and President, XEODesign, Inc.
With a degree in
psychology from Stanford University, Nicole Lazzaro is an authority on emotion and player
experience in mass-market entertainment products. The first person to use
facial expressions to measure player reactions, she puts her expertise to work
designing award-winning interfaces at her company XEODesign, Inc.
eighteen years of experience and past clients like Sony, Electronic Arts,
Ubisoft, and Sega, Lazzaro and XEODesign use creativity to "make products
easier and more fun to use by targeting the complete customer experience, from
art usability to interaction."
breaking player experience down into four play styles -- hard fun, easy fun,
serious fun, and people fun -- she allows developers to access a player's full
emotional range from the earliest stages of a development cycle.
Lazzaro's approach to the psychology of fun has improved
over 40 million player experiences. Writer and gamer designer Chris Bateman
said of her in his book 21st Century Game Design, "It would be
impossible to overestimate the extent to which Nicole Lazzaro's research has
contributed to a better understanding of play in the context of video games."
novel approach to play testing Lazzaro has introduced to the gaming industry
is, in XEODesign's own words, making "products easier and more fun to use
by targeting the complete customer experience, from art to usability to
What her peers say
Sheri: "Nicole is one of my favorite people to sit and talk with.
Her insight into game design never fails to spark new ideas and new directions
in my designs!
Her work has been groundbreaking in understanding where emotion
and player-interaction combine to make really great games. She has given us a
vocabulary to express how games affect us emotionally and a framework to help
us put that understanding to work to build better games."