An educational tech company asked us:

How can we improve the onboarding experience for young first-time users to help them succeed in gameplay?  

We answered:

AnswerLab designed a study with child participants ages 8-12 to evaluate their experience as first-time gamers. We conducted remote playtesting sessions and 1:1 individual interviews with parents present to evaluate their first-time experience playing the game on mobile devices. 

Additionally, while the participants played the game, our researchers observed hand movements and facial reactions so we could assess visible pain points and emotions, such as excitement or confusion.

We wanted to understand how well the onboarding process grounded the users in the basics of gameplay and if players were able to understand the instructions and objectives at various points throughout the game.


Through our research, we uncovered gaps in comprehension in the game onboarding process, and provided observations, insights, as well as opportunities for a more rewarding user experience. 

We helped the client identify specific ways they could increase comprehension for this age group. Our recommendations included shorter blocks of text, color conventions, pop-up instructions throughout gameplay, and more. Additionally, we were able to identify pain points associated with first-time play in order to support future game development for the client.

When designing experiences for kids, research is a critical step in better understanding their needs and user context. Without hearing directly from this audience, you may not gain the perspective needed to create products that actually reach and work for them.

Conducting research with young participants often requires a different, more creative approach to research to build rapport, meet them where they are, and ensure they have agency and autonomy.


Interested in another gaming success story? Learn how we helped a client identify experience gaps in VR social gaming for those who identify as women.

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