User Testing

It has become a number one focus of the team to prioritise “User Testing”. After our initial project documentation (requirements and design) we narrowed down the type of market that our interactive game book would appeal to. So how do we go about sourcing users to test our product? Basically for Malevolence, we scouted online forums with fans dedicated to fighting fantasy and choose your own adventure style game books. We posted a basic overview of what type of game book we are developing and shared all our social networking details so they may follow the progress of the project. Through this we have sourced small group of people that commonly play these books to test for us. As well as that, we have a group of people sourced online through our social media that own ipads that have never played these types of game books to test too. In that respect, we have two different types of groups and users testing.

For the narrative testing we uploaded the narrative and all linking branches to html pages. We then implemented google analytics so we could track our users choices and paths. Find the images below that highlight certain aspects.

Analytics All Web Site Data Visitors Flow 20130906-20131006

Google analytics set up
Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 19.13.39

Drop off Rate

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.32.03

Results from google analytics data, that shows 32% of readers made it to the final scene.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.32.22

The red line indicates the most commonly chosen path by users.

In-Person User Testing

The team have also attended “Testing Jams” with consist of various users of different age/sex/culture to test our game book. These users may never have played a game book before or in fact have never played an application on an iPad before so it was interesting to see how they interacted with Malevolence. Currently we have only attended one of these testing sessions but have more planned in coming weeks. During these testing sessions the environment has played a huge role. We have tested in a small space, with a seat for the users, window open to allow air to flow but the room has been a comfortable temperature. We have then handed the iPad to the user with a current build of the game book ready to play. We have then taken note of users interactions and asked them a short list of questions at the end. It has been noted since our previous testing session that users found the combat scene very difficult and hope to address that in the coming weeks.
Here is the results from our testing session on the 15/10/2013

Testing Session 15/10/2013

Combat Mechanics

Objective: Monitor users interactions with the game scene. Can they figure out how to use it with minimal instruction? Are they using buttons displayed? Did they win/lose?

Navigations

Objective: Monitor and record users interactions with the navigation throughout the gamebook. Can they use it? Is it obvious what the various navigations are for?

Testing Room Environment

Small quiet room. Medium temperature. No Noise, chatting kept to minimal volume. Capacity 18 people. 9-12 people present at any given time.

Feedback:

User 1 –

  • Lots of hyphenation in narrative that needs to be taken out.

  • Would like to see small drawings on blank spaces on paper background. (stamp or logo or symbol)

  • Didn’t understand how to use stats.

  • Really liked HUD – easily navigated through intro and branching narrative.

  • Struggled with combat scene/still couldn’t understand how to use it with minimal instructions.

  • Prefer if the introduction corresponded in similar style to branching narrative but could felt that opinion was not valid as she did not read those style books before. (However, did prefer introduction style with illustration to correspond with text.)

  • Definitely need instructions for combat scene/couldn’t use it at all.

User 2 –

  • Throughout navigations work well and it has a good feel.

  • The buttons should highlight on hover, not the other way around.

  • No minus on stats.

  • Last piece of the action bar (yellow block) looks like a button.

  • Message board needs to be changed.

  • Health is beside the timer rather than being displayed with the health bar.

  • Would prefer introduction and branching narrative to be similar in design.

  • Knew how to use combat system with minimal instruction. Did not need any instruction on navigations.

User 3 –

  • Change the open hud arrow.

  • More visual feedback needed on buttons in HUD when touched. (cracks in wood)

  • Break up text with paragraph breaks.

  • Ask a question in the branching narrative asking the player what do they wish to do before giving the choices.

  • Sprite animation needed for attacks

  • Tutorial explaining the health, timer and attack bars purpose

  • Audio is needed

User 4 –

  • Animated graphics to fill blank space.

  • Paper texture looks better with darker backgrounds.

  • Tutorial need for fight – possible in the intro that users have the option to skip.

Test Flight

From the group of testers we gathered online, we created a group for them all on Facebook. It seemed an easy way to inform the users of new builds and sharing links without emailing each individually. Of course, we have kept a record of all user details anyway.  We emailed users our build on test flight, when they have approved of our provisioning license, we send them an email with the current build.  We have received a lot of feedback using this method of testing.

In our next blog we will discuss artwork of enemies that can be seen in the Malevolence.

Team Malevolence ~

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About ruthanngrogan

Me = Masters student in Creative Digital Media. Part time worker.Optimist. Kid sister. Music Lover. Spiritualist. Animal Lover. Girlfriend. Concert Goer. Mafia Movie Geek. Treky. Trubie. "A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."Mohandas Gandhi. "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind." Albert Einstein. "There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness. " His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

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