Designerish: A Card Game


Education, UX, Game Design, Research


InDesign, Illustrator


Full page of instructions


A race-to-get-rid-of-your-card game for 2-4 players that helps answer: what the heck is a designer, anyway?


In a field as broad as Design, what constitutes a designer? Professionals in this field often struggle to communicate the breadth of their skills quickly and easily to each other, while students and the uninitiated may at first struggle to realize the complexity of all of the things that may make up a professional skillset. I wanted to create a game that would allow, through a three-minute round of play, to help solve for both of those problems.


This process included interviewing students and Design instructors on their own definition of designer and interviewing a second-year Carnegie Mellon thesis student studying how to best communicate oneself as a designer. I condensed the list into a blend of self-selected and assigned traits based on strengths and interests. For a more in-depth look at the design process, please click here.


This culminating project received an A in Bruce Hanington’s graduate-level Design Methods course at Carnegie Mellon.

Takeaways & Retrospective

(+) The game as a teaching tool--to begin showing people different categories of design skills and what "Designer" can include--was deemed effective by my professor.

(+) The game itself was fun to play as a group tournament of 1:1 brackets--the fast-paced nature lends itself well to group settings.

(-) Playtesting cannot be skipped, even with a known game mechanic! This project’s cards contained a game-breaking error that wasn’t discovered until playtesting

(-) The effectiveness of this as a teaching tool outside of a Design context hasn't been proven. While classmates self-reported that it broadened their perspective, if someone isn't familiar with the terms and definitions I'm not sure what their takeaway would be. If I were moving forward with this game, I would first test the icons and their corresponding titles for meaning, and make sure they were being correctly interpreted.


Role: Designer


Attributions: Vinita Israni for Design definitions and research.

Team Size: 1


Project Length: 4 weeks