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Telamon

Getting Users for User Testing?

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Hey guys, We're looking to do some user-testing on our videogame. Our target audience is kids aged 7-15. We're looking in lots of different places: * Craigslist (kids come into studio) * Newspaper ads (kids come in) * Computer camps (we visit kids) * Schools (we visit kids) We want to do local tests so we can setup and watch the users struggle with our clumsy UI and feel their pain. I was wondering if anyone here has an relavent advice/experience with setting up user tests. Are these good avenues to go down? Are there unexpected places you have found good testers? Horror stories? I'm looking for a high-efficiency way to get a lot of unbaised feedback. It is beginning to look as though I'll have to compromise on both counts.

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Quote:
Original post by Telamon
We want to do local tests so we can setup and watch the users struggle with our clumsy UI and feel their pain.
Was that a serious point or a joke? If you have KNOWN bugs with your software, you should fix these BEFORE doing public testing. Otherwise you are wasting money getting pointless input. You need to get it to the stage where you THINK it's polished and great, THEN let users tell you how it stinks :)

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My team did user testing this year. I don't really know anything about setting it up since my company has a department that handles that stuff, but we did find certain aspects of it. I actually found that talking to kids (7-13) is actually more useful that teenagers (a room full of teenagers makes you want to blow your brains out), but the most useful info is watching them play and listening to the questions they ask regarding having trouble with certain things that aren't explained well or aren't intuitive enough.

As for clumsy UIs. UIs are pretty simple to design. Keep things big and easy to read and keep things consistent (buttons in similar places have similar functions, etc.)

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Playtests aren't that hard to set up.

Post an ad in the local newspaper or other advertising source. The ad should say you are looking for to pay for kids aged 7-15 to participate in a two hour test of an upcoming video game. Provide a phone number. Typical pay is either copies of another game (for existing game studios) or a small bit of cash, about $10 per hour of their time.

If you need or want something more formal, there are many good groups out there who provide user testing. This is usually required as part of large contracts, to ensure that the product is improving over time and to help show that you are properly hitting your target audience.

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