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User Testing Tactics
 

User Testing Tactics

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User Testing Tactics for Startups - the "how to" you usually have to learn the hard way. Cindy Alvarez - http://www.cindyalvarez.com

User Testing Tactics for Startups - the "how to" you usually have to learn the hard way. Cindy Alvarez - http://www.cindyalvarez.com

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  • No one ever tells you HOW
  • Keeping testing cheap and easy means you won&#x2019;t put it off. <br /> Goal: always be ready to test within 1 week.
  • $700 = 8 users x $75 each, lunch for the moderators, bottled watter
  • Errors - online, the demo needs to work perfectly as a standalone - a single error may derail test entirely <br /> Body language - people who look uncomfortable while completing task wouldn&#x2019;t have done it if alone <br /> Tangents - be ready for someone who veers off into interesting territory
  • Splash screen = value prop make sense? <br /> 1st user experience = initial hurdle, if users don&#x2019;t make it through, may as well not build the rest of your product <br /> Share = good enough to share? (Eric Ries/IMVU &#x2018;this isn&#x2019;t cool enough to risk my rep sharing&#x2019;) <br /> Nav menus = do you see what you would expect?
  • Interested - for existing product, don&#x2019;t need to ask this, i.e. if you&#x2019;re building an auction site you&#x2019;d just test eBay. <br /> Complete initial setup - for single-page registrations, not necessary <br /> Core tasks - whatever task is in your elevator pitch
  • Interested - for existing product, don&#x2019;t need to ask this, i.e. if you&#x2019;re building an auction site you&#x2019;d just test eBay. <br /> Complete initial setup - for single-page registrations, not necessary <br /> Core tasks - whatever task is in your elevator pitch

User Testing Tactics User Testing Tactics Presentation Transcript

  • User Testing: The Gory Tactical Details Cindy Alvarez The Experience is the Product - http://www.cindyalvarez.com Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • What We’ll Cover • Why In-Person User Testing? • Methodology • Setting Up • Running the Test • Followup Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • My Background • 10 years running product design and product management for startups of various sizes • Designed/managed products used by millions on sites like Bank of America, American Express, AOL, PCWorld, US News, Sega.com • Average yearly user testing budget: $3,000 Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • What You Can Learn For $700 • How do people complete this task? • How well do they understand what they’re doing? • What issues are hidden by successful completion rates? • What would they not even dream of asking for? Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • Why Not Online Testing? Body Language Tangents Errors Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • When Should I Test? Now. • Test as soon as you’ve identified your 2-3 core use cases • Users don’t know your product isn’t complete • You only need the minimum pages to get through workflow - Paper, BalsamIQ, HTML - Think static, minimal, not all links need to work Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • 2 Core Use Cases + ... New product concept Splash screen Registration > 1 screen Entire first user Registration requires signup personal/financial info experience Distribution relies on social/viral Invite/share Validating minimum Navigation viable feature set menus Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • Minimize Effort • Existing market? Use a competitor site • Borrow HTML forms from other sites • Use screenshots for non-interactive parts of page Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • Methodology • 2-3 task-based use cases • 7-8 users • 45 minutes • Moderator + note-taker (or video) • $50-75 (Amazon GCs are easy) Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • Finding People • Craig’s List “gigs” section • 1-2 weekdays in advance • Provide a non-anon email address and voicemail • Ask for qualifiers (profession and city are good) • Plan for 10-15% “flake rate” • Allow extra time after 1st tester Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • Advance Prep • “Standard” computer setup in private room or isolated area • Test any recording equipment/software • Provide dummy “personal” info, credit card #s • Make templates for note-taking so it’s easier to line up feedback later Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • Moderator Intro • Act like a third party • Encourage “thinking out loud” • Explain upfront that this is NOT a working product, some things may not work Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • Example Test Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • QUESTIONS: • What do you think this product will do for you? • Would you be likely to continue on? • Why? TIP: Include dummy footer to pass basic “credibility gut-check” Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • “I Just Wouldn’t Use This” • Not understood or not useful? • Substitute? • Specific concern? • Do they use any sites/products in this category? • “Well, let’s pretend that you were curious about it and finish the tasks.” Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • TIP: Don’t skip any steps, even if they seem obvious. You don’t need to ask questions if none seem appropriate. Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • QUESTIONS: • What do you think “Connect Your Networks” means? • Have you seen something like this before? • What would you do next? Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • “I Have No Idea What to Do Next” • Does anything stand out? • What would you do in “real life”? • Acknowledge frustration • 3 Strikes, then “Actually, you’d click here.” How could that be clearer? Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • TIP: When there is hard- coded “personal” information, ask them to pretend it is theirs. QUESTIONS: • Has anything so far surprised you? Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • QUESTIONS: • Is this the type of information you were expecting to see? • What would you do next? TIP: Don’t stop users from clicking on “dead” links - find out why they were more interesting, then hit the Back button. Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • QUESTIONS: • What can you do on this page? • Why do you think the blue box is asking you to enter more information? • What do you expect to happen if you were to click one of the links in “In the News?” Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • “I Don’t Like this Color” • Legible? • Credible? • “I don’t think these are the final colors and graphics. Let’s focus on the task you’re trying to complete.” Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • QUESTIONS: • What can you do on this page? • Why do you think the blue box is asking you to enter more information? • What do you expect to happen if you were to click one of the links in “In the News?” Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • TIP: It’s OK to hack things like links to other sites, applications, etc. Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • QUESTIONS: • Would having this information make it easier for you to write an email to this contact? Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • QUESTIONS: • Is this what you expected to see when you clicked “Compose Email”? • If you had been on your own, how likely would you have been to go through this whole process? Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • Moderator Wrap-up • Ask for any additional feedback/ comments • Thank the user for their time • Ask for future participation Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • Followup • Share results internally ASAP • Prioritize issues that need fixing • Look for patterns in freeform user comments • Share results with testers who agreed to participate in future Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez
  • Questions? Send them to: cindy@cindyalvarez.com Sample templates for Moderator Script, Notetaking, and Craig’s List Ad available at http://www.cindyalvarez.com/resources/ UserTestingTactics.zip Copyright 2009 Cindy Alvarez