I work as a Senior UX designer at Big Fish Games.

Big Fish is a developer and publisher of casual, free-to-play mobile games in Seattle.

I work cross-functionally with production, product management, research, QA, engineering, and data analysis. We meet weekly or bi-weekly to kickoff new projects, present designs, and monitor the performance of features we’ve shipped.

Now, I don’t work in just one game team, but eight. I am responsible for the product and feature design across eleven free-to-play casual mobile games. I also make time to mentor and support two other designers.


This requires a heavy emphasis on cross-functional collaboration, communication, organization, and productivity.

With so many games in various stages of production, I’ve found that employing a lean UX design process has yielded the biggest increases in key performance indicators — as well as project turnaround — in our games. 


The first three questions I ask at the beginning of a project are:

  1. What's the problem?
  2. How do we know its a problem?
  3. How can we solve the problem?

... with each question leveraging its own set of resources to answer.

So for example, when I ask, "how do we know its a problem?," it’ll usually occur with production and engineering in the room. Then a discovery phase starts, leveraging analytics, competitive usability, and often times we’ll have reports from previous research that will inform us on where we can already make improvements, or get the status of a feature and its usability.

Over the last thirteen months, I have launched two games, established myself as the principle UX designer in the game studio, and shipped 28 features.

In my experience, the key to a delightful experience is understanding users' motivations and confirming their mental model through thoughtful interaction design.

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