Creating Engaging Products by Understanding the Gamer's Brain


What lessons from fun and engaging video games such as Fortnite can be applied to craft great user experience for any product or service? This keynote proposes to explore the ingredients and science behind the development of successful games, and offers takeaways applicable to any product (including games), service, or system.

Experiencing a product happens in the user’s mind. This is why understanding the human brain (especially its limitations) while it is perceiving and interacting with a product or system is paramount to accomplish faster and more efficiently your developers' goals. Thus, this keynote has 2 main parts: a brief overview of cognitive science and a description of game-based UX principles.

Part 1 - Introduction to cognitive science and psychology to understand how the brain works and, more specifically, how it learns. We will briefly look into the capabilities and limitations of human perception, attention, memory, motivation, and emotion, using multiple examples taken from video games and beyond.

Part 2 - Focuses more specifically on the Game User Experience (UX) framework you can apply when developing your product, and how it relates to the brain capabilities and limitations. We will breakdown UX into ‘usability’ and ‘engage-ability’ and detail the important principles within these 2 components that can make, in the end, a great difference for your users. We will use examples from video games, more specifically Fortnite.

Street parking should be reasonably convenient.


About the speaker
Celia Hodent is recognized as a leader in the application of user experience (UX) and cognitive science in the game industry. Celia holds a PhD in psychology and has over ten years experience in the development of UX strategy and processes in video game studios. Through her work at Ubisoft (e.g. Rainbow 6 franchise), LucasArts (e.g. Star Wars: 1313), and as Director of UX at Epic Games (Fortnite), she has contributed to many projects across multiple platforms, from PC to consoles, mobile, and VR. Celia is also the founder of the Game UX Summit, advisor for the GDC UX Summit, and author of The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX can Impact Video Game Design. She currently works as an independent consultant, helping studios increase the likelihood of their games to be engaging and successful.

Twitter: @CeliaHodent