City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

Second in an occasional series, featuring the excellent method the 'Grand Theft Auto' games have for signalling your next mission encounter – a giant, glowing pink arrow oscillating above the target. Perfectly visible at speed, driving through dense urban environments, sometimes under fire and/or listening to Foreigner. Remarkably eye-catching. (Arguably, this should be filed under 'information architecture classics', but who cares.)



Elsewhere, on Interaction Design Classics:
#1: The 'progress bar' on the Voice-O-Graph in 'Badlands'
#2: The big pink arrow from 'Grand Theft Auto'
#3: The 'A Bit More' button on the Breville Professional 800 Collection 4-slice Toaster
#4: The Melnikov House intercom system


6 responses to “Journal: Interaction Design Classics #2: The big pink arrow from ‘Grand Theft Auto’”

  1. nick richards Avatar

    isn’t it only pink in vice city? not to discount the quality or the fact that they use it in other games, just the colour.


  2. Jones Avatar

    One can’t help feeling that in about 5 years we’ll be wearing those sunglasses that superimpose our personal objectives over the view of our city space. Imagine: a big pink arrow showing you where you should be for your next meeting 😉


  3. Dan Hill Avatar

    Cheers Nick and Chris. Yeah I think you’re right, Nick. The pink goes with the neon haze Miami Vice setting of Vice City. Makes it even better, to my mind 🙂
    I also note this recent story about more giant flashing arrows from video games – in this case Need for Speed Underground 2 – making it into reality, though not quite in the way you describe, Chris.


  4. Tom Avatar

    Oh… posting and then reading comments does not make me look smart.


  5. Dan Hill Avatar

    You’re smart enough already, Tom, so no worries 🙂


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