Advent Calendar 2009

21 - Game User Research: Making Games Better

Today, we have more of a slide col­lec­tion. But the main fea­tured pre­sen­ta­tion is the one from Graham McAllister, who is a researcher in video game usabil­i­ty at the University of Sussex in the UK and also runs the com­pa­ny Vertical Slice that spe­cial­izes in User Experience (UX; human per­spec­tive, not qual­i­ty assur­ance) test­ing for games. Most of what I have been research­ing in the past 4 years is already start­ing to be employed in prac­tice by them (quite fas­ci­nat­ing, real­ly).

First, he explains the dif­fer­ent mean­ings of UX jar­gon, such as usabil­i­ty (can I do it?), user expe­ri­ence (do I like it?), user inter­face (how does it look?), inter­ac­tion design (how is the inter­face used?). Then he men­tions that UX is a key fac­tor dri­ving review scores of games (not the tech­ni­cal func­tion­al­i­ty alone), which then dri­ve the sales. He backs up his claims with sales data. However, some games with good reviews may still fail finan­cial­ly. On the oth­er hand, games with bad reviews are not very like­ly to sell well. He then dis­cuss­es two case stud­ies (Assassin’s creed and Bioshock) in terms of suc­cess­ful design intent or game­play flaws. The rise of episod­ic gam­ing demands a high­er lev­el of qual­i­ty even for ver­ti­cal slices of games. He goes on to ana­lyze UX flaws of games defaced by gam­ing mag­a­zine reviews. Continue read­ing

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Advent Calendar 2009

5 - Basics of what you need to know about eye tracking

December 5 brings us a very clever, sober, and insight­ful pre­sen­ta­tion about eye track­ing. Harry Brignull, who runs 90percentofeverything is a User Experience Consultant at Madgex in Brighton, England. In his pre­sen­ta­tion he man­ages to demys­ti­fy some of the ini­tial pre­con­cep­tions one might have about eye track­ing. He describes the effect eye track­ing has on the user researcher and how to make the most of it. He man­ages to add in a few quotes and quirks to keep the pre­sen­ta­tion excit­ing (my favorite quote is from Jared Spool, who appar­ent­ly hates eye track­ers). I hope you enjoy watch­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion as much as I did. Continue read­ing

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