This thesis examines how technical communicators can look to free, successful mobile games for mobile User Interface (UI) and User Assistance (UA) inspiration and design techniques. The purpose of this thesis is to provide an overview of major game studies theories and situate them within technical communication theory and practices. Technical communicators can leverage game studies theories to augment existing technical communication theories and practices. Specifically, I examine cognitive learning theory in game design, game usability, playability, and user-centered design, and how these theories relate to technical communication, rhetorical, mobile UI/UA, and general usability theories and methods. Additionally, I also note technical communicators can provide depth and fill in existing gaps in game design theory relating to language and textual presentation within games. I demonstrate this value by synthesizing and applying these methods to two successful free mobile games: Supercell's Clash of Clans and Blizzard Entertainment's Hearthstone. In a highly competitive and lucrative environment, top free mobile games provide effective user experiences to engage and retain users. Examining mobile game design provides a creative way for technical communicators to improve their own approaches for user engagement and mobile design.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English; Technical Communications
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Cata, Alexandra, "Playing with Usability: Why Technical Communicators Should Examine Mobile Games" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5395.