Martin Talbot

  • Martin Talbot

    Martin Talbot

    Square Enix (Business Intelligence Manager)

    Usability Testing and Play-Testing: A Quantitative Approach





Martin holds a Bachelor in Computer Science and Mathematics from Ryerson University and a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Waterloo. He held the position of Game User Research Manager at EA Mobile, where he contributed to the development of Tetris, Scrabble, World Series of Poker, Yahtzee, Monopoly and more. Later, he held the same position at WBGames where he participated in the development of Batman Arkham Origins and Legends of Chima. He currently holds the position of Business Intelligence Manager at Square-Enix-Montreal, where he shares his time between user research and data analysis of telemetric data in games. In both cases he uses numerical methods to improve the experience of players in games such as Deus Ex GO, Hitman GO VR, Hitman Sniper and Lara Croft GO.


Talk Title:

Usability Testing and Play-Testing: A Quantitative Approach


Talk Abstract:

Quantitative methods applied to game user research allow researchers to measure and compare the impact of changes in games in development, or to compare a game in development against other games already on the market. For example, it is possible to determine whether or not design changes improve the player experience, or whether a game offers a superior experience to another. Here are some of the questions the master class will answer: What standard tests should be administered? How, when and why administer these tests? How to perform statistical analysis? What conclusions can be drawn and how can we present findings in a clear and actionable manner?



The class is intended for people in the video game industry interested in user research and interested in the validity and objectivity of the results (target audience: UI/UX Designers, Researchers, Game Designers, Game Producers). The approach will be pragmatic and the applied mathematics will be simple (thus, the class is open to all).


Take Away:

Participants who will attend the class will be able to use the methods taught in class in their next user research study.