Behind the Scenes of Behind the BLOX

March

06, 2013

by JacksSmirkingRevenge


Archive

Last Friday, we kicked off the first in a series of Behind the BLOX, opening the doors of ROBLOX HQ so users could take a tour of our office, test some exciting new features, and talk with our developers about all things ROBLOX. We invited six users from our submission pool—and will be inviting more so we can hold a Behind the BLOX event each week for the foreseeable future!

The play testing went longer than we expected—there was simply so much to talk about. We started in our upstairs office, where each of our candidates was given an iPad to conduct some play-testing on a brand new feature that’s currently in Beta. Each of them brought unique and differing perspectives about what worked, what didn’t, and what we could do to improve future iterations.

We didn’t stop there—we migrated to our downstairs meeting room, set up a projector and a bunch of laptops, and started building.  We’re constantly working on improving ROBLOX Studio, and there’s no better way to do this than by sitting down with our users in person, and talking about the experience. Maybe we’re old fashioned, but it’s a tried and true method of improvement.

“Being together in the same room really keeps the levels of enthusiasm high, which makes everyone stay focused,” said Studio Team Lead Tim Brown.  “These guys were ready to talk about everything related to ROBLOX, at the drop of a hat.”

Creative Director John Shedletsky lead the focus group sessions, alongside ROBLOX Lead Designer Stefan Scandizzo and Tim Brown.  John finds that the most important aspect of user testing lies in the elements of spontaneous motivation you find each and every time.

“The value of user testing is a surprise,” says John. “ROBLOX engineers spend all day working on ROBLOXin a sense they’re ROBLOX experts. User testing reminds us that being ROBLOX experts is not the same as being ROBLOX user experts. The users have a ton to teach us about our product and how it is used. The most valuable thing that can happen during user testing is for the so called ROBLOX experts (us) to be totally surprised by something that our players are doing. We can then feed these insights back into our product design to create a ROBLOX that is more in-tune with how people are actually using it.”

In short, our first Behind the BLOX was an incredibly positive experience, and we see no reason to stop now. So if you’re in the area and you want to swing by on a Friday, please don’t hesitate to fill out this form. Behind the BLOX is free, but spaces are limited. Remember, if you’re a family with multiple users, make sure to fill out one form for each user, and select both your preferred date and a backup. We’ll see you Friday!