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

The big pink arrow from ‘Grand Theft Auto’

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Everyday Interaction Design Classics #2

Second in an occasional series, featuring the excellent method that Rockstar’s ‘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, utterly effective. As with most things in the game, it is playfully witty, but essentially, this is interaction design that is not worried about subtly, and simply gets the job done.

Elsewhere, on Everyday 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
#5: Alan Partridge’s Rover 200 fascia control system
This post was first published at, on 12 August 2006.


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