Request a UX Design Mentor

Mike Ambinder
Principal Experimental Psychologist

I’m a Principal Experimental Psychologist at Valve, and I’ve been there about 12 years. My work focuses on the application of knowledge and methodologies from psychology to game design. I also do a bunch of statistical analysis and Brain-Computer Interface/Biofeedback research as well.

At Valve, I’ve worked on Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Portal 2, Alien Swarm, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2, Artifact, Dota Underlords, Half-Life: Alyx, some of our hardware projects, and Steam. I’m happy to help answer any questions you have about getting started in the industry, acquiring a useful skillset, analyzing particular problems, or well, anything at all really.

Talk to me about:
Research Methods
GUR Processes
GUR Technology
Career & Personal Development
GUR & Academia
Lidia Chia Jimenez
UX Designer

Understanding the why and how of decision making led me first to advertising, then e-commerce and finally to UX design - now focused on video games UX.
My background includes graphic design, psychology, research, marketing and front end development.

I'm certified in Accessible Player Experience by Able Gamers and a fierce diversity advocate at King, where I apply inclusive design patterns to shape the UX of new game projects from information architecture to UI requirements so everyone can play.
Talk to me about:
GUR Processes
GUR for specific platforms & genres: Console, mobile, F2P
Business and Personal skills
Information architecture
Design discussions / reviews
UI systems that supports meta and gameplay
Stakeholder management
Design strategy
Wireframing and high fidelity prototyping
Transitioning from Tech to Game UX
Mariana D'Ornellas
UX/UI Designer
Klei Entertainment
I've worked in the games industry since 2013 and I'm currently a UX/UI Designer at Klei Entertainment and a UX instructor at Vancouver Film School. My experience is mostly with the indie industry, including Mobile, Console, and PC games. For my academic background I have a  Bachelor in Visual Design and a Game Art & Design Diploma.
My favorite thing about doing UX for games is how it allows Designers to create fun and unique experiences. I find the creative process the best part of any project, it's when I get to think out of the box and explore different Design ideas. I'd be happy to chat about my journey and share what I've learned so far!
Talk to me about:
GUR Processes
GUR Technology and Tools
GUR and Academia
UX & UI Design
Career and personal development
Graphic Design
Indie games
Andreia Gonçalves
Experience Designer
Electronic Arts

I am an Experience Designer at Electronic Arts, originally from Portugal and now in Canada. I’ve been working in games for 5 years, on both PC, Console, and Mobile. During my time in games, I’ve worked on UI & UX  as a Designer and Programmer.

I am passionate about learning and acquiring any skills that support me in my ability to bring Designs to life - from processes to programming. Although I mostly focus on UX Design nowadays, I am thankful for my previous experience in other areas and frequently draw upon it both for my work and to facilitate collaboration with others.

I am happy to share my journey so far and help you find your own path in the industry.

Talk to me about:

All things UI & UX in Games

Technical Design

Cross-Discipline Collaboration

Career & Personal development

Design Thinking

Advocating for UX

Laura Levy
Research scientist
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Hello! I have 10 years of experience in games user research as a Research Scientist at Georgia Tech, I act as Research Director of Gaming & Esports Applied Research, and I serve on the GRUX SIG Steering Committee. I have a foot in both worlds of industry and academia, as my role is in technology transfer of research from the university out into industry. Basically, industry comes to us to work on difficult problems of software, hardware, and experimental design that they cannot do in-house or - even more fun - that no one has ever done before! I work primarily with the esports industry, including team franchises (e.g. Atlanta Reign, Atlanta FaZe), game studios (e.g. HiRez Studios), performance gear companies (e.g. Kontrol Freek), and esports production companies (e.g.Skillshot Media). 

I have expertise in human-factors/cognitive psychology, research design and implementation, quantitative and qualitative methods, AR/VR games, HCI, serious game design, and all things esports GUR. I have consulted for EA, BioWare, and DICE on commercial games, but where I can really shine as a mentor is helping in navigating a games design undergraduate program, Masters programs, as well as research, study, and analysis help - including working with industry! I am also a huge advocate of being a research scientist, which is a nice middle ground between industry and academia that many may be unfamiliar with and I am happy to talk your ear off on that point. If I can’t help you, I’m confident I can connect you with someone that can!
Talk to me about
Research Methods
GUR Processes
GUR Tech and Tools
Mobile & Console Games
Serious Games
GUR & Academia
Masters programs for HCI and related fields
Lucas Rizoli
UX researcher
(Recently of) Ubisoft Toronto

I would be happy to talk about most any aspect of my work as a UR Project Manager, how I got to it, and where I think things are going—or anything else on which you’d like to hear my experience, advice, or opinions. I have a background in cognitive science, visualization, and opinion mining.

Talk to me about:
Research Methods
GUR Processes
GUR Tech and Tools
Console, PC, Games for Children
Career & Personal Development
Reporting and presenting data
Jason Schklar
UX Is Fine!

Experienced product and studio leader. Shipped games across many devices, genres, and business models. Have worked at a variety of game publisher and development studios (Microsoft Games, Big Huge Games, Zynga, Disney Mobile). 

My “bat power” is improving games at the speed of development. I help teams prioritize UX goals, assess risks, and adjust schedule and development processes to better integrate rapid iterative UX feedback and direction.

These days I help teams "find the fun" and drive better UX into their games by mentoring individual contributors, guiding team leadership, and providing feedback and direction on products and processes.

Happy to chat about Publisher/Developer Relationships, Working Effectively with Development Teams, Mentoring UX Designers, and Life as a Consultant.

Talk to me about:
Career & Personal Development
Game Design
Game Production
Publisher/Developer Relationships
Working Effectively with Development Teams
Mentoring UX Designers
Life as a Consultant
Morgane Schreiber
Lead UX researcher
Ubisoft Paris Studio
I’ve worked in UX research at Ubisoft since 2014, where I've led projects from varied genres and platforms. Through years, I specialized in AAA open world shooters on console.
Switching from Editorial teams to development studios, I could learn about the different jobs and processes contributing in developing and launching a game. Now, closely working with the development team and the other players-centered departments, my principal goal is to increase the efficiency and impact of the UXR on the game production and experience.
Talk to me about:
UXR on non-linear games
Collaboration with lead/core teams
Collaboration with UXD teams
Collaboration with players-centered jobs
Research methods & processes
Nathan Varajand
UX Lead
Hypixel Studios

I've had the privilege of working in UX at several studios over my career. After a few years in mainstream UX, I transitioned to games UX and haven't looked back. I've worked on a variety of titles for the mobile, console, and PC markets and have had the wonderful opportunity to create and build up UX departments at multiple studios. My areas of expertise are in creating high fidelity interactive prototypes fueled by user research, conducting cost effective research, and incorporating UX strategy into existing work pipelines. I'm happy to talk about transitioning into the games industry, user research methodologies, UX design tools, theory, or principles, and am also happy to simply chat about games UX in general.

Talk to me about:
Game Design
Prototyping and Rapid Iteration
Console and Mobile games
Career & Personal Development
GUR & Academia
Introducing and evangelizing for UX in the studio
Creating interactive prototypes that capture design requirements
Emma Varjo
UX Lead
I'm the UX Lead at Frozenbyte. Prior to working in games UX, I worked as a programmer and IT consultant, dreaming of moving my career into games and/or UX. In the years since starting at Frozenbyte, I've been very hands-on in the UX design and user research of our games. I've also been actively creating systems and processes to eliminate or distribute some of the work I do, as I am very much a one woman operation at the moment.
As a solo UXer of the company based in a fairly remote location, I have experience in being the expert while definitely not feeling very knowledgeable as well as finding resources, peers, and community to support the different aspects of my career. 
While I'm definitely not the most seasoned user researcher of the mentors by far, I am very knowledgeable in design, have transitioned from another career to games fairly recently, have ample experience in wearing (too) many hats, and am still learning as I go and happy to share my learnings so far.
Talk to me about:

Games User Research Methods

UX Processes

Console and PC games

Premium games

Career & Personal Development

UX Design

Bernice Wong
Sr. Experience Designer

Hi there! I’m a Senior Experience Designer at Zynga. I come from a non-traditional design background where I self-taught myself UX and game development as a first-generation college student. Since graduating with an English degree in 2018, I’ve lead the designs of numerous in-game features and previously supported mobile titles from NetEase Games and Pixelberry Studios. As someone who started her career in games as an intern and has grown into senior maturity, I'm excited to share with you any advice, regrets, and/or lessons learned that the years of growth has given me.

In my spare time, I also really enjoy talking with folks about breaking into games, mental health, women empowerment, and UX education and have given talks at collegiate clubs, PAX West, PAX Online, and the GRUX Online Conference. Whether it’s processes, technical skills, behavioral skills, landing your first UX design job, or if you just need someone to help boost your confidence, I’d be happy to chat with you. :)
Talk to me about:
UX Design & Processes
GUR Processes
GUR Technology and Tools
GUR for specific platforms & genres - mobile
Business and Personal skills
Design Systems
Mobile Games
Breaking Into The Industry
Diversity & Inclusion
Career and Personal Development
David Zuratzi
Creative Director
Those Who Design (studio) Internacional Game Forum, DEVHR

I studied Graphic Communication Design on the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana In Mexico City. I been researching on UX and Game Design in order to apply them on videogames, social communication and entrepreneurship. I'm the owner of Those Who Design a studio who creates interactive experiences and games. I'm part of the organizing committee of International Game Forum, DEVHR (México City). I've been given workshops and lectures on different Colleges in Mexico, such as, CCC, UNAM, UAM, Anahuac, and la Ibero. I could give the metorships on english and spanish. Love horror movies, and plastic arts.

Talk to me about

Games User Research mentors

UX Processes

Technology and Tools

2D Games

Career and Professional Development


Game Design

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