First Time User Experiences in mobile games: An evaluation of usability
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Authors: Barnett, L., Harvey, C. and Gatzidis, C.
Journal: Entertainment Computing
Unlike most other mobile applications, games are driven by their user experience rather than their functionality. No one wishes to play games that are either frustrating or difficult for the wrong reasons. Usability is an integral part of software development and is about maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction of the user. The delicacy of the user experience and heavy competition it can be argued render usability more important in games than it is in other software. Immersion and engagement are fundamental and core parts of the enjoyment of computer games, and both are dependent on usability. The focus of this article is around a framework for evaluating the usability of First Time User Experiences (FTUEs). Investigating two specific, off-the-shelf games, we demonstrate that the FTUE can affect an element of usability, namely ‘information quality’ when controlling for the guidance and information presented. Despite this, overall usability is unaffected by the presence of the FTUE.