Do Usability Expert Evaluation and Testing Provide Novel and Useful Data for Game Development?

Peer-reviewed Article

pp. 64-75Download full article (PDF)

Abstract

A case study was done to study whether usability expert
evaluation and testing are suitable for game development. In the study,
a computer game under development was first evaluated and then tested. Game
developers were then asked to rate the findings and give other feedback
about the methods used and the results gained. It was found that the usability
expert evaluation and testing provided both novel and useful data for game
development. Based on these and the other results it is argued that the
usability expert evaluation and testing have considerable face validity
in game development. In addition to the usefulness and face validity of
the methods it was studied whether the usability experts participating in
the game usability expert evaluation should be double experts. It was found
that there was no significant difference in the number or the rated relevancy
of the problem the gamer and non-gamer usability specialists found.

Practitioner’s Take Away

  • Traditional usability expert evaluation and testing provide novel and
    useful data for game development.
  • All the usability specialists who participate in the usability expert
    evaluation of a game do not necessarily have to be double experts.
  • When designing a game usability test it is important to notice that
    thinking aloud and interrupting the player are not always possible. Design
    the test so that there is a mixture of think aloud and uninterrupted play.
  • The game developers are interested to learn about the user experience.
    Use post-test questionnaires and other survey methods to study the user
    experience.