Gamification: learning through play

Published May 17, 2019 | Written by Jeremy Knight

While reading up on User Interface principles yesterday, I stumbled upon this neat little quiz game. The premise is simple: you're shown two near-identical examples of UI design, and you have to pick the one that looks best. I have a background in Game QA, so this sort of gamified nit-picking is right up my street. At its heart, Can’t Unsee is an art lesson dressed up as a game.

The quiz explores design fundamentals. As soon as you choose an image, you’re told whether or not you got it right and get a short explanation of why one is said to be better than the other.

Visual bugs can be found in the smallest of details: capitalisation, shape, font, contrast, spacing, image treatment, colour choice and the use of visual prompts. On some of the harder ones, you know instinctively which one looks better, but don’t feel too confident as to why - so it’s interesting to review the comparisons. The game sort of formalises what you know (or don't!) and reminds you of a whole bunch of things to consider in your own creative work.

Some of the questions are subjective, and it's all based on trends really, but it’s still a super fun way to test your eye. So if you want to learn more about the basics of good UI design, why not give this wonderful example of gamification a go?


Can’t Unsee is a web-based game that presents two choices of iOS interface designs, and asks the user a simple question: Which one is more correct? There are three rounds that ramp up in difficulty, asking you to pick between two mock-ups presented side by side that start out with design choices that seem obviously wrong, but then escalate to images that are nearly indistinguishable. Created by software engineer Alex Kotliarskyi with product designer Amanda Hum, it’s a game of “spot the differences,” but only one of the choices is the right one.

Published by Jeremy Knight May 17, 2019
Jeremy Knight