That’s it! I’ve decided to populate this space with some game reviews, considering many aspects of the game. It includes: usability reviews, gameplay experience, IAP design, interface design, mechanics, purpose and so on. And I will tell you why I’ve decided to start this challenge.
If you want to get into the Games User Research world, you need to be fluent in gaming. That is, you need to be able to evaluate, talk and discuss aspects of games. As Seb Long said in his talk in 2016, the hiring process of a GUR professional in the industry includes an usability review task.
So, what is an usability review of a game? In the talk, Seb mentioned words like knowing the audience and sharing best practices. That is, if you’re going to write a game usability review, you need to consider that developers and designers will read your report (they are the audience!). So the communications of the findings is crucial at this stage. Also, we need to highlight good and bad things as well, and provide recommendations.
Considering this, for my personal challenge of 100 game usability reviews (until the end of the year, perhaps!), I will try to use the following structure:
- Description of gameplay to situate the whole experience
- Good practices
- Bad practices
- Design recommendations/suggestions for improvement + priorities
For the best practices, I’m looking at heuristics of usability evaluation from Desurvire and Wiberg (2009) and Korhonen and Koivisto (2006), especially for mobile games. Since I will be looking for usability aspects, playability will be the key aspect of the game experience.
For the priorities, I will consider the elements that are more urgent and that impact the user experience directly.
The selection of games is a bit random, but I’m trying to play mostly mobile games, tablet games, online and different varieties/purposes (serious games could be part of this list too!).
[I will update the reviews and add them here :)]
Desurvire, H. & Wiberg, C., 2009. Game Usability Heuristics ( PLAY ) for Evaluating and Designing Better Games : The Next Iteration. Game Studies, LNCS Volum, pp.557–566. Available at: http://www.springerlink.com/index/CL1W17LP067K39Q1.pdf.
Korhonen, H. & Koivisto, E.M.I., 2006. Playability heuristics for mobile games. Proceedings of the 8th conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services – MobileHCI ’06, p.9. Available at: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1152215.1152218.
Kultima, A. & Stenros, J., 2010. Designing games for everyone: the expanded game experience model. In Proceedings of the International Academic Conference on the Future of Game Design and Technology. pp. 66–73.