Electronic Arts

Lead UI Designer, 1997 - 2002

Role

I stumbled into UI/UX work while at Microsoft in the mid 90s, when the group I was contracting with started making sports games. Multiple reviews of the basketball game declared the UI I designed and built to be "the best in any sports game" at that time. I figured I'd try my luck working on higher profile sports games and landed a position with Electronic Arts doing UI for the console versions of FIFA soccer.

During my five and a half years there I led the design of UI and UX for multiple franchises on PlayStation, XBOX, and PC, typically collaborating with an art director for the visual style. I worked on user flows through the "front end" (the menus outside of gameplay where users set up their characters, etc.) and in-game menus, produced assets, designed pipeline tools with engineers, and kept things consistent across the various versions on different platforms built by different teams.

Take-Aways

Tasteful design and elegant typography are not important in sports games, especially on consoles. I quickly became less precious about my visual design and focussed instead of relaying the right information to the user as quickly and clearly as possible. Making fast decisions is fundamental to gaming, and my role as a UI/UX designer was to facilitate that -- or at least to not get in the way.