Design Lead

Design, direction, and implementation, here are some of my daily responsibilities

 Leadership

By leading through both process and example, I work to constantly optimize our iteration cycles and process, maintaining team engagement and energy, while also promoting internal and external growth.

  • Daily team scrum & sprint management
  • Defining measurable goals & OKRS that target both business KPIs and personal team growth
  • Hiring & maintaining talent, defining design levels/ladders for organization growth
  • Established full-stack design best practices that promote design thinking and collaboration
  • Established a workshop environment for designers across departments to collaborate and provide peer review

Product Design

As the first creative hire for Skillz, I have worked on every consumer facing product since our MVP release. Applying full-stack design principles, our team continually provides industry defining solutions in a fast, agile environments

  • Defining features that target a broad audience, “eSports for Everyone”, while also specifically targeting unmet needs for user segments
  • Apply design thinking methodology and best practices to feature development
  • Built out design language systems that incorporate components, grid-systems, and JSON theme classes that are utilized by product development
  • Lead qualitative and quantitative usability testing to empathize with users and re-frame problems clearly

Brand Evolution

Together with leadership, I have defined our visual brand identity that leverages our company mission and targets relatable experiences for our broad user-base. As the industry grows and evolves, I continue to support our adaption and progress towards better ways to tell our story and make great first impressions.

  • Developed branding style guides that include color families, typography, and accents
  • Worked together with department leads to build adaption, adoption, and evolution of our brand towards better consumer facing content
  • Manage internal and external resources for content creation, and mentor our graphic design team on best practices and content development

Our Skillz Design Mission: Provide an experience for users to be rewarded for already playing the games they love

The Principles We Follow

Trust

Competition that is fun & fair

Confidence

Our players are champions

Accessible

eSports are for everyone

On-Point

Always put the player first

Great product design can only happen with a strong foundation.

Having a unified language allows the entire organization to build better products for today and tomorrow. This system consists of a series of best practices including:

  • Unified sketch files that correlate to each product release, providing new feature screens, and updates to our baseline core UI
  • Build & maintain a component & symbol library which contains reusable elements for efficient and cohesive product design
  • Each feature release is categorized within Zeplin, providing the engineering team with CSS & React Native references to the content they build
  • Utilizing an entire JSON theming class library that incorporates typography rules, responsive breakpoints, and all class colors for each UI element
  • All designs are built within the 8-Grid design system, to ensure clean and balanced content, no matter the aspect ratio or device

Skillz Mobile Design Examples

Skillz eSports Lobby

As our company has scaled from a handful to hundreds, we set out to find our new headquarters. I was tasked with designing an eSports lobby that would build both industry and brand awareness for the company . The goal of this lobby would be to provide a competitive arena space for our users to have their own eSports tournaments and events. For the brand, we wanted to visualize the current state of the industry as well as tie back to our roots, where eSports originated.

eSports Streamer Display

Featuring professional eSports player Doublelift

The world of eSports has several audiences and experiences that build the core ecosystem. Outside of the drive to compete, we set out to build a spectator experience where players/viewers could participate, and cheer on their champions. Our UI framework could also overlay existing streamer live content, which allowed them to run mobile competitions with our platform (and monetize) on top of their primary content delivery.

Meet some of our Champions

Focusing on our principles of trust and confidence, we strive to make an experience that is fun & fair for all of our users, understanding their desires, goals, and unmet needs today.

Bobby Jones - The Low Depositer

Likes to Play, Hates to Lose

Bobby enjoys Skillz games but has not had a pleasant experience playing for cash. He enjoyed the games themselves but doesn't enjoy the continuous losses

700

ELO Rating

Achiever

85%

Explorer

70%

Social

25%

Top Features

  • Trophies – likes the free bonus cash
  • Live Events – Chance at winning cash
  • Low Stakes – Less pressure

Unmet Needs

  • Want more opportunities to get bonus cash
  • Able to win cash without depositing
  • Higher quality games

Linda Sloan - The Z Player

Loves Playing Cards

Linda likes to play Z matches to relax and considers Skillz a hobby. She's fairly skilled, but doesnt play a lot of mobile games. Has never heard of eSports

1200

ELO Rating

Achiever

35%

Explorer

85%

Social

50%

Top Features

  • Z Matches – Likes pressure free playing
  • Free Rolls – Chance to win cash
  • Chat – Likes to make friends

Unmet Needs

  • New content to play in Z matches
  • Simple application that is easy to use
  • Social/Chatting private messages

Chip Hatkins - The High Spender

Here to Win Cash!

Chip is single and loving it. Skillz is the top hobby for Chip as the thrill of playing for cash makes him feel like he is back in Vegas

950

ELO Rating

Achiever

95%

Explorer

15%

Social

65%

Top Features

  • Winning Leagues – Key to max earnings
  • Live Events – Good place to shark prizes
  • Customer Support – Refunds appreciated

Unmet Needs

  • Not enough time in the day to play
  • Wants to show status in the chat
  • Pending match times too long

Empathize

Define

Ideate

Prototype

Persona User Journey Example

Additional Skillz Design Examples

Skillz Live

Skillz Live is eSports technology that turns a streamer’s channel into an eSports arena. With our platform, streamers can interact directly with fans in organized competitions featuring leaderboards and real prizes. We power eSports tournaments for more than 3,000 mobile game developers, and now streamers (along with their followers) can join in on the action. Building the first UI framework to accommodate this was an exciting challenge.

Custom Game Design

Outside of our own SDK, I also designed and optimized several of our integrating customer’s game UI. The goal for these designs was to apply Skillz best practices, such as improved CTA (Call to Action) locations, and define the heirarchy of the navigation to cater towards Skillz multiplayer entry points.

Screens: Zynga-Backbreaker 2 | Glu-Dday PVP  | Real Money Trivia – 4 Clues

Web Presence & Brand

More recently I worked internally to re-brand the company, both in messaging and also visual identity. Our goal was to create an atmosphere that catered to our broad audience and gamified community. You can see the new website at www.skillz.com