Birdy: User Testing

Even though I ended up user testing people who had at least a slight idea of my project/game (e.g there is a bird, you fly around, etc.), I still learned so much from having users try it out. While the game is very simple and cutesy, and even provides some instructions, it still was far less obvious and clear than I thought it was.

While watching the users try the game was interesting and helpful (and sort of funny), the most useful part was hearing their specific feedback after finishing the game. Feedback included the following:

  • the bird moved too slowly
  • the instructions at the top were not that helpful, because it was difficult to look there/read them while the game was still going on
  • it was not clear when the game ended (because even though the user is taken to the main page after they reach 100 points, there is no “you won” message, etc.)
  • the blinking arrows on the sides add too much visual stimulation/confusion, and they interfere with noticing the other blinking elements that signify games
  • there should be something that signifies how many pages/environments there are, so the user knows when they have been to them all
  • the wing flapping directions are (possibly) counterintuitive, in that when you flap the left wing, the bird goes to the right, and vice versa

To fix these issues, I plan on doing the following before Wednesday:

  • making the bird move faster
  • pausing/freezing the game for several seconds whenever there are instructions, giving the user time to read them
  • making the arrows be still rather than blinking
  • naming the environments, and including those names at the top of the screen always, so the user knows which environment they are in, and how many there are total
  • including a message at the beginning telling the user to get to 100 points to win
  • editing the last message to say something more clear, like actually saying the game is finished, etc.
  • reconsidering the flapping directions

A few videos of user testing:

I also plan on having several users who are *completely* unfamiliar with the game to test it out between now and Wednesday.

Overall, user testing was a great idea, and it has helped me figure out what changes I need to make in order to make the game intuitive and enjoyable.