Brain, UX & Design with Celia Hodent

by Brandon Pham
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“Games can be a powerful way to challenge the status quo. Video games is an art form and we need to use it for more reflection on our society as a whole.”

— Celia Hodent (UX Designer)

Celia Hodent (@CeliaHodent) is from France and has a PhD in psychology. She’s been working in the game industry for over 10 years and started at Ubisoft in Paris, France before working at Ubisoft Montreal. Shortly after, she worked at Lucas Arts and contributed to several Star Wars games, including Star Wars 1313. After Disney shut down Lucas Arts she moved her talents to Epic Games in 2013 and soon became the Director of User Experience. She worked on several different Unreal Engine projects including Fortnite. She left Epic in October 2017 and has been working independently as a consultant ever since. She spreads her love of UX everywhere she can, explaining what UX is all about. Lecturing around the world on why developers need to have some knowledge and target science to have better games. In addition, talk about why it’s important to shift to the perspective of the players to make better games.

  • Many goodies and a wide variety of topics we covered. Here’s a snippet:
  • What is UX and Why is it Important for Game Development?
  • What Makes Games So Unique from other Mediums?
  • How are other industries using Game UX to improve?
  • How has interaction change with quarantine?
  • How is COVID going to impact the game development medium in years after?
  • Art Challenging the Status Quo
  • VR and AR & UX
  • How many senses do we have to hit for full immersion?
  • Unlocking Dreams for Games
  • What is the next 5-10 years of Interaction for games?

SHOUT OUT

“First of all, thank you for having me and like I said, jokingly, UX is life, but it is also a philosophy. What it’s really about is shifting away from your own perspective to have a think about how other people are experiencing what you’re making. Therefore it’s important for games, society, and for inclusion. When examining the science behind it, it can bring people together and can help break the barriers and understand what systemic racism or sexism is. Because design is never neutral when you design something, people are going to perceive it in a certain way. It’s going to encourage them to interact with it in a certain way. 

 

There’s an example that is very simple that I love to talk about. Let’s say you’re in Silicon Valley and you develop a soap dispensers. This soap dispenser works well and you tested with yourself and your friends, and everything is cool. After shipping it, people with darker skin complexion try to use it and it’s not working because no one considers these other groups of people. 

 

UX is about breaking bubbles. If your design is not usable for someone else, it equates to the same thing for health care too, access to opportunities, and so on and so forth. We, as game developers, need to redesign that so that it’s diverse and accessible and inclusive to all.”

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE

  • Connect with Celia Hodent & pick up her books!:

Website | Twitter

The Psychology of Video Games (The Psychology of Everything) by [Celia Hodent]The Gamer's Brain: How Neuroscience and UX Can Impact Video Game Design by [Celia Hodent]

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