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Questions about User Experience (UX) and Prototyping tools in Game Design

Hey all,

I'm interested in pursuing a career in game design and because it is such a broad field that encompasses a multitude of disciplines and specialties (especially in larger studios), I am specifically interested in going into UX Design (a.k.a. Visual Design, Interaction Design, or UI design).

That said, I recently completed an online course in Principles of Game Design and I posted a thread on the course's discussion forum asking questions about UX design and prototyping in game design about a week ago. However, since I have yet to get a response on that thread, I thought that this would be a good site to ask this question on in hopes of getting at least one response.

Here are my questions:

1.) In addition to taking the game design course, I am also taking a course in UX design. I am curious to know what prototyping tool(s) is/are most used by game designers as well as by UX designers who work in the games industry. Here is a link to a page of prototyping tools (see below). Are there any from that list that are most prominently used by game designers? Also, would any of you happen to know of other prototyping tools that were not on the list but are still frequently used by game designers?

[http://uxdesignweekly.com/ux-resources/prototyping-tools/](http://uxdesignweekly.com/ux-resources/prototyping-tools/)

2.) Two things I have learned so far from my UX design class are user-centered design and the five elements of user experience: strategy, scope, structure, skeleton, and surface. Are these frameworks and methodologies also applied in game design or are different approaches used?

If you have any questions that you'd like to ask me in order to better understand where I'm coming from, please ask and I'll be more than willing to clarify.

Thanks to all who responded! #game-design #user-experience #visual-design #ux-design #user-interface-design #interaction-design #prototyping #wireframes

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Marco Flavio’s Answer

For prototyping, we use mostly InVision, but that is for web and apps.


For UX, look at Design Thinking and its core steps: Research, Analysis, Ideation, Testing, Iteration. (Prototyping fits into Ideation/Testing).
Research and Analysis with users, possibly on-site, are key elements of worthwhile UX. The rest is guessing in order to save time and money, but miss the point of real UX.

Thank you comment icon Thanks for your response Marco! I really appreciate it. Do you happen to have experience working in game design? The reason I ask is because, as stated in my original post, I would like to pursue a career as a UX designer in the game design field. Hence, my curiosity to know if your answers are based on any aforementioned experience in game design. Abhinav
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Marco Flavio’s Answer

Here's a job description for UX gaming director I received this week: It will give you some ideas of the requirements.
JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:
Develop and direct user experience design for a best in class, free-to-play mobile games.
Design wireframes and UX flows for games, features and prototypes that address both user behavior and attitudes.
Work cross-functionally with leadership team including design, product management, content strategy, engineering and marketing.
Review analytics and make recommendations to UX flow.
Collect user feedback and recommend improvements.
Other duties as assigned.


JOB REQUIREMENTS:
BA / BS Degree in Design (e.g. Interaction, graphic, visual communications, product, human factors) with demonstrable experience in the field of user experience and user interface design or equivalent in work experience.
A minimum of 7 years’ experience developing UI/UX for games, and a minimum of 5 years’ experience in an UI/UX leadership capacity.
Proven record of creating and directing UI/UX on mobile, with a high quality bar.
Proven track record working with established AAA franchises with specific style guides.
Outstanding communications and interpersonal skills.
Must be able to motivate and mentor others and collaborate well with other developers in a team environment.
Solid knowledge of current UI/UX techniques and technical solutions.
Demonstrated proficiency with popular UI tools including expertise in Unity.
Experience working with multiple disciplines/stake-holders, including Product Management.
Mobile interface design across many different screen sizes.
Expert in free-to-play game UX.
Strong visual sensibility.
Ability to iterate rapidly on concepts & wireframes.
Knowledge of traditional design methods and theories.
Knowledge of creating optimal user experiences from a game design perspective.
Expert prototyping skills (Sketch, Origami, After Effects, Flash, Illustrator, etc).

Thank you comment icon Thanks Marco! By the way, I just granted you access to that Google doc I posted the link to yesterday. I would appreciate it if you could please read it and give me your take. Abhinav
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Marco Flavio’s Answer

I don't work in games, but if you have UX, it's like saying you have Accounting or Marketing. The content may change, but the process is fundamentally the same, and revolves around a deep understanding of your gamers (users) and their experience of the game. I hired UX designers for enterprise software, consumer apps, consumer sites, in the spaces of finance, healthcare, travel, hospitality, food, event planning and more. I always look for the same skills.
Now, given the nature of gaming, you may be interested in other careers: scriptwriting, visual design, 3D modeling, illustration, storytelling. I'm not sure how I'd apply a UXer to gaming, unless he/she was creating support materials, or working on personas and their journey through the game.
What is it that interests you in games? What do you want to do?

Thank you comment icon Hey Marco! As I was attempting to post my response, I was not aware that I had exceeded an 800 character limit. So I've decided to post a link to a Google Doc that contains my lengthy response. Thanks! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SS8Q7wxtx8kyCGDO2Z5ooy4N62n5HeHParw4cXYlFU8/edit Abhinav
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