Guest lecture on guerilla usability testing and paper prototyping


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A guest lecture by Rebecca Topps who is a UX designer at Sigma. This lecture was presented at The university of Central Lancashire and was about about guerilla usability testing and paper prototyping.

Tasks were set for the students to do in the lecture including writing their own user testing tasks; carrying out a small usability test and re-designing a website based on their test findings.

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  • Usability testing is a technique used to evaluate a product (e.g. a website) by testing it on users.
  • However it’s not always done on websites – usability testing is used to test all forms of interactions that humans have with devices.
  • Brief overview of guerilla testingDoesn’t involve Gorillas- Footfall: i.e. number of peopleAfter slide: example usability test on mark (Graduate prospects)
  • As stated by Jakob Nielsen, 5 users should be able to identify about 85% of all usability problemsExample: visiting cake international to do guerilla testing with users on cake applications
  • As stated by Jakob Nielsen, 5 users should be able to identify about 85% of all usability problemsExample: visiting cake international to do guerilla testing with users on cake applications
  • - Create around 5 – 6 tasks which last around 45 minutes- List the main goals of the websiteBase the tasks on the website goals
  • Give out printed tasks to students and show example tasks on screenBrowse around the website and write tasks
  • After 30 minutes ask students to swap roles Rebecca give out script templates to all pairs
  • Brief overview of guerilla testingDoesn’t involve GorillasAfter slide: example usability test on mark (Graduate prospects)
  • Only show around 3-4 minutes of the video- This is how paper prototype can be done with the facilitator also acting as the ‘computer’. The computer provides the user with the related screens/features based on the users interactions
  •, there are now a wide range of testing applications, including POP that allows you to create an interactive paper prototype using your sketch designs.
  • After 30 minutes ask students to swap roles
  • After 30 minutes ask students to swap roles
  • Guest lecture on guerilla usability testing and paper prototyping

    1. 1. Usability testing and paper prototyping REBECCA TOPPS UX DESIGNER SIGMA
    2. 2. What is usability? “ Usability really just means making sure that something works well – whether it’s a website, a fighter jet or a revolving door. Steve Krug ”
    3. 3. Usability is affected by: The users - who is using the product? e.g. are they highly trained and experienced users, or novices? Their goals - what are the users trying to do with the product - does it support what they want to do with it? The context of use - where and how is the product being used?
    4. 4. Usability Testing: a technique used to evaluate a product (e.g. a website) by testing it on users
    5. 5. Image credit:
    6. 6. Guerilla usability testing
    7. 7. Doesn’t involve Gorillas! Guerilla user testing is a low cost method of user testing. The term ‘guerilla’ refers to its ‘out in the wild’ style, in the fact that it can be conducted anywhere e.g. cafe, library, train station etc, essentially anywhere where there is significant footfall.
    8. 8. Advantages  Quick and easy to perform  Results can be fed back into the design process almost immediately with no loss of signal  You have to recruit participants, arrange locations and write tests yourself  Familiarity with the website may introduce personal bias Inexpensive so can afford multiple tests  Disadvantages
    9. 9. Recruiting participants:  Think about who your target audience is  Ask friends, family, tutors or students  Ask people at coffee shops or a public place where your target audience will be (Ensure you get permission before testing at events or public places)  Use social media to advertise for participants  Create flyers and posters advertising for participants Image credit: /
    10. 10. Setting up the testing environment  You need very little resources to set up a good testing environment.  Make sure to reserve a room that you can test in a quiet environment without a lot of distractions. You will need:  One laptop (or computer) with recording software  Silverback for Macs or Bandicam for Windows  A USB-mouse, for ease when people don't like using the trackpad  Separate paper slips which include every scenario  A notepad for keeping notes during user tests  Something to drink (and to eat)
    11. 11. Planning  Book a room (e.g. Media factory meeting rooms)  Recruit participants  Schedule in times and dates with your participants  Create tasks and scenarios  Write a usability testing script  Conduct a risk assessment on your testing environment  Organise your equipment  Download usability testing recording software (Bandicam or Silverback)  Print out copies of the tasks for the user and permission forms
    12. 12. Creating usability testing tasks Bad example: Search for a bookcase Good example: You have 200+ books in your fiction collection, currently in boxes placed around your living room. Find a way to organise them.
    13. 13. Task 1A (15 minutes) 1. Choose a website 2. Write down 3 tasks for a usability test on the website
    14. 14. Being a facilitator  A facilitator is the person who carries out the usability test  They guide the participant through the entire test, including greeting the person  The facilitator should listen to the participant, including asking them what they think about the website and how they would use it when at home  Guidance on what a facilitator should say:
    15. 15. Task 1B (30-40 minutes) 1. Get into pairs 2. Choose a person in the pair to be the facilitator (and the other person will be the participant) 3. Facilitator conduct a usability test on the participant using the website and tasks you created earlier (if it helps take notes of the main findings during the test) 4. After you have completed the usability test swap roles and carry out the usability test again
    16. 16. Paper prototyping
    17. 17. A usability testing technique which is used to observe the human interaction with user interfaces even before these interfaces are designed and developed Image credit:
    18. 18. Video:
    19. 19. Advantages  Fast way to mock up an interface — no coding required  Finds a wide variety of problems in an interface  Allows an interface to be refined based on user feedback before implementation begins  A multidisciplinary team can participate  Encourages creativity from the product team and users alike Disadvantages Does not find all classes of problems with an interface  Can affect the way users interact with the interface  Makes some development teams nervous because they fear users will think it unprofessional  Has stronger benefits in some situations than in others 
    20. 20. POP POP is an iPhone application that gives you the ability to take photos of your paper prototypes, make them interactive and test the prototype on users. Image credit:
    21. 21. Task 2A (30 minutes) 1. Read over your findings from the usability test you did earlier 2. Draw a new design for the website You can choose any pages you think need re-designing and draw them out using the desktop and mobile templates provided. Image credit:
    22. 22. Task 2B (30 minutes) 1. Use your own (or a university) phone/tablet and download the POP application 2. Take photos of your designs on POP 3. Link up your designs on POP 4. With the pairs you were in earlier, take turns to ask the other person to click around your prototype Image credit:
    23. 23. Resources
    24. 24. Usability recording software
    25. 25. Useful Books
    26. 26. Useful links  Steve Krug website  Website usability testing tools  Video of a Sigma employee’s guerilla testing presentation  An article about the art of usability testing  Information from Gov.UK on guerilla usability testing  Slideshow from Silverback about guerilla testing  Slideshow explaining how to run your own guerilla usability test
    27. 27. Any questions? Get in touch Email: LinkedIn: Twitter: @beckytopps