Product teams like to assume they either know their users or that they need mounds of data to do so. Oleg Yakubenkov, CEO of product management simulator GoPractice, outlines how analyzing behavior without big data can give product managers real insight into their games.

Viewing the Product Through the User’s Eyes

  • You only need 50-100 users to find out the following:
    • How and why do people play your game?
    • What problems do they face at different stages?
    • How does actual usage differ from what you intended?
    • Which users tend to stay and which tend to leave?
  • Take a group of users and observe how they play your game.
    • Select for what you want to study.
    • For each user, sequence all the events they generate, including event parameters.
    • What you will have is a play-by-play road map of their experience.
  • This method of manual session analysis will:
    • Make it easier to work on new game features.
    • Reduce data loss.
    • Give you a more holistic picture of their experience.

Case Study: King of Thieves

  • Original day one retention was 26%.
  • Manual session analysis revealed players were missing the key feature–multiplayer mode.
  • ZeptoLab added multiplayer exposure to onboarding.
  • Day one retention rose to 41%, and day seven retention increased from 9% to 20%.
  • While metrics alone could have eventually revealed this, manual session analysis guided ZeptoLab to the relevant ones.

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