Informatics Update: Graham McAllister and Video-game Usability (Invited post)

As a part of my efforts with Andy Philippedes at Sussex Uni to get information flowing between the Computer Science dept. and companies in town, Andy has asked Graham McAllister to introduce himself and his work (and new company) in usability design and research for video games.

Over to Graham…

I’m Graham McAllister, a Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction and a member of the Human-Centred Computing Technology (HCT) research group in the Informatics department at the University of Sussex.  My research is in the area of video games, in particular trying to ensure  that they can be understood and played just as the designers intended.

So if you have ever played a game only to find it frustrating, annoying or even plain boring, my research tries to ensure that this does not happen.

As the UK video game industry grows, and games become more expensive to design and develop, it is becoming even more important to attain the highest quality possible.  To help ensure that UK games studios remain among the best in the world, we have started a spin-out company which focusses on analyzing games from the viewpoint of the player, i.e. can they understand the game, are the goals clear, do they enjoy it?

We’re almost ready to launch Vertical Slice, the UK’s first company to focus entirely on the area of video games usability and user experience.  Our studios are based at the Sussex Innovation Centre on Sussex University Campus, and feature facilities in which the interaction between players and video games can be observed, captured and analyzed.

For further details, please contact me at

Ian is a Chief Interim Data Scientist via his Mor Consulting. Sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London and to hear about his data science thoughts and jobs. He lives in London, is walked by his high energy Springer Spaniel and is a consumer of fine coffees.