SA-MP Forums

Go Back   SA-MP Forums > SA-MP Scripting and Plugins > Scripting Help > Tutorials

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 21/05/2013, 03:00 PM   #1
Big Clucker
RvGamers's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 95
Reputation: 65
Default User Experience I

User Experience I


As with most of my tutorials, I like to begin by defining the audience. These are the people I feel would benefit from the thread at hand. While my previous tutorials have targeted inexperienced scripters, this thread is perfect for ANY member of the community regardless of their knowledge/scripting abilities. Take the time to read this entire post, and I guarantee you will feel empowered and prepared in terms of designing memorable, enjoyable experiences. As always, I will underline the most important part of each section so that the most important points are not missed.


User experience, also known as UX for short, is a description of the emotions and reactions a consumer has throughout the process of using an interface. Usually, UX can be defined in a single word, such as: smooth, frustrating, annoying, enjoyable, easy, confusing, etc. Designing for UX is the process of creating an interface that will provide the most enjoyable experience possible. Before I go any further, though, I would like to clear up any questions around the word "interface." An interface is any environment where user interaction occurs. This means a SA-MP server is an interface, just as a website is an interface. In terms of designing for a user experience, the objective is simply to create the most fluid interface possible to create the most enjoyable experience.


Have you ever been using an interface (SA-MP server, Website, TeamSpeak Server) and you couldn't find what you were looking for? Have you ever found yourself genuinely frustrated while using one of these interfaces? If so, you have been the victim of a poor user experience. A poor UX is setting your interface up for failure from the very beginning. Creating an enjoyable, memorable experience, however, is skyrocketing to the very top of the food chain and multiplying your chances of success ten-fold. Now this all sounds great, right? The question then becomes, how do I create an enjoyable, memorable experience? Let's jump right in to the tutorial!


Designing for an enjoyable user experience requires a large amount of planning and research before you even begin designing the interface itself. Let's face it, patience is hardly considered a virtue in the SA-MP community. In fact, if you had the patience to reach this point in the thread I would consider you one of the chosen ones. That being said, to properly design for a user experience you must be patient! By the end of this thread, you will know what you need to do to create an enjoyable UX. At that point, the burden becomes yours. You must have the discipline to use the information I'm sharing with you. You must have the patience to THINK before you DESIGN. With that being said, let's dive right in to the nitty-gritty.

Step I. Project Overview

The Project Overview is a fairly simple concept: it's an overview of your project. This step arguably requires the most critical thinking, as you will be planning out a general outline for your project to follow. In these examples, I will be creating a SA-MP DM server under the name "Moonwalking Deathmatch."

First, we begin with the general overview. This is going to be an informative paragraph containing a description and general purpose for the project you are creating. Try to be as descriptive as possible in this paragraph, but don't remain so objective as to omit any ideals surrounding the project. Below I have created a mock project overview. Keep in mind, yours should be much longer than the one I am providing below. The example I have created below is simply to allow you to get the hang of a project overview, not to demonstrate a thorough overview.

Originally Posted by OVERVIEW
The Moonwalking Deathmatch project will provide deathmatchers (and moonwalkers) alike with an engaging, memorable SA-MP gaming experience. The interface will provide users with a linear, simple experience that will void all frustration and instead provide a fulfilling gaming experience.

The community will launch on July 29th with a fully functional website, forums, and gameserver. The community will be announced with a thread on the SA-MP forums, as well as many other related forums, and will have more than 100 people registered on the first day.

Notice how the mock project overview above provides an excellent mixture of ideals and objective statements. I begin the overview by stating my visions (what I would like to accomplish) in stating that this project will be both engaging and memorable. Later in the overview, I become more objective and state specific goals (such as the community will launch on July 29th). We will learn more about goals (and how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals) later in the tutorial.

Step II. Principles

Now that we have written a project overview which entails a general description of our project, it's time to get more specific. Principles are the next step of designing a User Experience, which is where we will take the brief ideals we mentioned in our overview and expand on these. Principles should be written in a bulleted format with each principle receiving its own bullet. Keep in mind, principles are not meant to be specific, but rather idealistic. Imagine your server in the most perfect state possible, and then write down the qualities which make up that perfect server. I have written a few example principles for Moonwalking Deathmatch below.

Originally Posted by PRINCIPLES
  • Community-based development
  • Fluid, effortless experience
  • Professional, small admin team
  • Top quality servers
  • Rewards for varying degrees of achievement

In the example stated above, you can see I have listed the qualities which make up the idealistic server I am imagining in my head. You should try to write down as many principles as possible to help mold your experience. That being said, if you aren't sure about a certain principle, don't right it down. It's important that you have a list of principles that you believe in wholeheartedly.

Step III. Goals

Now that we have defined the ideals which will make our perfect server, its now time to set goals. Unlike principles, you should be as specific as possible when setting goals. To make sure you are setting descriptive goals, we use the mnemonic:

Originally Posted by S.M.A.R.T.
  • specific
  • measurable
  • attainable
  • relevant
  • time-bound

If a goal you have written applies to all of the categories in the mnemonic, you have written a S.M.A.R.T. goal. All of the goals you are about to list should be considered S.M.A.R.T. Just like the principles, your goals should be written in a bulleted list with each goal receiving it's own bullet. I will go ahead and list a few mock goals for Moonwalking Deathmatch.

Originally Posted by GOALS
  • Launch the community on July 29th with a website, forum, and gameserver.
  • Receive over 100 registered users in the first 24 hours.
  • Design a website which receives a 5/5 rating from 75% of users.
  • Reach over 500 registered users by August 10th.

While these goals do classify as S.M.A.R.T., you can probably tell that I have not put much time or thought into them. You should put the necessary time into defining the goals you would like to achieve - and make them attainable! Remember, chances are you aren't going to have 500 registered users in the first 24 hours of making your servers (and some servers never reach 500 registered users). Gage your goals based on what you feel you are capable of accomplishing.

Step IV. The Final Test

The "final test" (as I have coined it) is the final barrier you need to cross before starting the planning of your server. This test will determine whether or not your project is a worth-while venture. You may me wondering why I have chosen to make this the last step instead of the first, meaning that if you fail you have wasted all of your time planning thus far. The truth is, you could have completed this test first. I personally feel it is better to complete this test after you have taken the time to really think critically about the project and what you would like to achieve. The better you understand your project, the more helpful this test will be.

The test consists of three parts, all of which are free-response. You are the primary judge of your test, which obviously means some bias will be involved. If you can grade maturely, your own judgement may be suitable for determining your performance. If you would rather be on the safe side, have someone else review your answers and decide whether or not you have passed. Let's get on to the test itself.

The final test is written out below. If you don't understand any of the questions, scroll below it and I have explained them all in detail. I will not be providing mock answers to the final test because I shouldn't have to. If you struggle to answer any of these questions, you need to have the maturity level to either scrap your current project or modify it to allow you to complete the test.

Originally Posted by Final Test

1. Is your project desirable?

2. Is your project feasible?

3. Is your project viable?

If you did not understand any of the questions, I have explained them in detail below.

Question 1: Is your project desirable?

To answer this question, you need to try and look at your project from afar. Look at your project through the eyes of a user. If you were looking for a new SA-MP server, would you want to play on the one you are planning? Is your project desirable?

Question 2: Is your project feasible?

In other words, is it possible to complete the project how you have planned and is the outcome really attainable? You need to ask yourself if what you are planning could really become a reality. Once again, take a step back and try looking at the project outside of your own point of view. Could you really see this project being a success?

Question 3: Is your project viable?

Is it worth your time to complete this project? Could you be doing something better with your time? Are the chances of success worth the investment (time, money, etc.)? Is your project viable?

In order to grade the final test, you need to be strict. As the test instructions indicate, if you even hesitate for a moment in answering any questions, it means you either haven't thought enough about the project or the project is simply not a good option. If, however, you do complete the test without hesitating, then comes the actual grading. You need to take the time to grade your answers in detail, which means the process may take longer than a day. First, make an initial reading of your answers. If you notice you are lacking in any area or don't feel the answers are sufficient at this point, you have failed the test. Next, make an in-depth reading by annotating your work. By annotating, I simply mean highlighting or underlining key parts of your answers to gain a better understanding of what you have written. This process of annotating, which may at first seem redundant, can actually reveal inconsistencies in your answers or misconceptions you may have and didn't notice. If you do happen to reveal inconsistencies or misconceptions, you have failed. As the third step, you need to take the key points you have underlined/highlighted and apply them to other similar projects. For example, if I highlighted a part of my answer for desirability that says, "Roleplay servers are the most popular kind of server," I would need to find evidence to defend this fact. Although, once again, this may sound redundant, it can lead to shocking revelations about some of the statements in your project. Finally, sleep on it. The next day, you are to wake up and read your answers one more time. If you are still confident in what you have written, you have passed. Don't neglect this step. Although you may feel its a waste of time, sometimes a good night of sleep to clear the mind can drastically change your point of view.


Congratulations, you have completed step one of UX designing. Keep in mind, this is hardly scratching the surface of UX design and I have limited this thread to the pre-planning stage. In the next thread, I will take you through the process of actually planning out your interface for an enjoyable experience. Don't neglect what you have learned in this thread! While it may seem cumbersome and boring, it is worth the day or two of pain to make sure you are using your time to create a worthwhile, rewarding project.

In User Experience II, we will start to utilize the plans we have made in step I and tie everything together to complete the planning stage. If you aren't quite sure what to do with the goal and principles you have written down, don't worry! In the next thread we will be taking the steps to finish up the planning stage.

Last edited by RvGamers; 21/05/2013 at 04:18 PM.
RvGamers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21/05/2013, 03:40 PM   #2
Avi Raj
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Proud Indian
Posts: 778
Reputation: 126
Default Re: User Experience I

really Good.
It Might Help a really needed one of it
Avi Raj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21/05/2013, 03:46 PM   #3
Basssiiie's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 984
Reputation: 191
Default Re: User Experience I

Oh god... It's like university all over again.

Great job, though. Very well written.
Basssiiie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21/05/2013, 05:18 PM   #4
Little Clucker
UnlimitedDeveloper's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 40
Reputation: 1
Default Re: User Experience I

Very well written, great job!
If you like my work, go at the bottom left of this post and click the button and add 1 reputation point onto my account. It really helps by encouraging me to make more scripts/maps for the SAMP community.
UnlimitedDeveloper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21/05/2013, 05:41 PM   #5
Pottus's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,418
Reputation: 1240
Default Re: User Experience I

It's good idea but too robotic for my liking
Pottus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21/05/2013, 06:15 PM   #6
Huge Clucker
Finn707's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 260
Reputation: 10
Default Re: User Experience I

As I said on both your other tutorials, very well written, and useful. Can't wait for the next instalment.
Finn707 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21/05/2013, 06:26 PM   #7
Big Clucker
RvGamers's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 95
Reputation: 65
Default Re: User Experience I

Thanks for all the feedback. I'm glad you're all enjoying the tutorials.
RvGamers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21/05/2013, 10:46 PM   #8
Big Clucker
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 72
Reputation: 5
Default Re: User Experience I

Originally Posted by Finn707 View Post
As I said on both your other tutorials, very well written, and useful. Can't wait for the next instalment.
What he said
xser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21/05/2013, 11:12 PM   #9
Kyle's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,390
Reputation: 314
Default Re: User Experience I

A well detailed and thought our thread, nice one.
Kyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28/05/2013, 10:03 PM   #10
HurtLocker's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hellas, Thessaloniki
Posts: 570
Reputation: 29
Default AW: User Experience I

I really loved all 3 topics you made. You write words down so beautifully and fluentlly that I enjoyed reading english, although I had to translate some of them on ****** but this is because of the text's quality level. And subjects are so interesting and unique! Thank you for these amazing articles.
Join Fallout's Best TDM server ever!
Useful command: Sounds finder
Turotial: Making a textdraw without editors
HurtLocker is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First experience on SA-MP. Lordzy Everything and Nothing 87 19/06/2013 02:48 PM
Help Experience Saw® Scripting Help 11 23/06/2012 12:40 AM
Experience bar jorambo Help Archive 5 17/07/2011 12:44 PM
experience Dainyzxz Help Archive 1 18/03/2010 11:53 AM
experience bar [ALEX] Help Archive 1 30/01/2010 10:02 AM

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.