Randy Pagulayan

Randy PagulayanUser Research Lead
Microsoft Game Studios
randypag@microsoft.com

Dr. Pagulayan received the Ph.D. in Psychology (with an emphasis in Human Factors) from the University of Cincinnati, in 2000. In March, 2003, he visited the University of Minnesota to give a talk sponsored by the All University Graduate Minor in Human Factors/Ergonomics. The title and abstract are given, below.

User-Testing Methods in Games

The similarities between productivity applications and games suggest that traditional discount usability methods would be suitable in the entertainment domain. Games have selection screens and menus just like other software applications. Task persistence, performance, ease of use, learnability, and all the potential obstacles to efficiency and productivity are found in games as well. However, there are some unique challenges we face in game design and evaluation, where usability methods may not be sufficient in addressing those challenges. This talk will begin with a brief discussion on how games differ from productivity applications, followed by some important factors to consider in evaluating games. Two case studies from the Microsoft Game Studios User-testing Group will be presented to demonstrate how existing methods can be utilized and adapted to addressing unique issues faced in the games industry.