How game user interfaces can inspire better tech products

Video games have some of the best interfaces and experiences among all digital products. And that’s why some companies are taking inspiration from the people who design video games, when it comes to designing non-game technology interfaces.

Harlan Elam is a good example of someone who made the leap from games into cybersecurity, where his skills have been very useful in visualizing complicated dashboards.

Elam worked for 4.5 years at Blizzard Entertainment as a user interface and user experience designer, but he recently redesigned the product interface for Jask, a cybersecurity company. This is exactly the kind of leap that McAfee predicted in a report last year, where the security firm said that gamers have the skills to be good cybersecurity professionals.

Elam pulled ideas from a variety of disciplines games, virtual reality game Lone Echo, and even science fiction shows like Westworld to build a heads-up display (HUD) fo Jask. I talked to Elam about this crossover, and it reminded me of a talk that John Underkoffler, CEO of Oblong Industries, gave at our GamesBeat Summit event in 2018. Underkoffler, the science adviser for the landmark sci-fi film Minority Report, begged game designers to lend their expertise to designing technology interfaces of the future.

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