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Users are Losers! They’ll Like Whatever we Make! and Other Fallacies.
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Users are Losers! They’ll Like Whatever we Make! and Other Fallacies.


Presented at CodeMash 2013. …

Presented at CodeMash 2013.
If this sounds familiar it is time to make big changes or look for a new job. Failing your users will only end badly. In this session we look at the assumptions that are all-too-often made about users, usability and the User Experience (UX). In response to each of these misguided statements Carol will provide a quick method you can conduct with little or no resources to debunk these myths.

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  • Krug, Steve. Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems.


  • 1. CodeMash 2013Presented by Carol Smith @carologic
  • 2.  User Experience Ethnography Customer Insight Usability Interaction Design User Research
  • 3. Plan A:R-E-S-P-E-C-T
  • 4.  Let’s find out about those losers users!  Share what is known  Existing users = usability study  Observations and interviews  Web site – use analytics  Social listening
  • 5.  Learn about:  User’s environment  Real process  Interruptions  Attitudes and opinions  Problems  Goals
  • 6.  Plan with a goal/hypothesis Questions 1. Make a guide 2. Review 3. Test 4. Start study
  • 7.  Share little Related tasks Wait for patterns Save questions Stay out of their “space” Don’t interrupt
  • 8.  Clarify observations  Why doing?  Goal?  How typical was this? Use prepared questions Don’t lead the witness Do listen closely Use their language
  • 9. Artifacts!http://www.flickr.com/photos/heygabe/ via http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/Actual Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/heygabe/47206241/
  • 10.  Explicit consent Record video, photo, audio Take notes Give incentives
  • 11.  When do they think about your product?  In what context?  Most important to them?  Most like to change? Web sites used most frequently? Phone? What kind? Etc. Etc.
  • 12.  Let’s find out!  Market research / segments are a start  Go where (they *think*) they are ▪ Starbucks ▪ Wal-Mart* ▪ Conferences/User Groups  Card sort to test organization of info
  • 13.  Use to determine:  Order of information  Relationships  Labels for navigation  Verify correct audience http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/ via http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/
  • 14.  Maximize probability of users finding content Explore how people are likely to group items Identify content likely to be:  Difficult to categorize  Difficult to find  Misunderstood Gaffney, Gerry. (2000) What is Card Sorting? Usability Techniques Series, Information & Design. http://www.infodesign.com.au/usabilityresources/design/cardsorting.asp
  • 15. http://www.flickr.com/photos/richtpt via http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/
  • 16. One title/subject Printed stickersConcise and clear 36 Preventive Care Guidelines Numbered for analysis Short description on back of card if needed
  • 17.  Practice session Allow 1 hr for 50 items - Total of 30 – 100 Name groups of cards Moderated (in-person or remote) Un-moderated (online)
  • 18.  Ask to  Describe overall rationale for grouping cards  Show best example  What was difficult? What was easy?  Happy with final outcome?
  • 19.  Code cards = faster data analysis Look for patterns Excel Spreadsheet (Donna Spencer) Online tools - limited analysis Screenshot of OptimalSort online tool’s analysis - http://www.optimalworkshop.com/optimalsort.htm
  • 20. “They’ll LikeWhatever weMake”
  • 21.  Let’s test that  Usability test prototypes  Rapid, iterative cycles of design and evaluation  Web - feedback from on-site tools  Customer feedback/Help desk
  • 22.  Real users doing real tasks Using prototypes or live products Doing assigned tasks without guidance Observed closely http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/raphaelquinet/513351385/sizes/l/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/raphaelquinet/
  • 23.  Qualitative – not quantitative  actions + comments Series of small usability tests  3 participants each day  At least 3 days of testing  Changes made between testing days
  • 24. Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 PriorityTest & Level of Effort Update Test 1 High 2 Medium 3 Low
  • 25.  End of each day - after the last session Room with a whiteboard About 30 minutes Discuss  trends seen  concerns  recommendations  prioritize changes for the next round  list lower priority changes for future iterations
  • 26.  Final prototype  Vetted with users  Base for recommendations Light Report: “Caterpillar to Butterfly”  Screenshots show progressions  What changes were made and why
  • 27.  Traditional Testing In-Person Remote  Moderated or Un-moderated
  • 28. (Yes, this is an old idea; a great one!)
  • 29.  Small focused tests Reduce waiting for recruitment Once per week/sprint Same day mid-week Less users, shorter sessions: analyze at lunch  3 or more participants recommended  Half hour to 1 hour each
  • 30.  Make team aware Invite everyone Recurring meeting invites for stakeholders
  • 31.  Work in Progress Multiple projects Prototypes Concepts, rough ideas, brainstorming Competing designs, (A/B testing) Comparative studies across market Conduct interviews to inform research More…
  • 32. - Jeff Gothelf - http://blog.usabilla.com/5-effective-ways-for-usability-testing-to-play-nice-with-agile/
  • 33.  Team becomes  accustomed to steady stream of qualitative insight  ensures quick decisions  lines up with business and user goals Adapted from Jeff Gothelf - http://blog.usabilla.com/5-effective-ways-for-usability- testing-to-play-nice-with-agile/
  • 34.  “We are all only temporarily able-bodied. Accessibility is good for us all.” Spirit of the law  WCAG 2.0  Country specific (Section 508) -@mollydotcom at #stirtrek 2011 via @carologic
  • 35.  Test & Observation Rooms Any location will do  Conference rooms  Offices  Quiet corner of cafeteria  Remote Purchase software - always ready
  • 36.  Screener  Technology use/experience  Knowledge of topic Scripts/Guides Consent Forms Data Collection
  • 37. “Why would we need anything more?”
  • 38.  Great way to get quantitative information Questions  Words can have multiple meanings  Un-intended meanings Less people participate now than in past People save face  “It’s not that bad”, “It’s my fault” Vendors requesting Perfect 10
  • 39.  Too close to the project Know things others wouldn’t about product Concerns about ego, job, co-workers, etc. Not the intended user!
  • 40.  Studies have shown that testing 5-6 representative users of each user type will reveal 80% of usability issues. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000319.html Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox. Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users. March 19, 2000.
  • 41.  Identify repetition After pattern is found, continuation of study:  Adds cost  Delays reporting  Low probability of many new findings
  • 42.  Testing five users is always enough Can test anyone and have the same results Smaller groups equate better findings
  • 43.  Visual appearance is important  Must also be usable  Designed for users  Tasks able to be completed  Organized wellhttp://www.brainjuicer.com
  • 44. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaptainkobold/5181464194/sizes/o/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaptainkobold/
  • 45.  Costs more time and money How long will product be used? Less costly to find and correct issues than provide training to work around the problem
  • 46.  Time Money Can’t talk to our Customers Liability Not needed Invisible ROI
  • 47.  Be armed with  Facts  Questions Don’t just pick a method  What do you need to know?  What will the stakeholders respond to?
  • 48. 54
  • 49. @carologic slideshare.net/carologicspeakerrate.com/speakers/15585-caroljsmith
  • 50.  Albert, Bill, Tom Tullis, and Donna Tedesco. Beyond the Usability Lab Albert, Bill, Tom Tullis. Measuring the User Experience Beyer, Hugh. User-Centered Agile Methods (Synthesis Lectures on Human- Centered Informatics) Gothelf , Jeff. http://blog.usabilla.com/5-effective-ways-for-usability-testing-to- play-nice-with-agile/ Bias, , Randolph G. and Deborah J. Mayhew Cost-Justifying Usability: An Update for the Internet Age. Henry, S.L. and Martinson, M. Evaluating for Accessibility, Usability Testing in Diverse Situations. Tutorial, 2003 UPA Conference. Krug, Steve. Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems. Molich, Rolf. A Critique of “How to Specify the Participant Group Size for Usability Studies: A Practitioner’s Guide” by Macefield. Journal of Usability Studies. Vol. 5, Issue 3, May 2010. pg. 124-128. Nielsen, Jakob’s Alertbox. Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users. March 19, 2000. and Usability Evangelism: Beneficial or Land Grab? by Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D Ratcliffe, Lindsay and Marc McNeill. Agile Experience Design: A Digital Designers Guide to Agile, Lean, and Continuous. Rubin, Jeffrey and Dana Chisnell. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The $300 Million Button by Jared Spool