Day in the Life: Director of UI/UX

For the newest entry in our Day in the Life series, we’re deep-diving into the day-to-day work and responsibilities of Damian Volantino, Magic Media’s Director of UI/UX. Damian plays a critical role in Magic Media’s expert UI/UX services. With his leadership and collaborative skills, Damian ensures our UI and UX work is completed to the highest standard and in the most intuitive way possible.

UI/UX Director Responsibilities

One of Damian’s main responsibilities is to manage and grow the team behind Magic Media’s UI/UX services. Damian works closely with his team to make certain that not only is their work being completed to a high standard, but he also fosters a healthy working environment and spends a portion of his time increasing efficiency by optimizing workflows.

Outside of leading the team, Damian works closely with executives and producers to help maintain our high-quality UI/UX services. He’s also very hands-on and designs UI, UX, and motion designs for game development projects of varying sizes across all platforms.

A Typical Day as Director of UI/UX

Damian’s day-to-day work involves multiple different aspects. He first and foremost manages his team to ensure they’re working well. He also collaborates with cross-functional teams whose work is relevant to his and his team’s, reviews UI/UX designs, engages in strategic planning, and continually looks out for learning opportunities.

Though his work can be dependent on what project his team is lending their UI/UX services to, Damian is regularly engaging with new client requests, providing his team with constructive feedback on their current project work, conducting team meetings, and growing his team through workshops and establishing career development paths.

The Differences Between UI and UX

Though UI and UX are inherently intertwined, it’s important to note that they are different disciplines that address different player needs. UX encapsulates the overall experience of interacting with a game, including UI, but it also refers to the audio experience, controls, visuals, and overall design. UX development is research-heavy, where developers seek to understand player behaviors as best as possible based on surveys, interviews, and playtesting habits. Based on the information gathered from these processes, a designer will then work on wireframes, user flows, architecture, and prototypes.

At this point of development, UI designers will join the process and create interfaces that are consistent with the game’s art style and visually appealing to players. They also focus on typography, color palette, shapes, spacing and white spacing, and visual hierarchy. While the UI designers work on these aspects, our UX designers will continue to be involved in the process and collaborate to ensure the UI works in tandem with UX.

Damian says that both UI and UX demand different skills from designers. UX is deeply rooted in psychology, so having an analytical mind, finding patterns, and reading data are advantageous in the world of UX. Though UI is deeply rooted in graphic and industrial design, illustration skills are a big plus when designing user interfaces.

Challenges of UI/UX Development

Creating UI and UX for games is a challenging task partly due to the sheer number of platforms available. Between consoles, PCs, and the wide variety of mobile devices on the market, each platform has distinct requirements related to screen size and usability. On the UX side of things, each platform presents different player behaviors that need to be addressed with tailored UX solutions.

Ultimately, UI and UX development is player-centric, sticking to design principles and gaining a deep understanding of player behavior will guide designers regardless of platform. Though the goal of presenting intuitive and pleasant experiences that keep players engaged can be daunting, this can be overcome by keeping the focus on the end user’s experience.

At Magic Media, we provide extensive expert services for clients in the gaming, entertainment, and tech industries. We provide dozens of services including but not limited to full-cycle game development for all platforms, real-time VFX, and game trailer production. Reach out to us today, and let’s create magic!


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