Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a popular pastime enjoyed by many people of all age groups. Manyfriends get together on evenings or weekends to play Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), but young adults findthemselves separated from friends as people move to different states for college or jobs. These friendsalready communicate with existing instant messaging or voice chat software and even play multiplayercomputer games over the internet, but there is no software that supports the freeform and imaginativeplay of pencil and paper D&D.
Bringing D&D, a traditionally “pencil and paper” game played with specific tools like
alarge grid that represents an environment in a fantasy world
and miniatures, into the digital realm isthe goal of the
team’s project, Online
Battlemat. Online Battlemat will connect the players and fill thevoid of a much needed digital D&D experience.Based on feedback received from users during interface design stages, the team has created an initialcomputer prototype as an early version of the proposed final system. This electronic prototype willallow the team to further revise the in
terface based on users’ comments and to strive to create a more
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The team divided risks into two categories:
From paper prototyping sessions, the team received feedback that the initial icons and buttonspresented were not necessarily intuitive to users. The icons proved to be a source of confusion andfrustration for test users. Thus, the riskiest part of the system on the frontend was to make buttonsmore usable and clearer to D&D players. The team took a different approach with the metaphors andanalogies employed in the icons to try to clarify the purposes of the various buttons in the system.
To address this issue, the team’s graphic designer Kurt Larson completely redesigned all button icons
tomake the buttons more recognizable and more predictable. Additionally, tool tips were provided toreinforce the purpose of each button. Now users can simply hover over the buttons using the mousecursor in order to pop up tool tips. The new buttons are shown in Figure 1 below.