Customized Research to Meet Your Timeframe and Your Budget
our services and How We Help YOu
What This Is: When you want to improve the user experience of a product. The best way to understand how to fix the problem is to understand why there is a problem. Our tried and true industry standard method is Usability Testing. This is observing representative users.
What This Resolves: During the design phase, you can understand what your user experience is. Identifying how to improve the design and user experience is through understanding why users are having problems in the first place. This is the best method for identifying these issues. When the design team is present, we facilitate your teams' consensus on the spot by illuminating and translating the UX. You leave with clearly defined next steps.
How We Help You: We are specialists in providing user testing and usability testing services, providing user experience insight with actionable results. We provide many options, soup to nuts in our worldwide access to labs, your lab/office or only portions you need. For products, we emphasize not only usability, but also usefulness, engagement, on-boarding, and delight. For games, we also look into immersion, new player experience and enjoyment.
REMOTE/ONLINE User TESTING
What This Is: This is the User/Usability Testing but without having to do this in person. The users run through the product remotely, using a mobile or computer while it is recorded.
What This Resolves: Improve design of your user experience by getting user insights, and suggestions on how to resolve those issues. Identify whats working well and how to make the design even better!
How We Help You: We provide you actionable insights into the user experience by observing the videos of the players/users experience within their real environment. We put this study together for you, all with access to worldwide panel of users and players & a quick turnaround.
What This Is: Observing your players play through your game. This identifies any real issues with balance, pace, and flow. Typically we have a vertical slice or a full build or post launch.
What This Resolves: By understanding the pain points and what is working well, this method helps identify what to fix by knowing why. Since we are observing mostly play-throughs, we can identify pace, balance, flow and assess players engagement and lack thereof.
How We Help You: Your in the best hands with us in providing player insight. We are specialists in game user research. Heather is one of the most experienced game user researchers worldwide, known in the field for providing player experience insight for all the major game publishers, and contributing to the field through such publications such as new player experience principles and playability principles all in service of enhancing the player experience for games.
What This Is: Focus groups are excellent venues for learning the users' point of view of your product, their emotional response and opinions of what your offering. Identifying, creating and validating new ideas.
What This Resolves: Provides insight into potential concepts so you have confidence which concept or parts of the concept plus new ideas offered will make the optimal product concept. Examples include having various character designs and identifying which is most appealing, tag lines, and even new product concepts.
How We Help You: We take all the headache out of doing this work. We do the administration project management, moderation and analysis providing actionable insights for your team to take action.
FIELD INTERVIEWS /eThnography Studies
What This Is: This method is typically done Before Design and/or During Design. Going to the actual customer site or users' home to observe them performing the tasks that your product helps them with.
What This Resolves: Innovation occurs when you see how your potential customers use the product in their real environment. This identifies opportunities for new products and strategy. You will know what pain points users have and create your product around resolving those pain points. Also, you can validate your existing products value by seeing how it helps, and where it can be improved.
How We Help You: We provide insights into your customers experience by setting up and performing the research in your customers' environment. We observe them where they work or play We identify product opportunities and needs to ensure your product fulfills these needs. We provide you actionable insights and solutions for your product meeting these needs. This helps ensure success.
HEURISTIC EVALUATION/EXPERT WALKTHROUGHS
What This Is: We are able to predict the users' experience based on our vast knowledge of UX (user experience), and observing 10's of thousands of user sessions. This method we are able to find the "low hanging fruit".
What This Resolves: This is a great method as an adjunct to observing real users. Or used instead when time lines and budgets are tight. It's also a great method for identifying hypothesis of issues that can be validated or invalidated through user testing.
How We Help You: We are specialists in Heuristic Evaluation and Expert Reviews. You're provided an expert assessment of predicted pain points and what is working well, based on the wealth of UX and (for games) player experience of Heather, the Principal. We are truly "experts"! That's 200+ products and 100+ games, with over 10's of thousands of user sessions! Heather is also a published author of heuristic principles for playability, new player experience, and the efficacy of J. Nielsen's usability principles,. See Publications.
Field Testing / Follow Me Home Studies
What This Is: We do field testing, observing users using digital products and apps at home or outside, wherever they use your product out in the "real world".
What This Resolves: When the experience of using your product is influenced heavily by the environment. Wee are able to observe users using your product in their "natural habitat". So factors that we would not otherwise notice clarity the user experience under the right context.
How We Help You: We organize, administer observe, analyze, then provide actionable results. You will have a clear understanding how your product is being used, "really". This will inform your design in ways you would otherwise only know about probably when its too late.
WIre-framing / Concept Design
What This Is: Sketches and/or clickthrough prototype designs of the product's layout and interaction design. Even though our main work is research, we do design from soup to nuts to meet your needs.
What This Resolves: You may want to not only do research to identify the right design, you might also want to wireframe the results of the research. Research and design are integrated together so it is seamless for you.
How We Help You: We do wire-framing sketches using tools like Balsamiq and we partner with another company to create beautiful and click-through prototype designs (Axure is our typical prototype tool, where you can even reuse code!).
UNDERSTAND YOUR USER CUSTOMER JOURNEY
What This Is: We identify and map all the touch points of what your customer does and where they would/will interact with your product from start to finish.
What This Resolves: This information allows you to understand how your customer will interact with your product. This ensures you know all the user touch-points how you want to curate this user experience.
How We Help You: We put this map together for you in an actionable format. You will know where your touch-points are, what are the potential pain points, and suggestions how to ensure your product prevents these or correct any of these potential hurdles.
Still More Services
What This Is: We are often asked to train teams and companies, to inform and educate your team so they have the UX knowledge they will need to move forward.
What This Resolves: When your team requires mentoring, education, or training in UX. We have the expertise to customize your training needs for you.
How We Help You: We offer trainings, such as New User Experience Design principles, New Player Experience Design principles, Motivation, Gamification, UX best practices, training teams to do their own User Testing methods, Survey Design, among others
What This Is: From mentoring junior employees to offerings to senior staff, directors and senior team members, we create workshops to meet your needs. This helps create a collaborate team environment where all members take ownership.
What This Resolves: When you want the team to create and participate in the UX process, but need this facilitated by an expert, we will do this for you.
How We Help You: Workshops offered include: Concept Design, Design Thinking, Customer Journey, Participatory Design, Innovation for Value Add, NPS Process, NPS Process Creation, New Player and User Experience and much more. Contact us for more info..
What This Is: We can user test your concept or prototype. We can even test it if it's a "paper prototype". We call this "Wizard-of-Oz" user testing.
What This Resolves: When your design is still in the concept phase (and this is cheaper by the way, to make changes!), we can user test it! This allows us to test your product early in design so you it's easier to fix the foundation of your design before you're well into coding and changes become more time consuming and expensive.
How We Help You: We create the study and set expectations for the users. Through our careful and expert moderation, we are able to provide you actionable insights so you can change your design, if warranted, to better meet the users' needs!
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
What This Is: Newer platforms using the users' full senses create new user issues not even on the radar with typical interfaces. We work with the newer user platforms such as Virtual Reality Oculus Rift, Augmented Reality and Motion detection like Kinect.
What This Resolves: These technologies present different usability and playability challenges, not many understand, but we are aware and address them.
How We Help You: We provide your product or game with the insight specific to these technologies for an optimal user experience.
agile Lean ux research
What This Is: We do Agile UX Research and work within your Agile environment.
What This Resolves: We add insight for your creation of user stories that will go into your sprints.
How We Help You: We know if you can get the research results into the user stories, then the product will benefit. We have all worked in the Agile framework and immediately understand how to work with you. We work within your Agile environment to ensure you get what you need when you need it.
Identifying value Add Services
What This Is: We moderate several groups of your current or prospective customers to understand the value your product provides or does not. We get behind the "why" which will inform your next steps.
What This Resolves: When you find your product may not be serving your customers, their needs may have changed, you want to understand why from the customers themselves.
How We Help You: We organize, and perform this research. We identify the demographics and how they respond to your product. We provide the insights that give you the ammunition to put your product on course for success.