PUBLISHED WORK

Our Design Research Lab follows an organized schedule regarding the publication of our findings. Explore our list of published works below and contact us to receive further information about the work that we do.

Online games can serve as research instruments to explore the effects of game design elements on motivation and learning. In our research, we manipulated the design of an online math game to investigate the effect of challenge on player motivation and learning. To test the "Inverted-U Hypothesis", which predicts that maximum game engagement will occur with moderate challenge, we produced two large-scale (10K and 70K subjects), multi-factor (2x3 and 2x9x8x4x25) online experiments. We found that, in almost all cases, subjects were more engaged and played longer when the game was easier, which seems to contradict the generality of the Inverted-U Hypothesis...

One consequence of rapid advances in computer technology is the obsolescence of hundreds of millions of computers each year. This paper explores strategies for increasing the reuse of outdated computers through an investigation of an 8-bit home computer that is still popular in developing countries. We observed the use of the computers in 16 households in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, India in order to gain insight into the contextual factors that support the continued popularity of the device. While most computers become obsolete in less than a decade, this 30-year-old computer technology remains useful because it provides exciting, multi-user family entertainment...

"Multi-armed bandits" offer a new paradigm for the AI-assisted design of user interfaces. To help designers understand the potential, we present the results of two experimental comparisons between bandit algorithms and random assignment. Our studies are intended to show designers how bandits algorithms are able to rapidly explore an experimental design space and automatically select the optimal design configuration. Our present focus is on the optimization of a game design space. The results of our experiments show that bandits can make data-driven design more efficient and accessible to interface designers, but that human participation is essential to ensure that AI systems optimize for the right metric.

Selective sustained attention, or the ability to allocate perceptual and mental resources to a single object or event, is an important cognitive ability widely assumed to be required for learning. Assessing young children's selective sustained attention is challenging due to the limited number of sensitive and developmentally appropriate performance-based measures. Furthermore, administration of existing assessments is difficult, as children's engagement with such tasks wanes quickly. One potential solution is to provide assessments within an engaging environment, such as a video game. This paper reports the design and psychometric validation of a video game (Monster Mischief) designed to assess selective sustained attention in preschool children....