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PGC Digital: Fueling growth through user-centric UA design

PGC Digital: Fueling growth through user-centric UA design

User acquisition is a vital part of determining the success of a game both at release and in the long run.

Rovio director of growth Kieran O'Leary explained how to fuel growth through user-centric UA design in his talk at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #2.

"The creative factory is always at full speed," said O'Leary.

It involves constant AB testing to see what is working, and what needs to be tweaked to make a more productive creative.

How to find new creatives?

One of the benefits of the games industry is the ability to experiment and see what works; one failure will not ruin a studio or a game. Instead, it offers the opportunity to learn and rectify whatever wrong may have occurred.

The hidden puzzle piece is understanding what goes on in the mind, according to O'Leary. There is a science to UA creative design, Neuro and psychology can help to make creatives understand why people react to creations the way they do.

Emotion leads to motion

If a user feels an emotion, they are much more likely to engage with the rest of the ad. Those who feel nothing and no connection to what they are watching are likely to stop watching before the ad is finished.

One such way to induce emotion is through characters as "they elicit a strong response."

Fear is the emotion that most human beings will run from and can create a powerful emotional moment. But be aware that too much anxiety can cause a viewer to run as opposed to making them engaged. There is a fine line to be walked when choosing this emotion as a means of creating engagement

However, most importantly, first and last impressions matter. The first impression is what will determine whether or not a user will stick around for the rest of the ad, while the final impact will determine how effective the ad was.

"In a nutshell, if you want someone to see something, make it stand out," said O'Leary.

To make a user focus on one thing, it must stand out, create a contrast to achieve this effect.

A deep look

"Humans are much more than numbers, we want to acknowledge all humans," said O'Leary.

It is important to acknowledge a human in all complexities as opposed to just relying on data. This is a key way to harbour better results and gain a greater understanding of potential players.

There are several player archetypes, each of which has different thoughts and will have a different experience - achiever, solver and escapists. An achiever will find satisfaction in the mastering of skills and are likely to treat things in a strategic way through thinking, planning and decision making. They will not be satisfied until they have 100 per cent completed the game, including finishing a story and getting all collectables.

Next, the solver is much like an achiever when it comes to strategy, and they are also likely to seek 100 per cent completion. However, there are more likely to think and discover different ways of doing things through gameplay. Finally, an escapist wants to do just that, escape. They are interested in fantasy and story, and like a design that involves customisation and expression.

PG Connects Digital #2 is the best of our Pocket Gamer Connects conference in an online form, with an entire week of talks, meetings, and pitch events taking place from June 8th to the 12th. You can read up on all the tracks taking place through the week here.


Staff Writer

A freelance writer based in Berkshire. Besides PG and PCGI she has written as a guides writer, specialising in RPG's and horror.

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