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Session Name: Usability Boot Camp
Speaker(s): Paul Newton, Veronica Zammitto
Company Name(s): Electronic Arts Canada, Electronic Arts
Track / Format: Game Design

This full-day workshop will focus on one of the most critical components of game production: the applied practice of game usability research. Using widely-established stages of game development, attendees will be exposed to hands-on exercises, group discussion, and practical analysis of user experience methods which are intrinsic to effective game design. After building a foundation of usability discipline, attendees will be taken from pre-production through post-production and presented with a wide variety of potential usability techniques such as think-aloud, heuristics, cognitive walkthroughs, direct observation, questionnaires and metrics.

In order to understand and create the ultimate user experience we must collect relevant data. This requires defining clear usability study goals and selecting the appropriate techniques through the different stages of development. During the workshop, we will discuss the pros and cons of different testing techniques and demonstrate how they fit best in relevant usability scenarios, continuously emphasizing how all these factors play a role in shaping a successful user study design. Working in groups, participants will embody many roles in the usability process. Through concrete exercises, attendees will explore in-depth responsibilities and tasks conducted by game user researchers, facilitators and observers.

GDC 2012

Paul Newton

Electronic Arts Canada

Veronica Zammitto

Electronic Arts

free content

Game Design