How to do user experience research in games


March 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 12:00-1:00 EST

Course Registration Rates: 

UXPA Members and Students: $100

Non-Members: $200

The role of Games User Researchers or User Experience Researchers in games is to help the team design and build a game with the best possible user experience given the resources available. Games user experience research provides a conduit between the creative imaginations of game designers and the final product on the shelf that fits the needs of everyday players, coming from a wide range of skills and knowledge and increasingly diverse populations. In this course, we will discuss how people create games and how user experience research fits into this game development landscape. We will practically introduce how research methods from UX research are applied in games and how we plan and run user research studies in games. We will conclude by learning how games user research studies are analyzed and how stakeholders are debriefed.

Course Outline:

Week 1: Introduction to User Experience Research in Games

  • Introducing game design and development
  • Introducing User Experience Research for games

You will learn:

  • How to make games
  • Who makes them
  • What is hard about making them

Week 2: Running games user research studies (I)

  • Teamwork in games user research
  • Planning studies, defining research objectives, designing a study

You will learn:

  • How to work with others in game development teams
  • How games user research is different from regular user research
  • How to prepare, plan, and design a games user research study

Week 3: Running games user research studies (II)

  • Games user research methods
  • Running and analyzing a study

You will learn:

  • What methods exist for games user research
  • How to run and analyze a games user research study

Week 4: Reporting study findings and debriefing stakeholders

You will learn:

  • Why reporting is important
  • How to structure a games user research report and what the key sections are
  • What approaches there are in reporting games user research findings
  • How to debrief stakeholders


Want a discount? Become a member by purchasing Student Membership or Global Sustaining Membership!


About Lennart Nacke

Dr. Lennart Nacke is an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo, Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business. He is the director of the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Games Group at the Games Institute of the University of Waterloo. He is well known for his pioneering research on physiological evaluation and interaction in video games and his ground-breaking gamification research, forming a new HCI research field. He has also edited a book on Games User Research published by Oxford University Press in 2018, which is one of the most robust treatments of the topic of user experience research in games. He teaches courses about user experience, game design, and academic writing on his website The Acagamic.