All Your Methods Are Belong To Us: Lessons GamesUR Can Learn From ‘Mainstream’ User Research

Steve Bromley, UK Parliament and Alistair Greo, Player Research

This talk considers the differences between the ‘mainstream’ user research and games user research industries, and what each has to learn from the other. The talk is cooperatively presented by  Steve Bromley, who began his career with 5 years at Sony PlayStation and has since moved to lead User Research at the UK’s Parliament, and Alistair Greo, who spent 5 years in mainstream UX across 3 agencies, and has subsequently spent 5 years in games user research at Player Research.

Alistair and Steve compare the two domains, considering games user research practices against those from health and service industries, government, even industrial and nuclear design. They’ll discuss the ‘near-embryonic’ state of games user research, and consider a future of maturation for the games user research domain. What can games user research learn from these other industries? The talk will consider high-value methodologies that are underused or untouched by games user research.

So too there are advantages to working in games user research, and the talk will share the amazing challenges and reasons to dedicate a career to exploring games user experience.

Read our interview with session speaker Alistair Greo.

This talk will outline underused methods from across UX as a wider discipline, including introductions to diary studies, ethnography, card sorting and tree testing, co-design, personas, storyboards, and other high-value methodologies and their likely value to games research. Alistair and Steve will advocate for structured research to inform design decisions, and talk about how this could be achieved, thereby presenting a frank and informative vision for maturation of the games user research domain.

  • Category: Case Studies / Future of GamesUR / Methods
Alistair Greo, Player Research

Alistair works as a user researcher at Player Research, a specialist video game UX consultancy. He’s had the pleasure to work on a wide range of titles in literally every genre possible. Games/Brands he’s allowed to mention include FIFA, Sonic, Runescape and Warhammer. He’s been in the GUR industry for over 5 years, having spent the previous 5 years as a ‘mainstream’ user researcher. During this time he led user design and research at Pottermore (the Harry Potter website), worked as a lead user research consultant at Webcredible (a user experience and accessibility agency), and Ominor (an e-commerce agency), and even found time to do a spot of freelance, before realising it wasn’t for him. He’s worked on government, e-commerce, charity, banking, insurance and entertainment websites during his time, but tends to prefer a good board game.

Read our Speaker Spotlight interview with Alistair

Steve Bromley, UK Parliament

Steve leads the user research team at UK’s Parliament, providing user research and usability testing for Parliament’s internal and public facing software, services and websites. Previously he spent 5 years at Sony PlayStation, running research for a whole host of first and third party software and hardware. He’s worked on much of Sony’s European back catalogue over those 5 years, including Horizon: Zero Dawn, No Man’s Sky, LittleBigPlanet, SingStar, Wonderbook and many of the VR launch games. Steve also runs the Games User Research SIG mentoring scheme.