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Xbox Research

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Team

Randy Pagulayan, Director of Xbox Research
Tom Lorusso, Principal Xbox Research Manager
Chuck Harrison, Principal Xbox Research Manager
Tracey Sellar Fuller, Principal Xbox Research Manager
Daniel V. Gunn, Principal Xbox Research Manager
Eric Schuh, Principal Xbox Research Studio Lead
Carl Anselmi, Senior Xbox Research Operations PM
Jerome Hagen, Senior Xbox Research Studio Lead
JJ Guajardo, Senior Xbox Research Studio Lead
Deborah Hendersen, Senior Xbox Research Studio Lead
Todd A. Kelley, Xbox Researcher
Chris LeFeaver, Senior Xbox Research Studio Lead
Michael Beebe, Xbox Researcher

Ruby Redd, Xbox Research Operations PM
Lauren White, Xbox Researcher
Deanne Adams, Xbox Researcher
Jess M. Thomas, Xbox Researcher
Melissa Boone, Xbox Researcher
Joe Chisholm, Xbox Researcher
Melissa DeWolf, Xbox Researcher
Jonathan M. Ehrich, Xbox Researcher
Chase Meusel, Xbox Researcher
Andrew Sahalie, Xbox Researcher
Joe Cardoza, Xbox Researcher
Jenny Yurcak, Senior Xbox Researcher
Olga Zielinska, Xbox Researcher

Bios

Randy Pagulayan, PhD

Director of Xbox Research

Randy Pagulayan is one of the first pioneers of the games user research discipline and currently leads user research for gaming at Microsoft. Earlier in his career, Randy has led user research efforts on numerous blockbuster video games and top tier franchises, including Age of Empires and Halo. He has also co-authored book chapters on user research methods in gaming, given numerous talks and keynotes internationally, been featured in a cover story in Wired (Halo 3: How Microsoft Labs Invented a New Science of Play, Sept, 2007), interviewed on National Public Radio, and was part of the OXM feature, The Xbox Science Machine (Official Xbox Magazine, May 2014).

Before joining Microsoft, Randy was part of the Human Factors Group at Motorola, and has been published in several scientific journals, including Journal of Experimental Psychology, Brain Research Bulletin, and Human Movement Science. Randy has a BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland, and a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cincinnati.

@randyjpag

  View Randy's LinkedInTM Profile

Tom Lorusso, MA

Principal Xbox Research Manager

Tom Lorusso is a Principal Xbox Research Manager at Microsoft focused on Xbox and gaming across Windows products and devices. Tom has been working in games for over 7 years, with 15 years in the user research field on phones, operating systems and portable ultrasound. Tom and his Xbox Experiences team tackle a variety of research questions in social gaming, community, monetization, communication, cross-platform gaming, video consumption, accessibility, and inclusivity.

Chuck Harrison, MA

Principal Xbox Research Manager

Chuck Harrison first joined Xbox Research in 2005 and has help ship dozens of games across mobile, PC and Xbox platforms ranging from Solitaire to Gears of War.

Chuck’s unique educational background has led to a passion for balancing the science of fun with the realities of business. Over the years, Chuck has managed game-focused BI/Data Science teams as well as research teams made up of psychologists and marketing intelligence experts.

Chuck has over 20 years of applied research experience ranging from consumer products to back office and business applications. Before joining Microsoft, Chuck worked at several other high-tech companies such as Siebel, BMC, Intel, Netscape, and Amazon. Over the years, Chuck has presented research at several Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and game-related conferences and has published research focused articles and book chapters.

Chuck has a BS in Human Factors from the University of Idaho, an MA in Engineering Psychology from New Mexico State University, and an MBA from the University of Houston.

  View Chuck's LinkedInTM Profile

Tracey Sellar Fuller

Principal Xbox Research Manager

Tracey Sellar Fuller has managed or led user research for numerous franchises, including Minecraft, Halo, Gears of War, Forza, Fable, Crackdown, Age of Empires, Microsoft Flight, Solitaire, and Kinect Sports. She established Xbox Research’s international qualitative research program, and currently leads cross-organizational audience research for Gaming for Everyone.

Before joining Microsoft, Tracey was the founder and Director of the User Experience Lab, a games user research consultancy based in New Zealand. She also has an extensive user research background in websites, productivity software, videoconferencing systems, and large interactive display technologies. Prior to getting into technology, she ran a dance company, worked as a professional dancer, and held various roles in the arts industry.

Tracey completed most of her PhD, exploring new research strategies and methods for evaluating game user experience. She also holds a Bachelor of Business (Honors) in Information Technology, a Diploma in Contemporary Dance, and a Black Tab in Karate. In her spare time, she runs after twin preschoolers, collects mid-century modern furniture and contemporary art, and enjoys boxing.

Daniel V. Gunn, PhD

Principal Xbox Research Manager

Daniel V. Gunn is a Senior User Research Operations Lead within Xbox Research. His team is responsible for driving the Tech & Facilities, People & Process, and Tools & Infrastructure that empower User Researchers to carry out world-class User Research. Daniel’s background is firmly seated in psychological research methods, statistics, and human behavior. In fact, he has taught several college psychology courses on the topics – Research Methods in Psychology, Statistics, and Psychology of Learning. Daniel received his PhD in Experimental Psychology with an emphasis in Human Factors from the University of Cincinnati (UC) in 2002.

Daniel has presented at several Human Factors related conferences and has published in the American Journal of Psychology as well as Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. In addition, he has co-authored articles and book chapters on the methodologies utilized within Xbox Research to improve games in development. His title work at Microsoft Studios has been on the Forza Motorsport series as well as PC titles such as Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends and Viva Piñata PC.

Daniel’s favorite foods have remained relatively stable over the past 3 decades: pizza, macaroni and cheese, and ice cream. In his spare time, he enjoys hanging out with his wife and two sons, playing his guitar, playing games, and watching movies.

Eric Schuh

Principal Xbox Research Studio Lead

Eric is one of the original members of the Xbox Research team, working on a variety of AAA franchises like Fable, Forza, Age of Empires, and Halo. He’s driven the development of standardized way of assessing consumer sentiment through surveys and was at the forefront of utilizing game telemetry to improve games.

In addition to games, Eric has worked on products ranging from Windows Phone, Windows, Bing, Cortana. Most recently, he has been involved in creating design guidance for AI and is applying those learnings for AI in gaming.

Carl Anselmi

Senior Xbox Research Operations PM

Carl Anselmi has been part of Usability support at Microsoft since 1996 playing a primary role in the build, operations, and support of the Xbox Research labs. He joined Xbox Research (Studios User Research) in 2002 to support the labs and has been involved in managing them ever since. In 2008, he officially joined the Xbox Research team to manage the lab business as well as build out several of their new testing facilities on the Studios West campus. His responsibilities include overseeing the various facilities and adapting new technologies to help improve and grow the Research business that are state of the art in the User Research community. He is involved in driving new test technologies and environments and continues to push the limits of testing support that is required by a mature User Research team.

Jerome Hagen

Senior Xbox Research Studio Lead

Jerome Hagen first started working with the research team over 20 years ago. He has led research on game franchises including Minecraft, Halo, Fable, Crackdown, Project Gotham Racing, Phantom Dust, and Kinect Sports. His background is in social/cognitive psychology and he loves the intersection of science, the arts, and an understanding of what it means to be human. He has led Team Xbox LGBTQIA+ and is part of Xbox's focus on Gaming for Everyone to help make Xbox and gaming a place where everyone is welcome, included, and supported.

JJ Guajardo, PhD

Senior Xbox Research Studio Lead

JJ Guajardo permanently joined the Xbox Research team in 2011. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northwestern University, he received his PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Chicago in 2002. JJ then came to Microsoft to work on Xbox games as a vendor for a year. Following his stint in the gaming world, he worked with several product teams at Microsoft, including Office, Windows, and Microsoft Dynamics.

Since returning to Xbox Research, JJ has worked on kid-focused products, non-gaming entertainment efforts, and various games. He currently leads the research efforts for the Turn 10 Studio, responsible for the racing titles Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon. His research focuses include player profiling, long term engagement, and eSports.

Deborah Hendersen, PhD

Senior Xbox Research Studio Lead

Deborah is the Studio UR Lead for Global Publishing. She joined Xbox Research in January of 2011, and has worked on games as varied as Double Fine’s Happy Action Theater, Undead Lab’s State of Decay (1 & 2), and Remedy’s Quantum Break. She is interested in the development of new methods, particularly mixed methods, and has presented extensively on how to test narrative (both narrative usability, but also dial-testing for passive content). She frequently presents at industry conferences, most recently at GDC 2017 (How Design Can Ensure Impartial Scientific Fairness in User Research) and the GUR Summit 2018 (Roundtable: Constructive Conversations About Racism and Sexism).

Deborah is interested in what people do with their minds for fun. She earned a BA at Reed College after waiting till the last possible second to declare for Psychology (rather than English), swayed by the thrill of falsifiability. She then moved to Stanford University where she earned a PhD in Cognitive Psychology, asking such questions as: Does it matter if the book you are reading is fiction or nonfiction? (Yes.) Why don’t adults have imaginary friends? (Never mind, they do.) And, why are kids afraid of monsters under the bed, even when they know they are imaginary? (A lack of inhibitory control.)

Todd A. Kelley, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Todd Kelley joined the team in 2012, coming from the academic world where he studied attention and perception using fMRI, EEG, and TMS. Shortly after joining the group, he began working on studies of latency perception, eye tracking, and biometrics. He led the refinement of the group’s eye tracking methods, making it suitable for large scale studies with quick turnaround. He has also led the UR efforts on Dead Rising 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Dead Rising 4, and helped with Sunset Overdrive. Todd is currently working with the Age of Empires and Casual Games teams.

Todd is a lifelong gamer of all types and will spend a good half hour talking about his all-time favorite games should you ask. He will also happily get into extended conversations about music.

Chris LeFeaver, MSc

Senior Xbox Research Studio Lead

Chris LeFeaver joined Xbox Research in 2013 to lead the user research activities for Microsoft’s Vancouver Studios. His initial work focused on Big Park Studio’s Xbox One TV and App experiences, including the NFL, ESPN, Bonnaroo apps.

With Microsoft’s acquisition of the Gears of War franchise he became the lead user researcher for the Coalition and was responsible for both GOW: Ultimate Edition and GOW 4. His passion projects over the last couple of years have focused on integrating telemetry into playtests, formalizing internal feedback channels to remove inherent bias and using fast turnaround usability testing to provide more immediate and deep insights.

Prior to joining Microsoft, he worked for Sony Playstation where he helped build and define their European and American UR teams and processes. Chris graduated with an MSc in Human Factors and Ergonomics from Nottingham University in 2006. He subsequently worked at a user experience agency in London where he conducted user research and design for webpages, mobile phones, and console games.

In his spare time, he is an avid consumer of all kinds of games. Board games, poker, and League of Legends ranking as his favourites.

Ruby Redd

Xbox Research Operations PM

Ruby started working for Microsoft during the launch of the Kinect in 2010 focusing on Operations and Service Management. Over the years, her work has supported all of Microsoft 1st party studios (such as Turn 10, 343, The Coalition) as well as our publishing partners (such as Relic, Insomniac, Remedy). She recently joined Xbox Research as a Program Manager and also serves as a lead in the Women in Gaming group focusing on building authentic connections. She is an Alumni of Seattle Pacific University with a Bachelors in Business Administration and also holds a degree in Early Childhood Education.

In her free time she enjoys camping and being outdoors, recently taking up paddle boarding and Golf! She is also a soft tip dart player, in multiple leagues and even does some traveling to compete!

Lauren White, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Lauren White joined Microsoft in early 2015. Before that, she was sharpening her skills as a user researcher with consumer products. She has a BA in psychology from Reed College, and a PhD in media psychology from Fielding Graduate University. She is currently working on the Xbox platform shell with a focus on user experiences, UI design, and accessibility. When not working, she's gardening, watching soccer, or looking up at space and wondering when we'll get humans to Mars.

@LNWhite

Deanne Adams, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Deanne Adams received her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Spring of 2013.  Her research areas included multimedia learning, educational games, cognitive tutors, and spatial cognition.  She spent a year at Vanderbilt University working on an educational game aimed to teach Newton’s Laws of Motion to middle school kids.  She then switched gears while working at the University of Notre Dame to examine the effects of stress on navigation in virtual environments.

Deanne enjoys playing tabletop games including an ongoing (5 year) long distance series of Dungeons and Dragons campaigns.  She also is an avid fantasy reader which is possibly due to being married to a librarian who constantly has book recommendations.

Jess M. Thomas, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Jessie Thomas joined Xbox Research in the summer of 2015 and since then has worked on several titles including Killer Instinct, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, and State of Decay 2.

Currently, Jessie is conducting research for 343 Industries on all things Halo. She also manages the MCC Insider and Halo Community Feedback Programs filled with thousands of members who regularly provide feedback. She believes strongly in cultivating a healthy feedback culture, and uses social media to build connections with the Halo community.

Prior to joining the team, she earned her degree in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and her PhD in Cognitive and Perceptual Psychology from the University of Washington where she focused of making encoding algorithms of neural activity. She loves all things music related and often forgets people can still hear her singing when she wears headphones. Lauren White joined Microsoft in early 2015. Before that, she was sharpening her skills as a user researcher with consumer products. She has a BA in psychology from Reed College, and a PhD in media psychology from Fielding Graduate University. She is currently working on the Xbox platform shell with a focus on user experiences, UI design, and accessibility. When not working, she's gardening, watching soccer, or looking up at space and wondering when we'll get humans to Mars.

@Jessabirdy

Melissa Boone, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Melissa joined Xbox Research in the summer of 2015. After earning her BA in psychology from Spelman College in 2008, Melissa went on to complete her PhD in social psychology and public health from Columbia University, where she studied how people's social interactions influenced their risk for HIV and drug abuse. She also did a stint conducting market research in video games, which inspired her to make the leap to the games world.

Currently, Melissa conducts research across the Minecraft franchise. She also investigates diversity and inclusion across Xbox's games and experiences, contributing to the Gaming for Everyone initiative, and is the co-lead for Blacks at Xbox. In her free time Melissa enjoys hiking, board games, reading fantasy novels and - of course - playing video games.

Joe Chisholm, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Joe Chisholm is a user researcher who joined our London, UK-based Xbox Research in 2015 and was then moved to Redmond HQ in the summer of 2016. Prior to joining Xbox Research, he completed a PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of British Columbia, where he studied the cognitive benefits associated with video game experience and how games can be used to study cognitive processes. He continued this line of research as a postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University where he also worked on the development and evaluation of a series of brain training games aimed at improving cognitive function.

Joe spends much of his free time with his wife and two daughters, who are enjoying being back in the Pacific Northwest. He also enjoys playing and talking about all kinds of games, both video and tabletop, consuming movies, tv, books, and comics, especially anything fantasy or super-hero/villain related, and, to further perpetuate a Canadian stereotype, he is a big hockey fan.

Melissa DeWolf, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Melissa DeWolf joined Xbox Research in the summer of 2016. She earned a BS in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012. She went on to study Cognitive Psychology at University of California, Los Angeles and earned her PhD in 2016. Her graduate work focused on understanding how people learn about and represent different things. This mostly centered on piecing together how people learn different aspects of math like fractions and algebra.

Melissa and her husband love spending copious amounts of time with their dog, Jeter. This includes watching sporting events, talking long walks and exploring Washington.

Jonathan M. Ehrich, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Jonathan M. Ehrich joined Xbox Research in 2016 after earning his PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Washington. His dissertation focused on understanding how stress increases the rewarding effects of addictive drugs, leaving him perfectly placed to transition into games research. At Microsoft, he has worked on UR for Dead Rising 4, Crackdown 3, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps.

Away from Microsoft, he has worked to bring the Synaptic Aquarium, an LED-driven model of neural network interactions, to Burning Man, while also spending his summers working with his award-winning competitive sketch comedy team.

@malcubed

Instagram: malcubed

Gamertag: therealmalcubed

Chase Meusel, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Chase joined Xbox Research in 2018 and works on gaming input methods. He started at Microsoft as an intern in 2015 in the Windows User Research group. He returned to that team in 2016 to work on account, family, and rewards related products.

Chase received his PhD in Human Computer Interaction from Iowa State University where his research focused on psychophysiological measures used across projects. His research areas included vehicle simulators, virtual reality sickness, emotion detection, and general UX studies. Chase also managed the UX lab within the Virtual Reality Applications Center at Iowa State and conducted a variety of web and mobile based projects.

When not playing video games, Chase enjoys tabletop games, cars, stats, musicals, and is always looking for any excuse to travel to Disney World with his wife and two children.

Andrew Sahalie, EdM

Xbox Researcher

Andrew Sahalie joined Xbox Research in 2017 after working as a data scientist at a small science-based app-development company. Prior to that, he conducted education research for 11 years from a variety of approaches focusing on a variety of cultures.

His interest in gaming research stems from a long-time fascination with the strange ways in which people interact with technology and each other. Microsoft’s platforms are perfect for gamers to play and interact, giving Andrew endless access to fun opportunities and great researchers.

Andrew has an EdM in human development and psychology from Harvard University and a BSEd in secondary education/physical sciences from the University of Idaho. He spends most of his free time in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness near Seattle.

Joe Cardoza, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Joe Cardoza is a user researcher who joined the Xbox Research team in the Fall of 2017. Before joining the Xbox team, Joe completed his PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Arizona. His primary areas of focus during his PhD tenure were object and scene visual perception and fMRI. After obtaining a PhD, Joe worked as a researcher in the business sector where he designed and managed studies for companies like Google, Facebook, ESPN and the NFL.

During his free time, Joe enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring Seattle’s food scene, and reading a healthy amount of science fiction and fantasy novels.

Jenny Yurcak, MBA

Senior Xbox Researcher

Jenny Yurcak joined Xbox Research in 2017 with over 10 years of marketing and consumer insights experience in industries ranging from consumer packaged goods to telecom. After receiving her MBA from the University of Chicago, she spent several years on the Consumer Insights team at MillerCoors helping to design and launch new products like Smith and Forge Hard Cider, Redd’s Apple Ale and Coors Peak as well as improve the market share and brand health of flagship beers like Miller Lite and Leinenkugel’s.

Just prior to joining Microsoft, Jenny ran B2B research for the T-Mobile for Business marketing team. She loves connecting with people and is driven by the desire to better understand the “why” behind consumer decisions and apply that understanding to better business decisions.

Jenny has a BA in History and Economics from Rutgers University and an MBA from the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business with concentrations in Economics and Marketing.

Olga Zielinska, PhD

Xbox Researcher

Olga started at Xbox Research as an intern in June 2017 and then rejoined full time in 2018 after completing her PhD in Human Factors and Applied Cognition at North Carolina State University. During her time in graduate school, her research projects examined how people search and evaluate health information online, what makes individuals vulnerable to email phishing attacks, and how people perceive color in safety situations. After an exciting summer working on games users research, she decided it was the path she wanted to pursue full time.

Olga currently conducts research across the Minecraft Franchise. She is also involved in examining multiplayer experiences and interactions on Xbox Live. Outside of work, she enjoys adventuring to various national parks and exploring the great Northwest.

 

 


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