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Usability testing at PikPok

04-03-2012, 07:31 PM
#1
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Wellington
Posts: 769
Usability testing at PikPok

Some may be interested to hear how we approach usability at PikPok to help ensure our games are as intuitive and accessible as possible. We have a brief article up on our website about it at

http://pikpok.com/news/insidepikpok-usability/
04-04-2012, 02:00 AM
#2
Thank you for your continued sharing PikPok crew!

Making User Interfaces (including HUDs) intuitive is serious business as demonstrated by your team's committment to have an in-house usability lab. User accessibility is as much a science as game metrics and analytics.

DP

04-04-2012, 08:20 AM
#3
This is a great article! Thanks for sharing!

Would you be willing to share a little info on how you go about getting new testers for your games?
04-04-2012, 05:04 PM
#4
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Wellington
Posts: 769
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin@PhykenMedia View Post
Would you be willing to share a little info on how you go about getting new testers for your games?
We recruit new testers in different ways. We had a small sign in a game store for a while, although when they got taken over by EB we had to remove it because of corporate policy.

But other than that, we recruit people via Facebook, Twitter, and our community forums and build up a database over time. We currently have over 300 people on our roster I believe.
04-05-2012, 07:06 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 240
I'm a little disappointed. There is so much more to tell on playtest!
(difficulty setting, questionnaire, how to observe etc..)
This is a big subject, too much neglected most of the time.

There is also an effect on the developpement team:
- If 2 people don't agree on some point, players decided.
And Sometime even the chief has to go back on his decision
- Put in front of the dev team obvious problem (no one want to do a tutorial..).

But if you take every data from your playtest to the letter, you could get an average game with no soul.
04-05-2012, 08:38 AM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by PikPok View Post
We recruit new testers in different ways. We had a small sign in a game store for a while, although when they got taken over by EB we had to remove it because of corporate policy.

But other than that, we recruit people via Facebook, Twitter, and our community forums and build up a database over time. We currently have over 300 people on our roster I believe.
Thanks for the response! Putting a small sign in a game store sounds like a really smart idea (too bad they forced you to remove it when it got taken over).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hercule
I'm a little disappointed. There is so much more to tell on playtest!
(difficulty setting, questionnaire, how to observe etc..)
This is a big subject, too much neglected most of the time.

There is also an effect on the developpement team:
- If 2 people don't agree on some point, players decided.
And Sometime even the chief has to go back on his decision
- Put in front of the dev team obvious problem (no one want to do a tutorial..).

But if you take every data from your playtest to the letter, you could get an average game with no soul.
To add to some of your points I think it is also important that all designers be able to admit when a design isn't working. I've seen designers dismiss playtesting results and try to keep a poor design in the game because they felt that they were right and the player was wrong.

However, at the same time I do agree that some parts of the design need to stay true to it's original intent. If you compromise too much in an attempt to satisfy every playtester then you're game will start to lose it's clear, centralized vision.
07-04-2012, 06:18 PM
#7
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Wellington
Posts: 769
We have done another couple of "Inside PikPok" articles

Technical Art
http://pikpok.com/news/inside-pikpok-technical-art/

Quality Assurance Testing
http://pikpok.com/news/inside-pikpok...rance-testing/
08-22-2012, 01:24 AM
#8
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Wellington
Posts: 769
Following up on the usability article, here is a talk on "DIY Usability" by PikPok MD Mario Wynands on how studios can build usability testing into their process

www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0MMbrYkfU4
08-22-2012, 09:18 AM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by PikPok View Post
Following up on the usability article, here is a talk on "DIY Usability" by PikPok MD Mario Wynands on how studios can build usability testing into their process

www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0MMbrYkfU4
Thanks for the helpful information but I wish it went a little further and demoed an actual test.

What kind of questions were asked, what kind of responses were given, that kind of fun stuff would be invaluable to people (like me) who's previous idea of a usability test was 'does my tutorial explain this to you?'

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08-22-2012, 06:35 PM
#10
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Wellington
Posts: 769
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackharon View Post
Thanks for the helpful information but I wish it went a little further and demoed an actual test.

What kind of questions were asked, what kind of responses were given, that kind of fun stuff would be invaluable to people (like me) who's previous idea of a usability test was 'does my tutorial explain this to you?'
Unfortunately, we only had a 20 minute slot in which to present, so there wasn't much opportunity to show video examples (something we have done at other presentations).

In terms of "what questions are asked" though, mostly you aren't asking direct questions at all, merely facilitating to test subject to think out loud e.g. "what do you think is happening here?", "what goal are you trying to accomplish?", or plain old "what are you thinking right now?". You need to infer whether "the tutorial" has worked through observation, not ask directly.

As mentioned, capturing video is important as well as taking notes because there can often be a disparity between what people are saying and what they are actually doing.