CityVille Mobile

Mobile game design

Experience Design Director

 

Key Responsibilities

Establish product design direction

  • Define core design direction, values, and principles.

  • Research, strategy, testing & validation.

  • Visual design direction for UI.

Hire, mentor, and manage design team

  • Across project lifecycle (pre-production, production, launch, and live phases).

  • Oversee team of up to 12 designers, including two outsource groups.

Product strategy

  • Triangulate with leadership “what should we do and why?” based on business & user needs, and build corresponding roadmap.

  • Prioritize timing and scheduling, scope feature designs, etc.

  • Evaluate key metrics, qual and quant data from various sources to define goals and drive overall strategy.

 

Design Pillars

A set of core pillars help limit our scope, keep us on track and drive process and culture in the design team:

Focus on ROI

  • Knock out the highest value work up front.

  • Do as little work as possible to learn as quickly as possible.

Driven by prototypes

  • Whatever best communicates direction at appropriate fidelity.

  • Sketches / whiteboards / storyboards, task completion flows and loops, state tables, Keynote / design software prototypes, software prototypes, animated sequences, etc.

  • Communicate, get buy-in, and learn what works and what doesn’t as quickly and cheaply as possible.

1 + 1 = 3

  • Pairs and groups of people with complementary skillsets are smarter than the sum of their parts.

  • Highly collaborative—put heads together to solve tough challenges.

  • To be successful, sharing information, learnings, game design / development best practices, etc. across the team is key—knowledge is power!

Data helps your gut

  • Great design comes from a healthy mix of gut feeling and data-informed choices.

 

Craft, Quality, & Execution

Some examples of design team output at various stages, from high-level direction and strategy to pixel-perfect shipped UI:

Exploration & Discovery

Collaborative whiteboard sessions help us evaluate a lot of ideas quickly, and align on a high level direction without a lot of investment.

 

Task Flows

User task flows help communicate complex game systems and user experiences, and identify potential gaps and deficiencies before code is written.

 

Wireframes & Low Fidelity Experience Design

Build prototypes to experience the design as early as possible. Browser prototype: https://xd.adobe.com/view/6bb850b5-4288-43f2-bbdf-8d02f50609b2/

Browser prototype: http://adobe.ly/28SW4hs

 

State Tables & Interaction Design

State tables are a perfect for communicating nuanced interactions and feedback across different game objects.

 

Mock-ups & High Fidelity UI Design

Bringing the game world to life through high quality art and design.

 

Iconography & Visual Design

Highly polished and fun graphics, animation, and interactive feedback are a table-stakes expectation for our audience.

 

UI Elements & Components

A small, well-defined library of UI elements that forms every interface element and enables every interaction and player experience in the product.

 

Recap

Mobile games are super fun, challenging projects. They’re built on small screens with high user expectations for polished graphics and bouncy, snappy animated experiences—so clearly defined product design direction is paramount for the team to maintain efficient forward momentum while maintaining quality.

These constraints continue to inform and influence the products I build outside of gaming today.