0639

Honka, A., Kaipainen, K., Hietala, H., & Saranummi, N. (2011). Rethinking Health: ICT-Enabled Services to Empower People to Manage Their Health. IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering, 4, 119–139. https://doi.org/10.1109/RBME.2011.2174217

Ibrahim, R., & Jaafar, A. (2011). User acceptance of educational games: a revised unified theory of acceptence and use of technology (UTAUT). International Journal of Educational and Pedagogical Sciences, 5(5), 557–563.

Jakubowski, M. (2015). User Experience as a Crucial Element of Future Simulation and Gaming Design. Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, 42, 102–108.

Kirriemuir, J. (2006). A History of Digital Games. In Understanding Digital Games (pp. 21–35). SAGE Publications Ltd. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446211397.n2

Klofer, E., Osterweil, S., & Salen, K. (2009). Moving learning games forward. MA: The Education Arcade.

Lameras, P., Arnab, S., Dunwell, I., Stewart, C., Clarke, S., & Petridis, P. (2017). Essential features of serious games design in higher education: Linking learning attributes to game mechanics. British Journal of Educational Technology, 48(4), 972–994. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12467

Lee, Y. E., & Benbasat, I. (2003). Interface design for mobile commerce. In Communications of the ACM (Vol. 46, Issue 12, p. 48). https://doi.org/10.1145/953460.953487

Lew, P., Olsina, L., & Zhang, L. (2010). Quality, Quality in Use, Actual Usability and User Experience as Key Drivers for Web Application Evaluation (pp. 218–232). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-13911-6_15

Maguire, M. (2001). Methods to support human-centred design. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 55(4), 587–634. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/ijhc.2001.0503

McGrenere, J., & Ho, W. (2000). Affordances: Clarifying and Evolving a Concept. Graphics Interface, May, 1–8.

Nagalingam, V., & Ibrahim, R. (2015). User Experience of Educational Games: A Review of the Elements. Procedia Computer Science, 72, 423–433. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2015.12.123

Piaget, J. (1973). To understand is to invent: the future education. Grossman.

Sabry, K., & Baldwin, L. (2003). Web-based learning interaction and learning styles. British Journal of Educational Technology, 34(4), 443–454. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8535.00341

Seraj, M., & Wong, C. Y. (2012). A Study of User Interface Design Principles and Requirements for Developing a Mobile Learning Prototype. 2012 International Conference on Computer & Information Science (ICCIS), 1014–1019. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCISci.2012.6297174

Shneiderman, B., & Plaisant, C. (2009). Designing the user interface: strategis for effective human-computer interaction (5th ed.). Addison-Wesley.

Skinner, E. A., & Belmont, M. J. (1993). Motivation in the classroom: Reciprocal effects of teacher behavior and student engagement across the school year. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(4), 571–581. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.85.4.571

Squire, K. (2013). Video Games and Learning: Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age. Alberta Journal of Education Research, 59(1), 129–132.

Sweller, J., J. G. Van Merrienboer, J., & G. W. C. Paas, F. (1998). Cognitive architecture and instructional design. Educational Psychology Review, 10, 251–296.

Tang, S., Hanneghan, M., & El Rhalibi, A. (2009). Introduction to Games-Based Learning. In Games-Based Learning Advancements for Multi-Sensory Human Computer Interfaces (pp. 1–17). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-60566-360-9.ch001

Van Eck, R. (2006). Digital Game-Based Learning: It’ s Not Just the Digital Natives Who Are Restless. Educause Review, 41(2), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1145/950566.950596

Vanderdonckt, J., Zen, M., & Vatavu, R.-D. (2019). AB4Web: An On-Line A/B Tester for Comparing User Interface Design Alternatives. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 3(EICS), 1–28. https://doi.org/10.1145/3331160

Vermeeren, A. P. O. S., Law, E. L.-C., Roto, V., Obrist, M., Hoonhout, J., & Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila, K. (2010). User experience evaluation methods: current state and development needs. Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction Extending Boundaries - NordiCHI ’10, 521. https://doi.org/10.1145/1868914.1868973

Warsi, A. (2007). 7 Usability guidelines for websites on mobile devices. http://ulabasia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/7-usability-guidlines-for-websites-on-mobile-devices.pdf

Zamri, K. Y., & Al Subhi, N. N. (2015). 10 user interface elements for mobile learning application development. 2015 International Conference on Interactive Mobile Communication Technologies and Learning (IMCL), 44–50. https://doi.org/10.1109/IMCTL.2015.7359551

How to Cite
Zamri, K. Y., & Tan, H. K. (2022). Evaluating Educational Game via User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) Elements. EDUCATUM Journal of Social Sciences, 8, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.37134/ejoss.vol8.sp.1.2022