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Hannah O’Hare

Hi, I’m Hannah O’Hare a web developer turned UI Designer.

Having studied two years in web development with Interaction Multimedia Design at UUJ and now spending my final year studying UI design with Interaction Design UUB. I’ve been able to practice design with knowledge of the development process behind me. I believe in practical design and for me UI design is the perfect blend of creativity and logical thinking.

The entertainment industry has always interested me this is why I focused my project on solving a problem the industry is currently facing. This project has given me the opportunity to improve my skills and knowledge in game design and the application of accessibility within it

I’m currently working as a Junior GUI Game Designer for Rebellion. If you would like to find out more about my work, please feel free to get in touch!

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The Project

With twenty percent of players having an impairment and the demand for accessibility growing it is now more important than ever to make accessibility an integrated part of the game development process.

The projects aim is to encourage and improve the presence of accessibility in games. This is done by providing game developers with the knowledge and tools they need to create inclusive games.

The project consists of a game accessibility guidebook as well as an accessibility plugin. The guidebook focuses on helping readers understanding impaired player needs and demonstrates how to cater to these needs through thoughtful designs and functionality. The plugin will provide developers with pre-coded accessibility options that can be applied to their game to make it reach a standard of accessibility.

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The Process

Accessibility guide

The guides content was created through my own personal research and learning of accessibility and how it can be applied to games. I used websites such as the disabled gamer review website and the game accessibility help guide website I then converted my content to teachable, digestible content for an audience. The guides layout and presentation were designed in Adobe XD and then created within Adobe InDesign. Here I was able to produce the guide as a digital eBook and as a suitable printable copy.

The guide starts by explaining the different types of impairments and the categories they fall under. These category’s being ; visual, auditory, motor and cognitive. Each type of impairment creates a set of barriers for players. These barriers can be overcome with a variety of game options and considered design choices. All of which the guides explain through a series of examples, explanations and recommendations.

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Accessibility plugin

The accessibility plugin aims to be a downloadable asset on the unity store. During the project time scale, I was able to achieve a fully functioning prototype with Adobe XD. The plugin offers a number of accessibility options that are presented as a game settings menu. Developers will be able to use this tool to build upon their own menu system and have incorporated accessibility options already in place.

The menu systems follow the same principles and concepts described in the brella guidebook. The menu is sectioned into the four main types of impairments. However cognitive barriers are considered in the overall design rather than a series of options.

The menu incorporates accessibility principles, hierarchy and usability elements. Through structured sectors and headings, the menu is screen reader friendly and with the use of images, icons and symbols; text elements and intuitive interactions are visually reinforced.

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The Brand

Brella is derived from umbrella. Where the brands core goal is to encompass inclusivity and accessibility, all under the same umbrella.

Since the brands focus and service is on usability, accessibility and readability all these elements had to be considered when creating the brands look and feel. The Red, green colour palette was used as these colour groups hold the most contrast in all colourblind types. When considering typography, a san-serif font was used as it offers the most contrast for users with sight impairments.