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Serious Games in User Research

About the Talk

September 16, 2011 10:05 AM

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

Gamification or adding game-like elements to non-game designs or products has become a hot topic in user experience. Sites like Foursquare offer badges and many online forums use reputation points or ladders to build communities. But before these game elements are added to a final product, games have another role to play in designundefinedas a potentially invaluable addition to user research techniques called serious games. Serious games have a lot to offer the user experience practitioner. Games are fun, easy to adopt, and using them for research tends to engage users even without other rewards. A successful game tends to create a state of what Mihaly Czsikszentmihalyi refers to as “flow” or intense psychological concentration and absorption. When users are in such a state of mind, they tend to offer more spontaneous and authentic responses. Using a case study format of a federal Web project that used games during the research and early design phases, attendees will see how these techniques can produce surprising and satisfying results and improved user insights.

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