Large Image Display: Code of Everand: Simple, Clean Character Creation

This is the character creation screen from Code of Everand, a child-friendly MMO run by the British Department of Transport, in order to teach children road safety. It is quite impressive in several respects, offering quite a few points to learn from.

Firstly, there are clean lines, and a logical hierarchy. When you look at it in overview, it is immediately obvious as to what each section does. This kind of design aesthetic is all too often lacking in a character creation screen.

Of immediate interest is the name generation section. All too often people use the semi-anonymity of a MMO to create truly inappropriate names. Swear words, obscene words, and general gibberish. Code, takes something of a leaf out of Second Life's book with name generation, but goes one step further.

With SL's system you get to type in your own first name, and pick a second name from a list. With this, you cannot type in your own name.

Instead, there are three sub names to choose from. Each is attached to a scrollable list, so clicking on the buttons next to it, changes the name displayed there. It is divided into first name and a double barrel surname. Each name is alphabetically pre-sorted to make searches easier.Oddly however, you press the down button to go up the alphabet, from Z to A, and press the up button to go from A - Z. Slightly counter-intuitive but not enough to worry about.

The system works well. The options here, are not the whole character creation process, but that continues on a separate screen once this much is done. Another error many worlds make is to ask for all the information up front, confusing many people who are encountering it for the first time.

By parcelling the information up in this manner - Code uses three screens, one after the other - you have the opportunity to bite-size your character creation process, delivering only that information the user needs to know at any given time.

Link: World Review: Code of Everand