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.]


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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The Future Of Gaming: A Portrait Of The New Gamers

The Future of Gaming: A Portrait of the New Gamers

  • August 30, 2011

In the spring of 2011, Latitude Research launched a study to understand the recent explosion in gaming, driven in part by the popularity of mobile phones and tablets. Specifically, the study sought to uncover how the profile of the stereotypical gamer has changed, various motivations for gaming, and the evolving role of games in moving traditionally online experiences into the “offline” world—suggesting new opportunities for game and technology developers, educators, and social innovators.

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Simplification: A Review Of Civilization V

Simplification: A Review of Civilization V

  • October 1, 2010

The latest release in the Civilization series has many improvements, from beautiful new graphics to redesigned gameplay. Many features in Civilization IV have been streamlined or eliminated, in favor of a simplified playing experience that will attract new players to the game. Having studied Civilization IV extensively (most of our publications are based upon research in Civilization IV), we will discuss some of Civilization V‘s many changes and the associated trade-offs in terms of player engagement and motivation.

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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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About Situated Research, LLC

About Situated Research, LLC

  • April 18, 2009

Situated learning focuses on learning in situ, in the environment or context for which that knowledge applies. At Situated Research, we focus on examining technology in the actual environment in which it is used, in order to uncover user practices and behaviors that suggest ways in which technology is expected to behave.

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