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Xbox Research


Grounded caters to those with arachnophobia in a very unusual way

Grounded, a game developed by Obsidian Entertainment, has a unique way of handling accessibility for those with arachnophobia.

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Dr. Randy Pagulayan, The Legendary Xbox UR Guru (Koalatea Time 91)

Randy sits down for some Koalatea time to discuss his career and insights into the gaming industry.

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Hold on to your Butts: A debate on teaching teams to do research | Ian Livingston & Tom Lorusso

A discussion between Tom Lorusso from Xbox and Ian Livingston from Blizzard on the topic of the democratization of user research.

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A Golden Age of Research

Keynote address, 2019 Games User Research Summit. Featuring Randy Pagulayan.

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Gaming is for Everyone

“Gaming is For Everyone: On Games, Access, and Inclusivity”, Not Your Mama’s Gamer (NYMG) Podcast Episode 176, 2018. Featuring Jerome Hagen and Melissa Boone.

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Sea of Thieves and Toxicity

“Sea of Thieves team put anti-toxicity strategies into game’s core design”, by Julia Alexander, Polygon, 2018. Featuring Jerome Hagen and work by Joseph Chisholm.

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Leveling the Playing Field

Leveling the playing field: Understanding players’ experiences with online harassment, lightning talk at the Fair Play Alliance Summit, 2018 Game Developers Conference. Featuring Melissa Boone.

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Understanding and Addressing Your Players’ Negative Online Gaming Experiences

Talk at the 2018 Game Developers Conference. Featuring Tracey Fuller, Melissa Boone, and Jerome Hagen. Whether they’re playing, streaming, or viewing, you’re probably only hearing about a fraction of your audience’s negative online experiences with your game.

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Constructive Conversations about Sexism and Racism

Roundtable discussion at #GamesUR, 2018 Games User Research Summit. Featuring Deborah Hendersen, Jerome Hagen, and Melissa Boone.

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“Hear Here!”

Halo Waypoint News, 2018. Featuring Jessie Thomas

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Applied User Research in Games (2017)

The Wiley Handbook of Human Computer Interaction Set, Volume 1, First Edition (pp. 299-346). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.  Written by Randy Pagulayan, Daniel Gunn, Jerome Hagen, Deborah Hendersen, Todd Kelley, Bruce Phillips, JJ Guajardo, Tim Nichols.

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How to Playtest Games with Deborah Hendersen

Game Dev Loadout Podcast, 2017. Featuring Deborah Hendersen.

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“We get our review”

Spawn On Me Podcast, 2017. Featuring Melissa Boone.

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Behind the Bias Panel

Association for Women in Science, University of Notre Dame, 2017. Featuring Jessie Thomas.

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Reducing Biases in User Research 

Talk at #gamesUR, 2017 featuring Jerome Hagen and Melissa Boone.

#gamesUR Summit 2017

Guidelines for Inclusive and Accessible Games 

Talk at #gamesUR, 2017. Lauren White and Tom Lorusso.

#gamesUR Summit 2017

Quantum Break – A Tour of Methods We Used To Test This Rather Odd Product

Talk at #gamesUR, 2017 featuring Deborah Hendersen.

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Designing for Gamers with Deafness

Talk at #gamesUR London, 2016 by Tom Lorusso.

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Fireside Chat PS Loves Xbox 

Keynote at #gamesUR, 2016. Featuring Kevin Keeker and Randy Pagulayan.

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Could Analyzing How Humans Think Make Better Video Games?

by Alexandra Ossola. Popular Science, 2015. Featuring Randy Pagulayan.

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Why Should Game Stories Make Sense?

by Chris Dahlen. Polygon, 2014. (Featuring Deborah Hendersen)

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Brain Dump: 9 Creators share “One Weird Trick” to Game Development

Panel at Penny Arcade Expo – PAX Prime 2014. (Featuring Deborah Hendersen)

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Research Driven Design

Panel at SIEGE, 2014. (Featuring Deborah Hendersen)

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The Xbox Science Machine, by Scott Butterworth.

Official Xbox Magazine, May 2014 print edition. (Featuring Randy Pagulayan, JJ Guajardo, and Kristie J. Fisher)

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Learning the Language of Players

Giant Bomb Podcast, 2014. (Featuring Deborah Hendersen)

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A History of Games User Research

Talk at 2014 Games User Research Summit. (Given by Michael Medlock)

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Using User Research to Improve Game Narratives

Talk at GDC 2014. (Given by Deborah Hendersen)

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IT’S A TRAP! 3 Remarkably Common UI Traps and How to Avoid Them in Your Designs

2014 //build Conference. (Featuring Michael Medlock)

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UI Tenets & Traps

Winner of the 2013 Microsoft Engineering Excellence Award for Planning & Design Excellence. (Featuring Michael Medlock, Todd Kelley, and Kristie J. Fisher)

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Games User Research Bootcamp at GDC 2013

see GDC Vault for access. (Featuring Tom Lorusso & Kristie J. Fisher)

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Rated M for Mainstream

by Monica J. Vila. Huffington Post, 2012. (Featuring JJ Guajardo).

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Data Entry, Risk Management, and Tacos: Inside Halo 4’s Playtest Labs

by Matt Leone. Polygon website, 2012. (Featuring Eric Schuh)

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Video Game Design and Development

by Rebecca Clay. APA GradPYSCH, 2012. (Featuring Tim Nichols)

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Cognitive Flow: The Psychology of Great Game Design

Gamasutra website, 2012. (Written by Sean Baron)

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Microsoft to Debut Final Halo Game

by Wendy Kaufman. NPR Radio. (Featuring Randy Pagulayan & John Hopson)

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User-centered Design in Games

in the Second Edition (2007) of the Human-Computer Interaction Handbook. (Written by Randy Pagulayan, Kevin Keeker, Thomas Fuller, Dennis Wixon, Ramon Romero, and Daniel Gunn)

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Halo 3: How Microsoft Labs Invented a New Science of Play

by Clive Thompson. Wired Magazine. (Featuring Randy Pagulayan)

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Quantifying “Magic”: Learnings from User Research for Creating Good Player Experience on Xbox Kinect

IJGCMS 6(1), pp. 26-40. (Featuring Tim Nichols & Kristie Fisher)