Before the interview, we already found 8 participants filtered by our screener questions Based on their gaming time and addicted level, we divided these 8 participants into 3 groups: (a) Lightly-addicted gamer; (b) Mid-level addicted gamer, and (c) Heavily-addictive gamer/Professional gamer.
During the home interview, we got their consent and recorded the whole interview process.
First, we asked them to start the game and play for 10 minutes as they always do. During these 10 minutes, my team members and I are prohibited from interfering with their game process to observe their usual usage habits (including equipment using habits) in the most comfortable atmosphere.
In the second part, we started asking them to open our product and share their experiences of difficulties and interruptions while playing the game.
In the third part, we designed a series of hypothetical scenarios to help gamers describe their needs and how they would address the situation.
The last part is open-ended question and answer and free questioning. We have specially strengthened the question for professional gamers (U8) to understand the difference between professional gamers and ordinary players.
According to the observation and feedback from the home interview, we sorted out the information and and classified them into affinity diagram.
I first sorted out the recordings and quoted some highlighted pain points from the interview, and I also practiced to make a draft version of affinity diagram by myself.
My teammates and I then stared brainstorming and doing a bigger scale and more formal affinity diagrams on the boards.
We divided the problems and pain points into 3 different periods of gaming: Before Gaming, During Gaming, and After Gaming.
We found that gamers have most issues and feedback in the period "During Gaming." The main factors are all about interruption, from lagging matters to notifications.
In this part, my teammates and I created a persona for gamer research. Based on the technical knowledge level, behavior, habit, surrounding environment and equipments, we created a persona model called Jason Miller to better forming the concept story and facilitate the designing process when considering gamer-typed user.
Also, we brought this persona to the following workshop to help participants better understand what gamer is like and what issues they may face. This can result in more efficient and effective brainstorming during the workshop.
After sorting out the affinity diagram and creating persona, my teammates and I held the gamer research workshop and invited people from different teams and department, from UI Designers, UX Designers to Front-end Developer and R&D Engineers...etc. This is to include the perspectives from different roles, and to prepare for the future discussion process.
I also joined the gamer research workshop to do brainstorming with other teams from the insight we found in the previous stage. We then shared every team's ideas and evaluated team by team.
In the end of the workshop, we transformed our ideas into concept stories.
By combining each team's ideas, we started doing feature proposal and ideation down to a better solution -- Game Mode.
“Any crazy idea can be proposed! There is no limit for crazy ideas!"
- Screener Making Techniques
- Interview skills: not only communication skills but also observation (like observe what they doing, surrounding and their posture…) Observation can bring more potential insights that interview cannot answer.
- Persona Building: how to integrate the findings from interview into a general model for reference
The need for Participatory Design: let different communities voice for their needs
To make the design more accessible and inclusive, we need to invite different users into our design process. In this case, we decided to establish a Game Mode for gamer-typed users, this solution is for the later improvement of the product. For the products still in the exploratory and proposal stage, adopting participatory design in the earlier stage may utilize the features more inclusive.
(This gamer research is belong to Trend Micro, Inc. The Game Mode developing keep going after the research.)