The personal portfolio site of Ben Kawaichi, UI/UX designer and problem solver. I specialize in social game user interface and experiences and I have designed and managed UI/UX for games including FarmVille 2, FarmVille English Countryside, Poker Blitz, and Zynga Poker.
I always stick to a few key principles when I design experiences.
A few choice examples of my skillset
Compared to its predecessor, FarmVille 2 was a quantum leap forward. I was tabbed to lead UI/UX and helped develop deeper game mechanics, revamped interaction models, and a cleaner, more delightful experience. I also built and developed a large team of UI/UX designers.
FarmVille 2 quickly became the #1 Facebook game and Zynga's top revenue source.
English Countryside was FarmVille's biggest and most ambitious project. It introduced an entirely new farm to users, with deep fiction and new gameplay, including a sophisticated new breeding mechanic. I oversaw all UI as well as help develop features and mechanics.
Both the expansion model and the breeding mechanic were so successful that they largely defined the business strategy from that point on.
Poker Blitz was a spinoff from Zynga's popular Poker app. It was designed as a low-pressure, arcade-style single-player experience: our target demographic tended to shy away from interpersonal competition.
With boss battles, powerups and collaborative social mechanics, Poker Blitz was aimed squarely at the more casual player.