Where I left off in my last post about digital characters, I showed a visual of a dinosaur.
If we examine the interaction of this dinosaur below we’ll notice that it has taken an interest in my cursor.
I’ll argue that by following three rules shown in this example, anyone can create character interactions that users find to be both memorable and positive:
1. The character must show an interest in the user
2. The character must not appear to be threatening
3. The character must not be creepy
These three things draw from our survival instincts and establish our gut reaction to whether we “like” the characters.
So, let’s break this down:
Is it a swipe left or swipe right?
What makes the interaction interesting is that the character is interested in us. Since it shows us its desire to play, we are encouraged to engage with it.
Is it a threat or a pet?
Whether or not we perceive a character to be threatening or adorable depends a bit on our frame of reference. This largely comes down to whether we can predict how the character will respond to our actions.
Is it a freak or familiar?
Finally, if the character’s movements mimic something that we know from the real world, it must be a believable portrayal. If it moves awkwardly, it will likely turn people off.