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Finding Out What They Think: A Rough Primer To User Research, Part 2

Finding Out What They Think: A Rough Primer To User Research, Part 2

  • May 15, 2012
[The following is the second of two articles by college professor and researcher Ben Lewis-Evans on games user research methodology (see Part 1, which covered focus groups, heuristics, and questionnaires, as well as giving a grounding in the topic of user research in general. In this article, Lewis-Evans covers interviews, observational methods (including think out loud and contextual inquiry), game metrics, and biometrics.]

Interviews

Much like a questionnaire — a topic covered in the last installment — an interview is for collecting subjective data. However, the face-to-face nature of an interview means that you can be more interactive in your data collection, which if done correctly, can lead to very rich data. However, it is also obviously quite time-consuming, and it is harder to analyze and quantify the data you get at the end.

The quality of what you get out of an interview will also depend greatly on your own skill as an interviewer, so here are some tips.

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Finding Out What They Think: A Rough Primer To User Research, Part 1

Finding Out What They Think: A Rough Primer To User Research, Part 1

  • May 2, 2012
[In this first article in a new series, college professor and user research Ben Lewis-Evans takes a look at different methods of game user research, offering up a handy guide to different ways you can collect useful information about your game.]

This article, and its forthcoming followup, is intended to give a rough idea to developers of several different methods that can be used in games user research.

However, many, many books have been written on research methodology and I cannot cover everything. Therefore these two articles cannot be taken as completely comprehensive.

In the first of the articles I will be covering a few general points about Games User Research and then discussing three methods, focus groups, heuristic evaluation and questionnaires in some detail.

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What’s Wrong With The RITE Method?

What’s Wrong With the RITE Method?

  • April 30, 2010

A critique of a common method used in video game usability research

Many video game usability practitioners employ a method to test usability within video games, called the ‘RITE’ method, short for Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation (RITE). Pioneered at Microsoft Games Studios and Microsoft Research, the RITE method has been adopted by many usability research organizations besides the teams at Microsoft.

While the RITE method has some advantages, such as the ‘rapid iterative’ ability to suggest changes to designers and test them in successive passes, it may fall short when looking for usability issues that lie beneath the surface.

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