Chris Novak

Partner, Head of the Xbox Design Studio ∙ Microsoft

As Head of Xbox Design, Chris Novak guides the user experience across Microsoft’s gaming businesses: Console, Windows, Mixer, Game Pass, xCloud, PlayFab, and Xbox Live. He is a member of the Gaming For Everyone Leadership Team, as well Microsoft’s overall Design Leadership Team. Prior to his role leading Xbox Design, he was the Design Architect for Microsoft Studios, helped found 3D6 Games Inc., and worked at Electronic Arts Inc.

Novak believes play is in everyone’s DNA; play is the earliest and most natural method for human learning—from social interactions to gravity, from simple pattern matching to complex game rules. Passion for play is what inspires gamers, and Novak nurtures design teams that are fascinated by methods of appeal, game loops, and the psychology of play. Game design is as much a part of their UX design practice as typography, flow, and usability.

Novak spends much of his free time outside with his family, playing games, taking photographs, and modifying and racing cars. He’s a multi-time regional champion with the Sports Car Club of America