Celia Hodent is an expert in the application of cognitive science and psychology to improve products, systems, services, and video games. She currently leads an independent UX consultancy, working with a wide range of international media and enterprise companies.
She works in-depth with companies to help ensure their products are both engaging and successful by considering the entire user experience they will provide to their audience. Celia conducts workshops and provides guidance on the topics of playful learning (“gamification”), ethics, implicit biases, and inclusion in tech and video games.
Celia holds a PhD in psychology and has over ten years experience in the development of user experience (UX) strategy in the entertainment industry, and more specifically with videogame studios through her work at Ubisoft, LucasArts, and as Director of UX at Epic Games (Fortnite). She is founder and chair of the Game UX Summit, and a member of the Foresight Committee at CNIL (National Commission on Informatics and Liberty, an independent French administrative regulatory body).
Celia is the author of The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX can Impact Video Game Design (2017), The Psychology of Video Games (2020), What UX Really Is: Introducing a Mindset to Great Experiences (2021), and co-editor of Game Usability: Advice from the Experts for Advancing UX Strategy and Practice in Videogames (2022).
The UX & Cognitive Science Behind Engaging Games
User experience (UX) is still a very new mindset to the video game industry, and has specific challenges considering that games need to be fun and engaging. As former director of UX at Epic Games and 15-year+ veteran in the game industry, Celia Hodent will explain her UX framework, which was used on Fortnite. More specifically, after explaining the main brain limitations to take into account when designing a game, the talk will break down game UX in two main pillars: usability and “engage-ability”, offering a list of ingredients for game developers to create their own successful game recipe. It will also touch on the ethical considerations to have when designing for engagement.