Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt | Audio

S9E6: Elizabeth Hargrave

Elizabeth Hargrave is an American game designer whose games include Wingspan, Mariposas, and Tussie Mussie. 

Before becoming a game designer, she did research on health care policy, and her experience with spreadsheets and focus groups helped her design rule sets and incorporate feedback from playtests. Once a publisher licenses a game, the aesthetics get worked out, but the information design often comes earlier:
A lot of card layout — which is so important for the user interface, user experience type stuff — a lot of that in my games has gotten hashed out in the playtesting process. There's a lot of information on a Wingspan card, and the layout of where everything is on the card, and the hierarchy of what's bigger and smaller. I was surprised when I got it back from the graphic designer that it looked so similar to what I had sent them.

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If you enjoyed this conversation with Elizabeth, you might want to listen to Ellen’s and Jessica’s earlier conversation with Lisa Nakamura.

This season’s theme music is from Solar Echoes, by Nigel Stanford.

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Posted in: Design of Business | Business of Design

Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt Ellen McGirt is an author, podcaster, speaker, community builder, and award-winning business journalist. She is the editor-in-chief of Design Observer, a media company that has maintained the same clear vision for more than two decades: to expand the definition of design in service of a better world. Ellen established the inclusive leadership beat at Fortune in 2016 with raceAhead, an award-winning newsletter on race, culture, and business. The Fortune, Time, Money, and Fast Company alumna has published over twenty magazine cover stories throughout her twenty-year career, exploring the people and ideas changing business for good. Ask her about fly fishing if you get the chance.

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