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Heather Desurvire, B.A., B.S., M.S.

Adjunct Lecturer

Affiliated Divisions:

Interactive Media & Games Division

Work Phone: 2137461289
Office: SCA 218

Heather Desurvire, Faculty Adjunct Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Los Angeles, California.  An academic and industry professional with a long career of achievements in the area of User Experience Research, with a focus in video games. 

She is the owner and principal of the GUR agency, User Behavioristics, Inc, is one of the foremost Game User Researchers (GUR) for video games and interactive media; She and her team have provided research "intel" for over 150+ games and 200+ products to aid in their success.  She has also aided in launching several student's careers in GUR with AAA studios, via her course and internship program.

She has published over 36+ publications in professional journals, and conferences such as (HFES, ACM-SIGCHI, INTERACT, IEEE (best paper award), FPG, GUR, GDC, IndieCade), and 4 book chapters, all on foundational research to aid in the optimizing of research and insight for products and games, that have become industry standard. Most of them can be found on,, and the ACM Digital Library.   

Most known for developing the principles of Game User Research, much used and referenced in the industry and academia.  They can be found at the website: under Resources. PLAY (playability principles), GAP  (game approachability principles, or FTUE), and VR-PLAY (playability principles for virtual reality). 

As a practitioner, Desurvire’s clients benefit from her wealth of knowledge and experience having worked with AAA game publishers and studios such as Disney, Blizzard, EA, Sega, Ubisoft, IGT, Rovio, Paradox Interactive, King, and many more; interactive product areas, also a long list, includes Microsoft, United Airlines, Citibank, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, HP, Flipboard, and more, and most recently Google. 

Ms. Desurvire continues to be delighted and encouraged by each new crop of students, aiding them on their way to flourishing and meaningful careers.