Cheap and efficient tools
Engaging users in design when there is no budget and there is no time
iQ Content




             iQ Content
             Usability | Design | Content | Analytics




                 0:00 / 4...
Does this sound familiar?



 “We won’t be doing any user testing
 for this project. There is just no
 budget for it, and ...
The Holy Trinity


                    Quick




                     User
                   research

          Cheap   ...
Prototyping          User testing      Traffic analysis




My night at the Odeon         Nua
                     Sarah i...
Prototyping          User testing
                     User testing       Traffic analysis




        My night at the Ode...
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis
                             Traffic analysis




                 Before   ...
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis




                                Quick




    IMAGE MAP PROTOTYPES
     ...
9
10
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis




GOOD THINGS:

Not a single line of code
required




                   ...
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis




MORE GOOD THINGS:

Starting from existing
wireframes, an image map
proto...
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis




EVEN MORE GOOD THINGS:

Image map prototypes
provide enough interactivit...
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis




BAD THINGS:

You can’t use them to test
pages that require user input
or...
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis




                                Quick




              HYBRID PROTOTYPE...
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis




                                                16
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis




                                                17
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis




                                                18
Prototyping   User testing   Traffic analysis




                                   http://url.ie/2i4h
                  ...
Prototyping      User testing
                 User testing   Traffic analysis




                            Quick




 ...
Prototyping   User testing
              User testing   Traffic analysis




STANDARD APPROACH:

Tests carried out in lab ...
Prototyping   User testing
              User testing   Traffic analysis




STANDARD APPROACH:

Protocol: 6 to 8 particip...
Prototyping   User testing
              User testing   Traffic analysis




INFORMAL APPROACH:

Tests carried out in clie...
Prototyping   User testing
              User testing   Traffic analysis




INFORMAL APPROACH:

Protocol: 15 to 20 partic...
Prototyping   User testing
               User testing   Traffic analysis




INFORMAL APPROACH GOOD
THINGS:

Cheaper and ...
Prototyping   User testing
                User testing   Traffic analysis




USER TESTING WITH 7 USERS:

               ...
Prototyping   User testing
               User testing   Traffic analysis




INFORMAL APPROACH BAD
THINGS:

Impossible to...
Prototyping   User testing
               User testing   Traffic analysis




INFORMAL APPROACH BAD
THINGS:

Participants ...
Prototyping   User testing
               User testing   Traffic analysis




INFORMAL APPROACH BAD
THINGS:

Tests must be...
Prototyping   User testing
              User testing   Traffic analysis




THE TRICK: USE BOTH

Use the standard approac...
Prototyping   User testing
              User testing   Traffic analysis




THE BENEFIT: MORE ITERATIONS

Combining the s...
Prototyping   User testing
               User testing   Traffic analysis




THE BENEFIT: MORE ITERATIONS

Before: 2 roun...
=
Our initial assumption




  Testing IA = Card sorting
Donna Spencer:

Card sorting is a “tool that helps us
understand people we are
designing for”
Testing IA = Card sorting
Piece 1: Identify key user tasks
Piece 2 - carefully craft wording
Piece 3: image map prototypes x 2
The tests - Round 1
   12 users
   2 days
   initially tested the live site as well
   rotated which version was serve...
Key insights




  Visible second level nav was critical
  Home link very useful
  Terminology, like “plans & costs” vs...
Round 2
  Validate new IA
  Focus on new and existing page designs
  Just 5 users this time
What did the prototypes do for us?
 Ease of prototyping
  allowed us to
  quickly adapt to
  completely new
  test plan

...
Cheap And Efficient Tools Euroia09
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Cheap And Efficient Tools Euroia09

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iQ Content's presentation at EuroIA Copenhagen 2009

Cheap And Efficient Tools Euroia09

  1. 1. Cheap and efficient tools Engaging users in design when there is no budget and there is no time
  2. 2. iQ Content iQ Content Usability | Design | Content | Analytics 0:00 / 4:59 2
  3. 3. Does this sound familiar? “We won’t be doing any user testing for this project. There is just no budget for it, and we don’t have time“ 3
  4. 4. The Holy Trinity Quick User research Cheap Valuable 4
  5. 5. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis My night at the Odeon Nua Sarah is joining Nua What people say: Photos: What do you like? Far far away, behind the word mountains, This week's offers Nua Post Upload! Far far away, Far far away, Far far away, behind the word behind the word behind the word mountains, mountains, mountains, Vote! Vote! Vote! 5
  6. 6. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis My night at the Odeon Nua What people say: Photos: Far far away, behind the word mountains, Post Upload! 6
  7. 7. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis Traffic analysis Before After 7
  8. 8. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis Quick IMAGE MAP PROTOTYPES User research Cheap Valuable 8
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis GOOD THINGS: Not a single line of code required 11
  12. 12. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis MORE GOOD THINGS: Starting from existing wireframes, an image map prototype can be built by an interaction designer in 3 to 5 hours 12
  13. 13. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis EVEN MORE GOOD THINGS: Image map prototypes provide enough interactivity to test static web pages 13
  14. 14. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis BAD THINGS: You can’t use them to test pages that require user input or move (i.e. web forms, animations, effects, transitions, etc) 14
  15. 15. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis Quick HYBRID PROTOTYPES User research Cheap Valuable 15
  16. 16. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis 16
  17. 17. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis 17
  18. 18. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis 18
  19. 19. Prototyping User testing Traffic analysis http://url.ie/2i4h 19
  20. 20. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis Quick USER research TESTING User Cheap Valuable 20
  21. 21. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis STANDARD APPROACH: Tests carried out in lab with 2 laptops (Windows OS), USB keyboard and mouse, monitor, webcam, microphone and Morae 21
  22. 22. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis STANDARD APPROACH: Protocol: 6 to 8 participants compensated with €60 - €70 for 1-hour tests spread along 2 days 22
  23. 23. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis INFORMAL APPROACH: Tests carried out in client’s point of contact with customers (e.g. bank branch) with 2 laptops (Mac OS), USB keyboard and mouse, monitor and Silverback 23
  24. 24. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis INFORMAL APPROACH: Protocol: 15 to 20 participants compensated with €20 for 15- minute tests spread along 2 days 24
  25. 25. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis INFORMAL APPROACH GOOD THINGS: Cheaper and faster 25
  26. 26. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis USER TESTING WITH 7 USERS: FIXED COSTS VARIABLE COSTS DAYS STANDARD €3,385 €1,700 2 INFORMAL €2,940 €140 1 26
  27. 27. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis INFORMAL APPROACH BAD THINGS: Impossible to recruit participants of a certain profile 27
  28. 28. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis INFORMAL APPROACH BAD THINGS: Participants will be already your client’s customers: you’ll learn nothing about prospective customers’ behaviour 28
  29. 29. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis INFORMAL APPROACH BAD THINGS: Tests must be short and very focused: no time for pre-test questionnaires or debriefing interviews 29
  30. 30. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis THE TRICK: USE BOTH Use the standard approach for exploration, and the informal approach for validation 30
  31. 31. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis THE BENEFIT: MORE ITERATIONS Combining the standard and informal approaches, we have squeezed one more round of user testing in our projects 31
  32. 32. Prototyping User testing User testing Traffic analysis THE BENEFIT: MORE ITERATIONS Before: 2 rounds of standard testing After: 1 round of standard testing, 2 rounds of informal testing 32
  33. 33. =
  34. 34. Our initial assumption Testing IA = Card sorting
  35. 35. Donna Spencer: Card sorting is a “tool that helps us understand people we are designing for”
  36. 36. Testing IA = Card sorting
  37. 37. Piece 1: Identify key user tasks
  38. 38. Piece 2 - carefully craft wording
  39. 39. Piece 3: image map prototypes x 2
  40. 40. The tests - Round 1  12 users  2 days  initially tested the live site as well  rotated which version was served first
  41. 41. Key insights  Visible second level nav was critical  Home link very useful  Terminology, like “plans & costs” vs. “plans & services”
  42. 42. Round 2  Validate new IA  Focus on new and existing page designs  Just 5 users this time
  43. 43. What did the prototypes do for us?  Ease of prototyping allowed us to quickly adapt to completely new test plan  Shrunk distance between testing artefact and the real thing  Made us confident in our result
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