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Jen Marshall UX Design

Hello! Please tell us about yourself and your role at Lockwood Publishing?
Hi. I’m Jen, and I have been a UX designer on Avakin Life since June last year. I’m a keen gamer and usability geek, and love to build better experiences for our users to enjoy|

How did you find your start in the industry, and how did you arrive at your current position?
I have worked in the industry for over 10 years now! I started in the games industry as a designer at Frontier Developments in Cambridge, UK. From there, I worked for many years creating user experiences for a variety of games and consoles, before taking a year to study an MSc here in Nottingham. Whilst here I was lucky enough to find myself a role at Lockwood Publishing.

How did you get interested in games? What are some of your favourites?
I grew up both playing and creating games from a very young age (around four, I believe), from my msx back in the 1980’s through to today. One of my favourite games will always be Dungeon Keeper as I remember playing it so much that my arms hurt – I still enjoy the voice samples today. Now, I play a lot of Hearthstone and spend many, many hours playing board games.

What advice do you give young women getting into the gaming industry and what can they do to broaden their knowledge?
Keep that passion alive, keep experimenting, keep playing, and build what you love! Invest in learning good communication skills. It’s really valuable to be able to communicate your ideas with a variety of different people, each with a different brain!

Who or what inspires you and why?
I’m always inspired by designs that really keep you engaged, challenged, and require some real thinking. I really enjoyed some VR escape games I played recently. I felt the designers had really thought about how to create an excellent, immersive experience that really made use of the controls available.

I love it when a game uses just the right amount of polish so that it feels great to play but not overwhelming!