WhatsApp Product Designer Praises Nintendo Switch Menu Design


After the clunky, if not characterful menu design that was seen on Wii U, many were surprised to discover the simplicity in approach that was taken on Nintendo Switch.

That was how WhatsApp product designer Charlie Deets reacted when he first experienced it and, over time, he has reached a point where he apparently can’t stop thinking about it.

That has seen him take to writing about how impressed he is with what Nintendo has achieved, covering the interface’s speed, visual hierarchy, display and themes as well as other elements such as the wake gesture, user profiles, screen captures, controller pairing and quick menu.

“I wish I could rip into this system more and let you know how they could have done things better, but Nintendo really nailed so much of this interface out the gate. My main concern is what feature creep will do to this experience over time,” Deets concludes in an extensive article on freeCodeCamp.

“I’ve seen the PS4 start as a fairly clean interface and become noisy and less reliable for the sake of added engagement. I hope Nintendo chooses not to go that route. Engagement doesn’t make a lot of sense in a system level games UI, since the primary purpose of the interface is navigation and control.

“I’m shocked this is the same company that made the Wii U’s interface which I remember as slow, unintuitive and far less refined. They seem to have learned from experience and responded with an interface that directly combats the most obvious issues of that design and implementation.

“I’m excited about the future of this system and what further advancements will be made with the unique properties of the hardware. Nintendo has surprised me a lot with their innovation and restraint. I’m sure they are just getting started.:

Comments 1
  1. I’ve yet to have a hands on with the Switch, but for the sake of how brave Nintendo has always been in the risk taking department, I know the write-up I’ve just read is an understatement. As a lifelong gamer of 47 years, I’ve come to regard Nintendo as the Vanguard of the industry in the way of innovative and creative designs that set precedent. They have arguably fathered more industry standards than any other contender in the home console race. Obvious examples of industry firsts include memory cards and rumble features. Others such as analog dimmer switches and shoulder buttons have become indispensable to game play today. As far as creators of the 3D platform done right, who can say that the Virtual Boy or the Wii U were embarrassing failures? Who can criticize the GameCube as a shortcoming? Regardless of whether people like Nintendo or not, one thing is mandatoryly set in stone… EVERYONE in the videogame industry has taken a page or more out of Nintendo’s book. Furthermore, EVERYONE is watching closely for what they will do next. Examples of this include Playstation Move, XBOX Kinect, AtariBox, PSP and VITA. These lists can on, but for the sake of making this tangent shorter, I am pathetically but happily tethered to whatever Nintendo does in the future because as the saying always went, “Now you’re playing with POWER!” I know without doubt that the next major innovation in gaming will come from their camp. It may not be a 1000ghz processor with 50gb of ram, but it will contend with all the offerings of the times. My Switch will become accessible one day and when it does, I will bask in the beauty of this incredibly elegant and simple interface Alex just hipped me to. Well reviewed I’m sure and thank you…

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