How Video Games Inspire Great UX

Scott Jenson, UX designer for Google, describes how eye-opening video games have been for him as an interface designer

Games felt like they were about sparkles and tension. Great app UX is about minimalism and simplicity. Fortunately, I found Raph Koster, the author of A Theory of Fun. Raph is known as a “Game Grammarian” and deeply deconstructs how games are made. His book is a very game-like exploration of how games work. Much like how Understanding Comics is a comic about how comics work.

I met with Raph several times over 8 weeks where we took his book apart, applying it to my world of UX design. He was energetic and excited to find a parallel world that could benefit from his work. I’ve been in UX design for over 30 years and I was a bit, well, set in my ways. Raph was patient and in a good-natured way enjoyed skewering my misconceptions. This article is my journey fighting through these misconceptions.

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