Studios User Research > Team Bios

Team  
Randy Pagulayan, Director of User Research
Keith Steury, Senior User Research Manager
Tracey Sellar, Senior User Research Lead
Daniel V. Gunn, Senior User Research Operations Lead
Tim Nichols, Senior User Research Lead
Jerome Hagen, User Researcher
Tom Lorusso, Senior User Research Lead
Carl Anselmi, Senior User Research Lab Ops PM
Michael Medlock, Senior User Researcher
Sophie McDaid, Ethnographer (Dublin)
JJ Guajardo, Senior User Researcher
Catherine Fox, Ethnographer (London)
Deborah Hendersen, User Researcher
Kristie J. Fisher, User Researcher
Sean Baron, User Researcher
Adam Greenberg, User Researcher
Travis Bowles, Senior User Researcher
Karl Steiner, Senior User Research Lead (London)
Todd A. Kelley, User Researcher
Kevin MacKenzie, User Researcher
Chris LeFeaver, User Researcher Lead (Vancouver)
   

Bios
 Randy Pagulayan, Ph.D.
 Director of User Research



Randy Pagulayan is one of the first pioneers of the games user research discipline. He leads a team of nearly 50 staff at the forefront of next generation of interactive entertainment experiences and is a member of the corporate User Experience Leadership Team. During his time at Microsoft, Randy has led user research efforts on numerous blockbuster video games and top tier franchises, including Age of Empires III, and Halo 2 & 3. He also has co-authored book chapters on user-centered design in games and testing methodologies, given numerous talks and keynotes internationally, has been featured in a cover story in Wired (Halo 3: How Microsoft Labs Invented a New Science of Play, Sept, 2007) and interviewed on National Public Radio.

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 B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cincinnati. 
 
 Keith Steury, M.S.
 Senior User Research Manager



Keith Steury started his career in games user research in 2000 at Microsoft as the primary user researcher on Halo: Combat Evolved and several other Xbox 1 launch titles. In 2002, he moved into a management role on the team, participating in the strategic direction of the team and overseeing the work of 3-4 user researchers. In 2005, Keith moved to Australia where he was the head of usability for Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company. Later, he launched and developed the Sydney Office of UsabilityOne, a usability consulting firm.

Keith returned to the U.S. and to Studios User Research in 2010. In 2011, he took on his current role as Senior User Research Manager. Within SUR, Keith’s team is responsible for product research support across Microsoft Studio’s entire portfolio including Xbox, Windows, and Mobile titles.
 
 Tracey Sellar
 Senior User Research Lead 



Tracey Sellar is a Senior User Research Lead at Microsoft Studios, leading strategic research across the games and entertainment portfolio. She has managed user research for numerous franchises, including Halo, Gears of War, Forza, Fable, Crackdown, Microsoft Flight and Kinect Sports. Before joining Microsoft, Tracey was the founder and Director of the User Experience Lab - a games user research consultancy based in New Zealand.

In addition to games, Tracey has conducted user research on a range of products including 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 has completed three years 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 collects mid-century modern furniture and contemporary art, and enjoys painting, photography and boxing.
 
 Daniel V. Gunn, Ph.D.
 Senior User Research Operations Lead 



Daniel V. Gunn is a Senior User Research Operations lead within Studios User 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 Ph.D. 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 Studios User 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.
 
 Tim Nichols, Ph.D.
 Senior User Research Lead 



Tim Nichols joined SUR in 2006 and spent his first few years responsible for user research on core gaming titles including Mass Effect and Ninja Gaiden 2. He was a part of the early Kinect user research effort, conducting research on two Kinect launch titles (Kinectimals and Dance Central) and contributing to several other launch titles and research projects. In 2011, he moved into a lead role, overseeing research on multiple Kinect, XBLA, and Win8 titles.

Currently, he and his team focus on UX for a variety of entertainment and lifestyle experiences for unannounced Microsoft platforms. While video games remain a personal hobby, he’s most passionate about understanding technology’s role in satisfying fundamental human needs like connecting with others, personal growth, escapism, and showing off pictures of their awesome dogs.

Tim received his PhD in engineering psychology from Georgia Tech, which is widely recognized as the Princeton of the South. Approximately 2,999,996 more people played the first game he shipped than read his dissertation.
 
 Jerome Hagen
 User Researcher 



Jerome Hagen started working on the Studios User Research team all the way back in the pre-XBox, pre-broadband days of 1998. Since then, he’s supported several platform launches and worked on franchises including Fable, Project Gotham Racing, Crackdown, Gears of War, and Halo.
 
 Tom Lorusso
 Senior User Research Lead 



Tom Lorusso is a User Research Lead at Microsoft Studios. His background is in Human Factors and Ergonomics and Psychology. His team is focused on core console titles and foundational research for story and transmedia.  Tom’s team has previously shipped titles in all areas of entertainment – Nike Kinect Fitness, National Geographic, ESPN and MLB.

Tom has been a user researcher in several areas of Microsoft – Windows Mobile, Media Center and most recently, Windows 8.  Tom has a passion for the intersection of hardware, software and services. In addition Tom has been a Human Factors engineer in the medical field, designing portable ultrasound devices for SonoSite Inc.

Outside of work, Tom is a photo and video geek and an avid soccer fan and player.  And of course a big gamer.  You can find him playing Battlefield, The Walking Dead, FIFA, Dance Central and Kinect Sports.
 
 Carl Anselmi
 Senior User Research Lab Ops 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 Studios User Research labs. He joined Studios User Research in 2002 to support the labs and has been involved in managing them ever since. In 2008, he officially joined the SUR 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.
 
 Karl Steiner, Ph.D.
 Senior User Research Lead (London) 



Karl Steiner is a Senior User Research Lead at Microsoft Studios based in London, working with studios and partners in the UK and Europe. Karl has been a UR/UX professional for over 15 years, building and managing teams across domains including games, enterprise software, and commerce. Before joining Microsoft, Karl previously managed the UR department at THQ Games, overseeing research for games like Darksiders, UFC: Undisputed, Company of Heroes Online, Dawn of War II, Metro 2033, De Blob, and many others. He has a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction, and recent areas of interest include research strategy, multi-channel experiences, and personas and narrative techniques in research and design. When he’s not working or spending time with his family, he can sometimes be found online working to perfect his MOBA skills.
 
 Michael Medlock
 Senior User Researcher 



Michael Medlock is a Senior User Researcher in the Studios User Research group.  He has sixteen years of industry experience in the field of Human Computer Interaction across a variety of domains.  Early on he worked on Internet Explorer 4.0 and then worked at Boeing on internal airplane configuration software.  He helped to found the Games User Research group at Microsoft in 1998.   During his time in the games group he’s worked on many successful Xbox and PC games such as Project Gotham Racing, Age of Empires II, Dungeon Siege, Crimson Skies, Flight Simulator, Top Spin, Gears of War 3 and Minecraft.  He has also worked on Windows Phone 6.0 – 7.0, Zune software, Xbox platform software and internal HR business systems for Microsoft.  He has documented and evangelized the Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation method (RITE) which is used throughout Microsoft and is currently being taught in a number of HCI programs around the world.  
 
 Sophie McDaid, Ph.D.
 Ethnographer (Dublin)



Sophie McDaid Joined the SUR team in September 2013 as an ethnographer. Prior to Microsoft, Sophie worked in o2 Telefonica and was part of the Consumer Insights team, commissioning and carrying out research on behalf of key business stakeholders. Sophie completed a B.A. International degree from University college Dublin partnered with La Sorbonne, Paris IV. She later completed a PhD in social psychology exploring women’s negotiation of identity. When not working, Sophie is usually found walking her dogs, feeding her ducks and chickens or meeting up with friends.
 
 
 JJ Guajardo, Ph.D.
 Senior User Researcher



JJ Guajardo has over 11 years of experience as a User Researcher. 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. Instead of pursuing a career in academics, JJ came to Microsoft to work on Xbox games (a wise choice). Following his stint in the gaming world, he worked with a number of products at Microsoft, including Encarta and Office for Mac. From 2007-2009, JJ lived and worked in Copenhagen, Denmark, conducting user research for Microsoft Dynamics. In 2009, he returned to the US and spent 2 years working in the Windows design and research group. But in 2011, the sweet voice of the gaming world called him back to Studios User Research. Since his return, JJ's worked on a number of kid-focused products, non-game entertainment efforts, as well as providing Turn 10 studio (Forza) support.
 
 Catherine Fox
 Ethnographer (London)



Catherine Fox joined SUR team in February 2014 as an Ethnographer. Her academic background includes a BSc. in Anthropology from the University College of London (UCL) and MSc. in Human Computer Interaction with Ergonomics from the same University. It was during her time at UCL that other students started to shorten her name to the diminutive ‘Cat’ – which has stuck to this day. Since 2005, Cat has worked as a Consultant across a variety of well-known digital agencies in the UK as a User Researcher/Ethnographer and specializing in qualitative research. During her spare time, Cat is a novice bee keeper, avid reader and sometimes goes to Pilates and yoga classes.
 
 
 Deborah Hendersen, Ph.D.
 User Researcher



Deborah Hendersen is interested in what people do with their minds for fun, which for her falls into two general categories: narratives & gaming. 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.)

She joined Studios User Research in January of 2011, and has worked on games as varied as Double Fine’s Happy Action Theater and Crytek’s Ryse: Son of Rome. She is interested in the development of new methods and has presented on how to best test with kids as young as three (Gamefest, 2011), and has generated and discussed new methods for testing game narrative at both GDC (2014) and the GUR Summit (2014).
 
 Kristie J. Fisher, Ph.D.
 User Researcher



Kristie Fisher received her doctorate in cognitive psychology from the University of Washington and joined the Studios User Research team in 2011. While in graduate school she used brain electrophysiology to study mathematical and analogical reasoning, with a focus on how people coordinate their "real world" knowledge with their math knowledge when solving problems. She's also spent some time at Microsoft Research using a variety of methods to study how individuals make sense of digital content on the web, including social media. Though she loves living in Seattle, she's a southern girl at heart and is proud to have received her BS degree in applied psychology at Georgia Tech!

Since joining Studios User Research she has worked on some Kinect games (Kinect RUSH: A Disney Pixar Adventure, Dance Central 3), many of the casual games for Windows 8 launch, many of the games on Xbox LIVE Arcade, and some of the digital exclusives titles for the Xbox One launch (Killer Instinct, Powerstar Golf). You’re likely to find her running, baking, adventure-ing outdoors & around town, or playing Minecraft.
 
 Sean Baron, Ph.D.
 User Researcher



Sean Baron joined Studios User Research in early 2012 just prior to earning his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Princeton University. His graduate work focused on understanding how our brains process faces, social information, and create novel conceptual representations. Some residual passion about these topics remains, so if you want to ask him about faces or about the difference between categories and concepts he’d be happy to talk your ear off. Currently, he’s ecstatic to be working with Epic and 343 on Gears and Halo titles.
 
 Adam Greenberg
 User Researcher



Adam Greenberg is a Washington native who went to UW for both undergrad (psychology and physics) and grad school (cognitive psychology). At Microsoft, he’s been focused largely on understanding new populations and building new interaction models (especially Kinect, working with kids, and working with kids and Kinect simultaneously). Before working with the Studios group, he spent a couple of years revolutionizing the world with the 2-D aspects of NUIs at Surface (the very-large form factor version), and before that he was researching the processing of subliminal information across different levels of information complexity. He's a minor international music critic, one of the last devotees of the proper American road trip, and has been known to spend too much time talking about ancient Greece in any given context.

With the Studios group, he's worked on titles including Dance Central, Kinectimals, Kinect Funlabs, Happy Action Theater, Nike+ Kinect Training, Project Spark, and a variety of both released and unreleased others.
 
 Travis Bowles, M.S.
 Senior User Researcher



Travis Bowles joined the group in 2012, merging his professional life with one of his favorite hobbies. Since joining, Travis has worked on how to best understand consumer relationships with 2wayTV, extended existing game playtest methods to non-game interactive experiences, and worked on an effort to rethink the process surrounding communication of player experience research.

Previously, Travis was responsible for user research on all aspects of collaborative User Research at Oracle, from web conferencing to intelligent systems for knowledge management. Following Oracle, he spent some time consulting full time for Macquarium in Atlanta, Georgia on training and information architecture.
 
 Todd A. Kelley, Ph.D.
 User Researcher



Todd Kelley joined Studios User Research in 2012. Previously he lived in the academic world, where he conducted research on how the brain controls attention, working memory and visual perception, using fMRI, EEG and TMS. His dissertation and several subsequent projects focused on how people can improve their ability to ignore distracting information. Currently, Todd is investigating new research capabilities and working to refine existing techniques and procedures. His primary focus thus far has been on eye tracking and biometrics. He has also worked as the UR for Dead Rising 3.

Todd is a life-long gamer of all types and will happily spend a good half hour talking about his all-time favorite games should you ask. He'll also happily get into extended conversations about music.
 
 Kevin MacKenzie, Ph.D.
 User Researcher



Kevin MacKenzie joined SUR in 2012 after spending 4.5 years working and living down the road from a town named Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, holding a post-doctoral fellowship in the School of Psychology at Bangor University, Wales. He obtained a Ph.D. in vision science and experimental psychology from York University’s Centre for Vision Research, in Toronto, Ontario. He has specific expertise in stereoscopic vision, psychophysics and 3D eye-movements. He has published papers in numerous research journals for work relating to physical anthropology, ergonomics, 3D vision, and 3D display engineering.

Kevin likes: video games, board games, bass playing, single malt and sheep.
 
 Chris LeFeaver, M.Sc.
 User Research Lead (Vancouver)



Chris LeFeaver joined the SUR team in 2013 to lead the user research activities for Microsoft’s Vancouver Studios. Since joining he has worked on the NFL and ESPN apps for Xbox One, and is the current the lead UR for the Gears of War franchise.

Prior to joining Microsoft, he worked for Sony Playstation where he helped build and define their European and American UR teams and processes. During his 5 years at Sony he conducted user research on key franchises (Uncharted, Killzone, Heavy Rain, inFamous, etc.), core systems (VITA & PS Store) and physical ergonomics (VITA & PS4 Controller). 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.