I’m a lead product designer and art director, who has shipped successful websites, mobile products, and casual games. Millions of people, world-wide, have used and enjoyed my work for Hotwire, Electronic Arts, Zynga, and Real Networks. After eight years of building video games, I rekindled my love of travel and joined Hotwire to build web and mobile products. Many of the concepts I used building games inform my product design work. The three most important mechanics I use are instruction, progression, and reward.
Instruction is an incredibly important mechanic for teaching new and returning customers about your product. Whether it’s a first-time user experience, or simply a hint about what’s changed, this step is often overlooked in the design process or treated as an afterthought. As a user advocate, I look at designs from a user perspective and use testing to figure out what needs to be simplified.
Progression is a key game mechanic that is fundamental for product design. Customers need to be remembered and encouraged to return to your product to achieve a goal. Games do this well by using progress bars and achievements. These features can be added to consumer or b2b products to add personality and to increase engagement.
The Reward is the reason your customer is spending time with your product. Rewards can be bits of surprise and delight in the UI, but fundamentally they should fulfill customer needs. One role of mine in product design is to ensure the reward fulfills customer needs while reaching product goals.
I am a mentor and student of design, both in the office and out in the world. I invite you to browse my Tumblr blogs about San Francisco Typography, and Interesting UI. Please contact me with your toughest design challenge, or connect with me on LinkedIn.