Game Design vs UX Design

I am keenly interested in migrating my skills in the world of UX Design to that of game design (physical board game design in particular). I recently discovered Raph Koster’s article titled Game Design vs UX Design and it obviously rung a bell for me.

As a UX Designer it is indeed my goal and job to remove obstacles from users path to success with software. Raph hits the nail on the head in his description of what a UX Designer does. I know he is specifically talking about video game design in this article, but I suspect much of this translates over to the world of board game design.

His list of goals as a game designer struck me as very helpful as I consider my role as a game designer:

  • challenging. Often, we want the game to make the user think a lot.
  • explorable. We usually want the user to think there are always more possibilities in there.
  • scalable, so that players learn better play as they play.
  • crazy juicy, so that players are captivated by spectacle, well beyond the needs of feedback from a UX perspective
  • inviting of error. We want players to learn through mistakes.


As I attempt to adapt my skills it seems imperative that I consider, understand and embrace how goals are different and how my skills as a UX Designer can be leveraged to achieve these goals.

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