Though we rarely acknowledge their existence (unless they're super original or horrifically
ugly), heads-up displays and user interfaces play a major role in how we interact with games. Former DICE designer Marcus Andrews was recently tasked by his previous employer with studying a variety of UIs
to find out which work effectively, and why. Andrews then took his findings and penned an extremely fascinating article on Gamasutra
, which you should really read at your earliest convenience.
The article examines the relationship between in-game "diegetic" HUD elements (think Isaac's holo-projector in Dead Space
) and "non-diegetic" elements which only the player can see. Heck, it's worth reading just because of new vocabulary like that, which could easily
be used to impress friends and members of the opposite sex.