The Importance of Contextual User Testing

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Slides from Vincent van Scherpenseel's talk at WebExpo 2013 in Prague.

Learnings obtained while conducting contextual user testing for SalesChamp. Includes best practices to apply and common pitfalls to avoid while performing contextual user testing.

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The Importance of Contextual User Testing

  1. 1. introduction learnings best practices conclusion contextual user testing assumption is the mother of all f#ck-ups. Vincent van Scherpenseel
  2. 2. introduction Contextual User Testing Testing within the context of the user.
  3. 3. introduction SalesChamp Tablet application for sales professionals. Track sales meetings Collect information Schedule appointments Sign contracts
  4. 4. introduction SalesChamp - 2013 redesign
  5. 5. learnings learnings
  6. 6. learnings Attention for the app our assumption The user is focused on the app.
  7. 7. learnings Attention for the app our assumption The user is focused on the app.
  8. 8. learnings Attention for the app our finding The app is merely an assistant.
  9. 9. learnings Attention for the app our finding The app is merely an assistant.
  10. 10. learnings Element visibility our assumption This button that appears, they surely can’t miss that.
  11. 11. learnings Element visibility our assumption This button that appears, they surely can’t miss that.
  12. 12. learnings Element visibility our finding Some users didn’t see it after 16 hours of use!
  13. 13. learnings Element visibility our finding Some users didn’t see it after 16 hours of use!
  14. 14. learnings Network coverage our assumption You either have coverage or you don’t.
  15. 15. learnings Network coverage our assumption You either have coverage or you don’t.
  16. 16. learnings Network coverage our finding Coverage is flaky.
  17. 17. learnings Network coverage our finding Coverage is flaky.
  18. 18. learnings Perception of action duration our assumption Making the app lightning fast will be enough.
  19. 19. learnings Perception of action duration our assumption Making the app lightning fast will be enough.
  20. 20. learnings Perception of action duration our finding It’s not just about how long an action takes. It’s about saying it.
  21. 21. learnings Perception of action duration our finding It’s not just about how long an action takes. It’s about saying it.
  22. 22. learnings Feature inspiration our assumption User testing would only validate features. our finding Every time the product evolved and we tested new features new ideas emerged.
  23. 23. best practices best practices
  24. 24. best practices Define your objectives Define your objectives and align your test sample.
  25. 25. best practices Be unobtrusive Never interfere.
  26. 26. best practices Include team members Don’t just share anecdotes. Take your developers, designers and other team members with you.
  27. 27. best practices Don’t just trust what a user says “No one on the team uses that feature.” vs. “I wouldn’t be able to live without that feature.”
  28. 28. best practices Add (quantitative) validation Never make changes to your product without validation in multiple tests.
  29. 29. best practices Take notes, photos and videos Pin them on a wall. Make it easy for everyone to remember what the context is like.
  30. 30. conclusion Just do it Bust your assumptions using Contextual User Testing to create better experiences.
  31. 31. conclusion Just do it Break paradigms, build bridges and improve experiences.
  32. 32. conclusion Just do it It’s fun to do!
  33. 33. thank you for your attention vincent van scherpenseel vincent@dotblue.nl www.dotblue.net (we are hiring!)

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