Final Fantasy XIV UI design backstage investigators interview
Image via Square Enix

Final Fantasy XIV Backstage Investigators Interview Dived into UI Design

Final Fantasy XIV is a massive, ongoing MMORPG that has many different parts that make up the experience. The latest interview in Square Enix’s Backstage Investigators series dived deep into the world of UI design and how it works. Game UI designer Kei Odagiri gave his thoughts on the matter and goals for the menus in Final Fantasy XIV.

Recommended Videos

According to Odagiri, UI is more of a “technical profession,” rather than an artistic one, as some may assume. The job of the UI team is to create every function within the menus of the game.

Everything from the buttons players press on their hotbar to execute actions to the various windows of the menu is a UI designer’s job. They work in tandem with the UI artists who first draft the visual component of the interface option, and then the designers take that to the UI programmers for them to implement it into the game itself.

This job even affects some of the finer details of more recent patches, such as the adventurer plates that players can use to customize their introduction in various content. Oddly enough, the UI designers work on a much different schedule than some of the other developers.

Instead of working far ahead on the future of FFXIV like everyone else, Odagiri noted UI designers are always working mainly on the next immediate patch. To this point, the UI can never “be considered complete” since it is constantly being built upon. This leads to some struggles in the backend for the UI designers since even tiny changes can result in issues.

One of the most recent examples of the UI designers at work was in the Variant and Criterion dungeons that appeared in Patch 6.25. The UI team had to design and implement further layers of the duty finder system. This is there to allow players to find and play with others in this content.

However, Odagiri said they got to flex their creativity with the expedition log, which details the player’s adventure through these unique dungeons. It is much more stylized, showing that despite the UI designer’s job being more technically-focused, there is room for creativity and personal flair at times.

Final Fantasy XIV is available on PS4, PS5, and PC. Square Enix is also currently hiring for new UI designers.

Siliconera is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Cody Perez
Cody Perez
Cody is a writer who has been sharing his love for video games and anime since his high school days in 2012. When he isn’t writing about the latest JRPGs and anime series, he can be found in Final Fantasy XIV, occasionally playing some Call of Duty, or lurking on Twitter @SoulcapCody.