Keynote: A Golden Age of Research

How do you ensure user research (UR) is driving impact and at the cutting edge of research? While games user research is now an integral part of the game development process – and arguably should be entering a Golden Age of innovation – many strategies that helped make it integral are no longer relevant, and the introduction of other data sources has raised questions about the merits of older techniques. How do UR teams position themselves to ensure continued growth and relevance? Randy, Director of Xbox Research, will discuss different ways to think about research, process, and impact, highlighting those that (in his two decades of industry experience) have been most impactful in driving the evolution of our discipline and the advancement of individual researchers.

  • Category: Keynote / Talk
Randy Pagulayan

Randy is the Director of User Research for Xbox and leads a team ensuring consumer voices are inherent in decision-making across gaming at Microsoft. From content, platforms, services, and engagement, Randy’s team is at the center of consumer empathy and understanding. As a pioneer in this space, Randy has led user research efforts on numerous high-profile franchises, including Age of Empires and Halo. Throughout his career, he has co-authored several book chapters on user research methods in gaming, given numerous talks and keynotes internationally, and has been featured in Wired magazine, National Public Radio, and Official Xbox Magazine (OXM).

Before joining Microsoft, Randy was part of the Human Factors Group at Motorola, and has been published in several scientific journals, including Journal of Experimental Psychology, Brain Research Bulletin, and Human Movement Science. Randy has a BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland, and a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cincinnati.