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UX Research Services


UX Research Services

 Delivering Expert PX & UX Intel

Websites, Software, Mobile and Video Games User Research

Formative Usability Testing and User Research

Why Work With US?

Unparalleled UX Research Expertise

  • 100 Video Games With All Top Game Publishers

  • 200 Software and Websites Products

  • 10's of Thousands User Sessions Background

We Work On Your Website, Software, App or Game Like ITs Our Own

  • Quick Turnaround with Actionable Bite Sized Form Inform Design

  • We Meet Your Goals, Help You Identify Goals

  • Unparalleled Insights and Suggestions

Video Games Expertise!

Software & Websites

  • We Not Only Look at Usability, But Also Usefulness, Engagement, and Delight

  • Ensuring Your Beating Your Competition

  • Ensuring Your Product Is Providing Value So It's Assured Success

Mobile Apps

  • Small spaces make mobile Apps a unique challenge when providing your customers value

  • We ensure the value of the App works well for your customers within this small space

  • Ensuring the interaction and navigation work for your intended customers

  • Providing insight into disruptions, interruptions found in the world of mobile devices and how your design can account for this



User Behavioristics Founder and Principal Heather Desurvire

  • One of the world's foremost specialists in user and player experience

  • Faculty at USC School of Cinematic Arts, department of Interactive Media & Games

    • #1 Game Studies Undergraduate Programs

Heather and those that work at User Behavioristics, have a powerful mix of unique skills, leveraging analysis and creativity to make better User & Player Experiences.  

Publications and Experience →

Research →            GAP & PLAY Principles/Heuristics →

Books →                 Case Studies →

  • Unparalleled Insights From True UX Experts

  • We Do User Experience and Player Experience Mind Melds, Like Spock from Star Trek

Spock Mind Meld

  • We have a toolkit of methods plus unique people good at analysis and creativity, passionate and committed to transforming your UX

  • User experience is what constitutes value for your customers and users, be it a Game, Software, or App for your customers

  • Ensuring Usability, Usefulness and a Delightful experience is primary to winning and keeping customers and ultimately fans

We At User Behavioristics Love All Things User Experience.   

We Obsess About How To Make Your UX Better And Optimal.

Service options

  • Full Service Lab

    • Planning, Facility/Recruiting/Equipment/Administration, Moderation/Analysis/Reporting, Communication

    • Worldwide Facilities, Stellar Recruiting/Administration

  • Your Office/Lab

    • Moderation

    • Moderation/Analysis/Reporting

    • Work as team member in your lab

  • Remote/Online User Testing Services

    • Recruiting representative Users

    • Digital Products, Mobile Apps and Video Games

    • We partner with several online services both for products and games, or less formal using Webex/Skype/Google Hangouts

    • If you have your own lab, we work as your own user research team

We cover all elements of usability and user experience in the most efficient/cost effective manner, leaving no space for doubting the quality of your Product, App, or Game

What we do

We provide all forms of User Research such as, usability testing, playtesting, online remote testing, surveys, analytics, focus groups and much much more.

As consultants, we don’t just deliver dry facts that you will have no idea how to implement

We provide insight with bite-size and actionable results all within your time frame and budget

We believe truly understanding your requirements as well as your product, game or application will help us deliver the best results

  • This is why our work philosophy is to work as if we are an integral part of your team and then focus on optimizing usability

  • This allows our clients to enjoy the best of our intelligence, technologies, research, and consultation


We provide services such as usability testing, playtesting, remote testing, heuristic evaluations, personas, expert walkthroughs, workshops on topics such as, design thinking, customer journey, NPS setup, and more.


Utilizing expertise, experience, and a sheer passion and dedication, User Behavioristics serves our clients with UX consultation services for user and player research

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Our Services

Within Your TimeFrame & Your Budget


Our Services

Within Your TimeFrame & Your Budget

Customized Research to Meet Your Timeframe and Your Budget

our services and How We Help YOu



USer/Usability TESTING

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.


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.
Photo by vitranc/iStock / Getty Images


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.
Photo by Purestock/Purestock / Getty Images

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.


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.

Other Services

Field Testing

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!).


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..

Concept Testing

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

Scrum Example  Sourc e   

Scrum Example Source


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.

Who Loves Us

what our valued clients are saying!


Who Loves Us

what our valued clients are saying!

User Behavioristics, Inc. and founder, Heather Desurvire has years of experience helping clients create better, more successful products. We utilize the latest industry techniques and customize our approach to meet your specific needs. The result: is our clients obtain the tools and knowledge required to develop products that deliver an optimal experience for every customer!


What our clients are saying

Heather ran focus groups and usability testing for a PSP game that I produced at Buena Vista/Disney Games. Her methodology helped us get to the nitty gritty of what wasn't working in the game"
- Cliff Kamida, Producer Disney/Buena Vista Games
"I know my team enjoyed working with Heather and felt that she brought a lot of value to the process. The feedback on the new site has been fantastic. Thanks for your hard work."
- Susan Lotwin, Director at Transamerica
"Heather is undoubtedly the best usability analyst that I have had the opportunity to work with. She has an instinctual ability to patiently work with clients in complex business situations to build consensus around the need for testing, catalyze the development of a testable prototype, a smart test plan, and deliver a concise report with actionable recommendations. In a laboratory setting, her sense of humor and warm demeanor put users and clients alike at ease, enabling the most productive participation possible from both groups. While she is a veteran in the field, she is refreshingly un-wonky for someone with her experience, and continues to innovate with her work around playability. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work with her again"
- Jeff Teicher, Producer & UX Designer formerly CMGI
"Genuine innovation is a double edged sword. On the one hand, we developed a completely new interface for playing strategy games on a console. On the other hand, no-one in the world knew how to use it. Consequently, we asked User Behavioristics to help us teach our 'potential fans' how to play StormRise.
Heather educated us in the principles of usability and accessibility, worked with us to redesign the early levels of our game, and then tested the effectiveness of our efforts. Heathers' knowledge and professionalism helped us through the mine field of gameplay innovation."
- George Fidler, General Manager, Creative Assembly Australia
"Heather brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her projects. She is truly an expert. Working with her brought a level of expertise, process and discipline that quickly garnered valuable insights and recommendations. Following her lead, our teams were able to quickly act and implement creative solutions. Her passion, knowledge and enthusiasm coupled with her people skills are huge assets."
-Elton X. Graham, VP Ecommerce Kellwood Company
"Our work with Heather and User Behavioristics really helped us to identify points of friction being experienced by potential players of our game. Having that knowledge allowed us to truly focus our last few months of development and reach a level of usability, playability and polish that we would never have achieved otherwise ."
- Dallas Dickinson, Sr Producer Sony Online Entertainment
"It is also very challenging to gauge the difficulty levels when you have been creating and playing a game for over a year. I can honestly say that Tak [1,2,3 IP of THQ/Disney] would have been a different game without the influence of the usability testing that User Behavioristics provided."
- Rachel DiPaola, Exec Producer Disney & former Sr Project Manager THQ
"Heather set up our playability testing for a huge SEGA property, and the process and results were stellar, opening the eyes of both executives and developers on how to better make games. Her academic background combined with excellent people skills and a real passion for the work are an asset for anyone who would make next-generation games."
- Marty Caplan, Producer Sega
"Heather provided usability testing services for Harcourt Mifflin Harcourt. Her process and approach were flexible to meet our changing needs and timelines. the outcome of the testing has provided excellent insight into other products HMH develops as well. I really enjoyed working with Heather both for her personable manner and her expert guidance in user centered design"
- Barb McDonald, Learning Design Manager Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
"I found the usability/playability testing from User Behavioristics a very valuable tool in helping us identify critical gameplay issues for the Tak franchise. The information gathered allowed us to successfully re-design levels and mechanics to match our target demographic."
- Stephen Jarrett, Creative Director, THQ & DIsney
"Heather did a usability study for a project I led. Her work was superb. Most valuable were her insights into how people feel about and relate to our product. How does it change their day? What emotions does it evoke and why? We drew on her results not only to improve our usability, but to renew and refine our entire product development. Our sale lead mentioned how much he learned from Heather's work, as well...As someone on the team remarked, hiring her was one of the best decisions we made. i look forward to working with her again.
- Jonathan Grief, Principal at Grier Forensics

"Heather and I worked on a project for business related software. She is completely knowledgeable about user research methods and techniques. When it comes to domain knowledge she is a "quick study". She is both fast and diligent -'expert work done on a tight time scale' would be a good summary. This particular project did not provide a good opportunity for creativity, but I have seen other examples of her work that show great innovation. I would whole heartedly endorse Heather. We have tried to recruit her for a full time position.
- Dennis Wixon, Research Director Microsoft
"In our first year of business, Fandango needed to redesign our website, which was 100% of our business and revenue source, while balancing multiple variables and making the user experience absolute priority. We interviewed several usability consultants, but Heather's proposal and interview blew everyone away and the team chose her in a unanimous vote. Both our technical and product management teams were thrilled with Heather's approach, expertise, project management skills, people skills and especially the way the 3 long days of focus groups were managed. The entire process could not have been smoother and Fandango still uses the interface designed from Heather's recommendations more than 10 years later.
- Melissa Trachtenberg, Director Product Development Fandago, current Owner Nycinsiderguide.com
"Heather is a true expert and professional in the field of usability and playability. I hired Heather to conduct a test for us with tween girls and their parents to determine the optimal registration process for a virtual world for girls. Heather asked the right questions of me, the client, kept her energy up through a very long day of testing, and delivered a fantastic and insightful report on time. I hope to work with Heather in the future as she added excellent value to our project."
-Jeanene Steinberg, Sr Product Manager Electronic Arts
"The Skate 3 team utilized Heather to help test and refine the "Skate School' feature of the game - an important feature that was critical for teaching the game basics to a new user. Her up-front planning, detail-oriented test plan, effective real-time testing and thorough summary report helped us to shape and focus the feature into one that was improved many times over from its original vision. Her knowledge in the field of usability is invaluable - she would be a valuable asset to game teams looking to improve their player experience."
- Jason DeLong, former Producer Electronic Arts, current Executive Producer Zynga
"The insights gained by the detailed interviews and analysis coordinated and conducted by Heather at User Behavioristics truly helped us hone in on the most important aspects of bringing a new approach to our user interface design. First impressions are notoriously difficult to capture and Heather's work was invaluable in contextualizing those impressions."
-Louis Castle, VP President of Creative Development, Electronic Arts
"I have worked with Heather at multiple companies over my 20 year career in the video game business. I am always so impressed with her deep knowledge of the PSYCHOLOGY and SCIENCE behind user experience and exploration. Heather's insights and methodologies go far beyond what you would typically expect from a focus group or individual user experience research. She supplies detailed results and intelligent perspectives and recommendations. Heather is smart, personable, and efficient. I would be thrilled to work with her again in any capacity."
- Rachel DiPaola, Executive Producer at several game companies

"Heather did an excellent job helping our game improve its usability and playability. She is not only an expert in her field, she is also extremely personable, understands her clients needs very well, and is wiling to adjust to reach the most optimal outcome for the client."
- Tina Yildirim, Business Mastermind InvivoPlay
"Heather is a top expert in usability and playability. We've worked together on large usability, heuristic evaluation and task analysis reports for Palm. It's always great to work with Heather. Her deep knowledge of research, analysis, evaluation and testing build the strong foundation needed for highly successful products."
- Louisa Sugar, Copywriter for Interaction Design and UI
"Heather is a true expert in her field and her experience and insights in the world of gaming helped give our research project a much needed head start."
-Ali Vassigh, Director of User Experience at EVA Automation
"While at Lucasarts, we hired Heather on a number of usability projects. Professional, knowledgeable, and comprehensive on one side, fun, personable and a wonderful human being on the other. Heather always gave us what we needed, she's easy to work with, and given the opportunity, I'd work with her again!"
- Glenn Chin, Consumer Insights Lucasarts, now Kixeye
"The usability and playability feedback we received from User Behavioristics was invaluable in contributing to Full Spectrum Warrior's development. Heather's analysis played an integral function in helping us identify and address critical gameplay issues that otherwise would have gone unnoticed."
- Greg Donovan, Project Director THQ

Our Team


Our Team

Founder &  Principal


Founder and Principal of User Behavioristics, Heather is one of the foremost experienced UX Researchers for digital products, and games. The breadth of products and user/player sessions alone, plus the appreciated actionable results she provides her clients makes her an invaluable asset to anyone desiring User and Player insight intel.

She is not only a UX Researcher of UX and Player Experience, but also is a compelling speaker, on faculty of USC teaching UX Research, and an accomplished author of user experience and player experience principles.


Karen Graham

An expert UI designer with extensive experience in user testing and moderation.

As a hybrid Researcher/Designer Karen brings deep insight into the testing and results process by identifying subtitle issues that undermine the user's experience and identifying solutions that clients can adopt quickly.

Karen's experience spans the finance domain, web and games and mobile devices.


Dr. Jill Strawbridge

Dr. Jill Strawbridge has spent over 20 years applying the principals of human behavior to the design of products with which humans interact.

A UX design and research associate of User Behavioristics, she just finished 3 years as VP of UE Research at Pearson Education, and prior to that Director of User Experience Design and Research at Yahoo. 

She also taught extensively at the undergraduate and graduate level.


Alumnus Staff

DS Choi

A former intern with User Behavioristics, we keep DS as Alumnus staff, as he is a valuable resource of talent. DS was in Heathers' course on Game Usability at USC.

He is now a rockstar Producer and Associate Manager of a mobile game company. He is an expert in the Korean market, in game design and we often utilize his counsel when working on Korean games.




Jake is a talented intern for UX.   He is now in his second year working with User Behavioristics, assisting in many ways as a valuable resource. 

He's an avid gamer as well as a Game Design student at USC.  

When we work on games, we often have him do a first game test and utilize his insights to plan our research strategy.



Cooper Surrett

Cooper is a former student of Heathers, and still a student at the renowned Interactive Media and Games department at USC.  

He was one of the star students in his semester, and now is using his skill and knowledge to contribute and learn by working on projects at User Behavioristics.


Knowledge Is Power              - Francis Bacon


We love to hear from you!  We are happy to propose UX Research that works for your goals, time and budget.  Contact us!

Name *