Playtesting

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Playtesting

  1. 1. B ret St a udt W i l l et December 2013 Michigan State University TC841 CART QUEST Playtesting 1 s t i te ra ti o n
  2. 2. PURPOSE OF THE PLAY TEST GAME PURPOSE This playtest was conducted to aid in the development of Car t Ques t, a mobile game that will help low -income shoppers at the Lancaster city Giant Food Store navigate decisions for healthy food. CORE MECHANIC The core mechanic tested in this early prototype of Car t Ques t was using the game to locate a specific food item in the physical grocer y store. PLAY TEST GOALS The two specific goals of this playtest were to obser ve whether players would instinctually know how to navigate the user inter face of the game, as well as to see if there were any navigation dead ends while using the game to locate specific food items in the physical grocer y store.
  3. 3. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROTOT YPE The mobile game Car t Ques t will ultimately live on a 7 -inch tablet attached to the handle of a grocer y car t. For this first playtest, a paper prototype was developed by sketching the outline of the tablet and then creating the screen frames with dif ferent colored sticky notes. The Sidebar Menu is made of g r e e n s t i c k i e s , t h e “ B a c k ” b u t t o n i s a n o r a n g e s t i c k y, t h e S c o r e b o a r d i s t e a l s t i c k i e s , a n d t h e d y n a m i c center frame is composed of changing yellow stickies. For this playtest, all the frames were static e x c e p t f o r t h e c e n t e r, y e l l o w f r a m e , w h i c h w a s u p d a t e d b y t h e g a m e d e s i g n e r a s t h e p l a y t e s t e r s “tapped” on dif ferent buttons on the screen. Playtesters began at the Main Menu screen and were instructed to use the game to locate and pick up two food items in the store. An arbitrar y list of four food items (avocado, garlic, onion, and tomato) w e r e a v a i l a b l e i n t h i s p r o t o t y p e , w h i c h c o u l d b e a c c e s s e d t h r o u g h t h e M a p , S t o r e D i r e c t o r y, S h o p p i n g List, and Recipes features.
  4. 4. DESCRIPTION OF PLAY TESTER SAMPLE Sampling Strategy: For this first playtest of an early prototype, a sample of four playtesters was selected by convenience t o t h e g a m e d e s i g n e r. O n e p l a y t e s t e r w a s t h e s p o u s e o f t h e g a m e d e s i g n e r, a n d t h e o t h e r t h r e e p l a y t e s t e r s w e r e n e i g h b o r s o f t h e g a m e d e s i g n e r. A l l f o u r p l a y t e s t e r s r e g u l a r l y s h o p i n t h e L a n c a s t e r city Giant Food Store, which is the physical store setting of the mobile game. The four playtesters were given pseudonyms based on their gaming personality exhibited during the p l a y t e s t . T h e f o u r p l a y t e s t e r s w e r e I m p a t i e n t I r e n e , Q u i c k K a t h y, C u r i o u s G e o r g e , a n d T h o r o u g h Te d d y . Impatient Irene Quick Kathy Gaming Personality Gender Age How often do you go to the grocery store? Do you own a web-enabled mobile device (a smartphone or tablet)? How often do you use this mobile device? Do you use this mobile device to help with grocery shopping? If yes, what shopping app do you use? Curious George Thorough Teddy dislikes clutter and grinding super efficient to goal female female 31 59 experimenter and explorer deep understanding of all possibilities male male 55 28 2/week 2/week 2/week 1/week yes no yes yes many times per day n/a once per day 2-3 times per day yes n/a no yes n/a to look at nutritional info at home out of curiosity; used to use a calorie counter app but quit after a couple of days because it took so much effort to keep up with shopping list app: Out of Milk n/a
  5. 5. OBSERVATIONS Key Moments in the Game
  6. 6. The starting screen for the playtest. The Main Menu screen mirrored the same options as the fixed Sidebar Menu.. For this playtest, the scoreboard was static and did not change. OBSERVATIONS: Main Menu The playtest began on the Main Menu page (picture above), and all of the playtesters had some trouble with this star t screen; playtesters found it unclear where to begin. Quick Kathy was unfamiliar with touchscreens and did not realize she needed to tap on the screen to navigate. Impatient Irene had a lot of experience with touchscreens, but really disliked too much tapping and found this star t screen far too cluttered. She wanted to know the correct place to star t and did not want to have to tap through a number of screens to figure out how to reach the objective of locating two food items. In the end, both Quick Kathy and Impatient Irene chose to star t with the most familiar menu option, the Shopping List. In an interesting gender dif ference, the two male playtesters, Curious George a n d T h o r o u g h Te d d y, w e r e n o t a s p u t o f f b y t h e c l u t t e r o f t h e s t a r t s c r e e n . R a t h e r t h a n s t a r t i n g w i t h w h a t w a s m o s t f a m i l i a r, t h e y l o o k e d t o e x p l o r e . C u r i o u s G e o r g e e x p l a i n e d , “ I ’ m a n e x p e r i m e n t e r. I w a n t t o t r y a l l t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s . ” T h o r o u g h Te d d y c o m m e n t e d , “ I k n e w r i g h t a w a y w h a t i t e m s I w a n t e d t o b u y, b u t f i r s t I w a n t e d t o s e e w h a t a l l t h e g a m e o f f e r e d . ” A s a result, Curious George star ted with Recipes to look for new ideas, and T h o r o u g h Te d d y s t a r t e d w i t h S t o r e D i r e c t o r y f o r t h e b i g p i c t u r e o f a l l possibilities. R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S • • • • SERIOUS: Use Shopping List as the start screen. After login, take user straight to Shopping List, making it obvious where to begin the shopping trip. MEDIUM: Eliminate Main Menu. The redundancy with the Sidebar Menu is unnecessary and needlessly clutters screen real estate. MEDIUM: Add a Help button on the Sidebar Menu. This feature would give confused players an introduction to the game and more detailed instructions on game possibilities. COSMETIC: Reorder
  7. 7. How does a player know which item to find first? This ended up being an arbitrary choice based on the familiarity or appeal of the different items. 6 avocados! This is unreasonable amount of fruits for a person cooking for one, as avocados spoil quickly. OBSERVATIONS: Shopping List Regardless of which menu option playtesters chose, the decision of which f o o d i t e m t o l o c a t e f i r s t s e e m e d r a t h e r a r b i t r a r y, i n f l u e n c e d b y t h e a p p e a l and familiarity of the various items on the shopping list. This did not translate into an ef ficient path through the grocer y store, as the players walked by closer items on the shopping list to get the item they had chosen to find first. R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S • • Also, the Shopping List feature did not allow players to adjust the quantity of i t e m s o n t h e l i s t . A s T h o r o u g h Te d d y l a m e n t e d , “ I ’ m a s i n g l e g u y a n d I o f t e n cook for one, so I’m not going to buy 6 avocados even if the recipe tells me I need them. Avocados go bad too quickly for that.” • SERIOUS: As stated on the previous page, make the Shopping List the new start screen. SERIOUS: Put the Shopping List in order of items closest to the player’s current location in the grocery store. This will allow for a rational choice of the next item to locate, instead of an arbitrary decision. MEDIUM: Allow users to scale recipes up or down to match life stage, (single, married, big family, dinner party, etc.), and have this scaling automatically update the quantities on the Shopping List.
  8. 8. The most important features on the Item Description page are the photo of the item, the button for find in the grocery store, and the connection to the shopping list. The overall effect of this screen is too cluttered. OBSERVATIONS: Item Description The playtester s found the Item Description page too cluttered. They appreciated many of the features of the page, but did not feel that all the features should be given equal weight. The key features were the photo of the food item, the button to locate the item in the grocer y store, and the connection to the Shopping List (both easily adding the item to the list as well jumping to view the list). The price of the food item and the nutritional information about the food item felt like secondary features. Impatient Irene exclaimed, “ Why would anyone look at nutritional info while they’re in the store?” This was likely hyperbole, but her point was made: it would take a good bit of time and concentration to pause grocer y shopping to read through n u t r i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n o f d i f f e r e n t i t e m s . T h o r o u g h Te d d y h a d a m o r e practical approach, noting that he did not need to read the nutritional information on tomatoes because he is ver y familiar with them. Suggesting recipes using this ingredient was a popular feature among p l a y t e s t e r s . T h o r o u g h Te d d y e x p l a i n e d , “ I ’ m u s u a l l y b a d a t f i n d i n g r e c i p e s , so I liked that I could start with ingredients I liked and then find recipes from there.” In fact, he hoped for even more possibilities, saying, “I kept wanting to explore, wondering, what else will it show me? I wondered if there would be dif ferent kinds of avocados.” R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S • • • MEDIUM: Highlight the essential features on the page, particularly the item photo, the button to locate the item in the grocery store, and the link the the Shopping List. COSMETIC: Minimize Nutritional Info, Cost, and Recipes. These are great features, but will not be essential for all players to see at first glance. Locate the buttons to link to these features on the periphery. COSMETIC: Add a button to link to other varieties of the food item. This is another secondary feature, so the location of the button should be on
  9. 9. The Navigation heads-up display gives a continuously updating distance and direction to the food item. As the player walks through the grocery store, the distance and direction change. OBSERVATIONS: Navigation Three of the four playtesters thought the Navigation heads -up display was the most memorable moment of the playtest. Impatient Irene was impressed: "Cool--it tells me how to get there! ” Curious George commented, “ These instructions were helpful because items in the store are not always where I would intuit.” The Navigation feature was helpful enough that only one of the four playtesters needed to look at the Store Map for help in locating a food item. While overall reaction to the Navigation feature was ver y positive, two playtesters also voiced concerns about walking around the grocer y store with their attention diver ted downward to look at the game screen. Impatient I r e n e w o r r i e d a b o u t b u m p i n g i n t o t h i n g s i n t h e s t o r e , a n d T h o r o u g h Te d d y h a d a more obvious concern: “I felt very self -conscious about the prospect of walking around the store staring down at this game. Especially when I could just look up and easily spot the item in the store.” R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S • • SERIOUS: Due to shorter distances and slower moving speeds in a grocery store, the Navigation feature does not need to exactly mimic the GPS of a car. As a result, design the Navigation to point players in the right direction and then just alert players to a needed course change. Minimize the amount players need to look down at the game. MEDIUM: Add a “View on Map” button to allow the player to view their current location and distance to next item; but keep this button on the periphery as a secondary feature.
  10. 10. Instructions on how to properly select a ripe avocado. 3 out of 4 playtesters loved this feature. OBSERVATIONS: Item Selection Three of the four playtesters loved the feature that gave instructions on how to pick fresh produce that is ripe and best to eat. Curious George thought this reflected highly on the store itself, saying, “I’m impressed the store would tell me how to select the best food items, because that leaves the bad ones behind . This gives the store credibility in my mind. ” Impatient Irene appreciated the learning component to this feature, noting, "There's lots of stuf f like that that I don't know.” Once the playtesters got to this screen, read the information on how to select the best item, and took the item in hand (represented by a plush toy ver sion), they were confused what to do next. They were uncer tain how the game would know that they were ready to move on. Once the game designer manually moved the playtest past this point, the game took the playtesters back to the shopping list. Here the playtesters face the same dilemma as at the star t —how to choose the next item to locate. As before, the playtesters chose the next item based on the most appealing o r m o s t f a m i l i a r. R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S • • • • • SERIOUS: Add a “Got it!” button for the player to tell the game that they have secured the food item and are ready to move on. SERIOUS: To follow the “Got it!” button, display the Shopping List sorted by items closest to the current location. MEDIUM: Add a button to view recipes made with this food item. This is a secondary feature, so make the option on the periphery. COSMETIC: Automatically update the total cost of items in the cart. COSMETIC: Automatically update
  11. 11. PLAYER EXPERIENCE SURVEY: IMPATIENT IRENE Impatient Irene gender age How often do you go to the grocery store? Do you own a web-enabled mobile device (a smartphone or tablet)? How often do you use this mobile device? Do you use this mobile device to help with grocery shopping? If yes, what shopping app do you use? During the playtest, what was your actual path to the objective? What was the most memorable moment from the playtest? What emotions did you experience during the playtest? At what points in the playtest did you experience positive emotions (delight, surprise, enjoyment, etc.)? At what points in the playtest did you experience negative emotions (frustration, confusion, anxiety, etc.)? What were some possibilities for the game that you wished were available but were not in this prototype? What suggestions would you have for the game designers as they continue to develop this game? female 31 2/week yes many times per day yes Out of Milk (shopping list) list-->tomato-->onion "Cool--it tells me how to get there!" "Interesting, from one ingredient it suggests things to make." worry at beginning, distracted by baby, elation to learn how to select a good onion, anticipated frustration of tapping and walking how to select an onion--"There's lots of stuff like that that I don't know." don't like tapping a lot; confusing walking around a store looking at tablet screen rearrange path of shopping according to nearest ingredient add a "Got It!" button once item is located; fewer taps; tuck nutritional information out of the way--don't need it prominently displayed when walking around the store
  12. 12. PLAYER EXPERIENCE SURVEY: QUICK KATHY Quick Kathy gender age female 59 How often do you go to the grocery store? 2/week Do you own a web-enabled mobile device (a smartphone or tablet)? How often do you use this mobile device? Do you use this mobile device to help with grocery shopping? If yes, what shopping app do you use? During the playtest, what was your actual path to the objective? What was the most memorable moment from the playtest? What emotions did you experience during the playtest? At what points in the playtest did you experience positive emotions (delight, surprise, enjoyment, etc.)? At what points in the playtest did you experience negative emotions (frustration, confusion, anxiety, etc.)? What were some possibilities for the game that you wished were available but were not in this prototype? What suggestions would you have for the game designers as they continue to develop this game? no n/a n/a n/a list-->onion-->garlic first glance--wondering where do I start? a little anxious--hoping a I get it right; also could imagine getting easily frustrated while using this when I figured out how to tap a button on the screen; the directions to get to the first item (the onion) first glance give other options other than shopping list suggestions for recipes would be helpful--I like this being included; show cumulative money spent based on what has been added to the cart
  13. 13. PLAYER EXPERIENCE SURVEY: CURIOUS GEORGE Curious George gender age How often do you go to the grocery store? male 55 2/week Do you own a web-enabled mobile device (a smartphone or tablet)? yes once per day How often do you use this mobile device? Do you use this mobile device to help with grocery shopping? If yes, what shopping app do you use? During the playtest, what was your actual path to the objective? What was the most memorable moment from the playtest? What emotions did you experience during the playtest? At what points in the playtest did you experience positive emotions (delight, surprise, enjoyment, etc.)? no n/a recipes-->ingredients for guacamole-->garlic-->avocado; wanted to see all the features instructions that led me where to go in the store, which was helpful because items were not necessarily where I would intuit mostly curiosity--I am an experimentor and I wanted to see all the features and press all the buttons when advised how to pick a good avocado (I was surprised they would tell me how to pick the best one, because that would leave the bad ones still in the store; in my mind this adds credibility to the store) At what points in the playtest did you experience negative emotions (frustration, confusion, anxiety, etc.)? when I pressed Free Roam, which was listed in the menu but was not an available feature What were some possibilities for the game that you wished were available but were not in this prototype? What suggestions would you have for the game designers as they continue to develop this game? BONUS points from the store based on purchases or savings; calculating the total cost of items in the cart (would let you know if you have enough cash); social feature--view sample shopping lists from other shoppers; if store doesn't have an item I'm looking for, the game could tell me when it would arrive in the store, or what other stores in the area would have it (which would put my health first instead of the store's ability to make money); have the game recognize the bluetooth in my personal phone, so when I get to my shopping cart the game tablet logs turns on and logs me in automatically have a "My Gamer Profile" feature--save shopping lists such as "My Basics"--create online at home before you go to the store; give ability to eliminate certain foods, such processed foods, gluten--be able to focus on vegetarian, local, organic, etc.
  14. 14. PLAYER EXPERIENCE SURVEY: THOROUGH TEDDY Thorough Teddy gender age How often do you go to the grocery store? Do you own a web-enabled mobile device (a smartphone or tablet)? How often do you use this mobile device? Do you use this mobile device to help with grocery shopping? male 28 1/week yes 2-3 times per day yes If yes, what shopping app do you use? to look at nutritional info at home out of curiosity; used to use a calorie counter app but quit after a couple of days because it took so much effort to keep up with During the playtest, what was your actual path to the objective? directory-->map-->avocado-->shopping list-->recipes-->ingredients for guacamole->tomato; wanted to know what all the game offered; knew immediately that he wanted an avocado, which made navigation easy and wanted to click through as quickly as possible What was the most memorable moment from the playtest? information on the food item page; being guided while walking What emotions did you experience during the playtest? curiosity and wanting to explore--wondering, what will it show me? Will there be different varieties of avocado?; confused--what is Free Roam? What is being scored? At what points in the playtest did you experience positive emotions (delight, surprise, enjoyment, etc.)? looking at the recipes--I'm usually bad at finding recipes; I liked that I could start with ingredients that I like and then find recipes from there self-conscious about looking down at the tablet when I could just look up and easily spot the At what points in the playtest did you experience negative emotions item in the store; scared to push a wrong button--I didn't know if the game was connected (frustration, confusion, anxiety, etc.)? to actually buying something, and I didn't want to accidentally charge my credit card; the lack of of instructions or introduction What were some possibilities for the game that you wished were available but were not in this prototype? an introduction with instructions; varieties of foods (different types of avocados); different languages (Spanish especially--my mom would benefit from this) What suggestions would you have for the game designers as they continue to develop this game? provide a Search feature where you could type in the name of a food
  15. 15. SUMMARY OF ADVICE TO DESIGNERS SERIOUS FIXES: • Use Shopping List as the start screen . • Put the Shopping List in order of items closest to the player’s current location in the grocer y store . • Design the Navigation to point players in the right direction and then just aler t players to a needed course change. Minimize the amount players need to look down at the game. • Add a “Got it!” button for the player to tell the game that they have secured the food item and are ready to move on . • To f o l l o w t h e “ G o t i t ! ” b u t t o n , d i s p l a y t h e S h o p p i n g L i s t s o r t e d b y i t e m s closest to the current location .
  16. 16. SUMMARY OF ADVICE TO DESIGNERS MEDIUM FIXES: • Eliminate the Main Menu. • Add a Help button on the Sidebar Menu . • Allow users to scale recipes up or down and have this scaling automatically update the quantities on the Shopping List. • Highlight the essential features on the Item Description page, par ticularly the item photo, the button to locate the item in the grocer y store, and the link the the Shopping List . • Add a “ View on Map” button to allow the player to view their current location and distance to next item. • Add a button to view recipes made with this food item .
  17. 17. SUMMARY OF ADVICE TO DESIGNERS COSMETIC FIXES: • Reorder the Sidebar Menu from most central feature to suppor ting features. • Minimize Nutritional Info, Cost, and Recipes on the Item Description pages. • On the Item Description pages, add a button to link to other varieties of the food item. • During navigation, make the food item photo as large as possible and the directional arrow big and bright . • Automatically update the total cost of items in the car t . • Automatically update the scoreboard .

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