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  • 1. UX Bootcamp Christine Perfetti, Acquia @cperfetti The Logistics The schedule Ask questions as they occur to you Don’t surprise us on the evaluation form Please keep your laptop turned off unless we’re doing an exercise You’ll be working in groups of 3 Preferably with someone you don’t know
  • 2. Traditional usability tests A usability test involves putting your users in front of your product and observing what they do Exercise: A usability test of Disney.com
  • 3. Exploration: UsabilityTest Break into teams of 3 One person is the user Think aloud as you work Two people are the observers Observe silently and take notes After we perform the task, we’ll ask you to switch roles and do another task As the user... We’re evaluating the design, not you The answer is somewhere on the site If you experience problems, it’s not your fault You’re helping the observers learn more about the design problems You can stop the task at any time
  • 4. As the observer... Take notes as the user works Was the user successful? How did the user go about performing the task? Did they go to the search engine, what links did they click on? What obstacles did the user encounter? What confusion did they experience? Note things that worked well When you complete a task, say,“Got it!” Disney.com Scenario: Your 5-year-old niece has always wanted to go to Disney World.You have decided to take her there for a special vacation. Task Assignment: You are looking for a hotel within the park.You want it to be the cheapest hotel with access to the monorail.Which Disney World hotel would you choose to stay in? When you’re satisfied that you’ve found the answer to this question, say,“Got it.”
  • 5. Discussion How many users found the answer? What helped users succeed? What obstacles prevented them from finding what they wanted? What do you expect will happen when you test your product? Exercise: A usability test of Acquia.com
  • 6. Acquia.com Scenario: Acquia’s CEO,Tom Erickson, was interviewed last year about the power of open source Drupal and what’s driving the success of Acquia. Task Assignment: Find information on the Acquia web site about Tom’s view on the power of Drupal. When you’re satisfied that you’ve found the answer to this question, say,“Got it.” Exercise: A usability test of Amazon.com
  • 7. Amazon.com Scenario: Your job has been causing you a lot of stress lately, and you're looking for some relief from the tension that's been building in your back and shoulders. Task Assignment: Find a product, for under forty dollars, that will help relieve the tension in your back and shoulders. When you’re satisfied that you’ve found the answer to this question, say,“Got it.” Signs of content and design failure Back button Pogosticking Going to Search FAQs, Help, and Site Map
  • 8. Definition of Usability Basic definition of Usability Can users accomplish their goals with your product? Shades of gray: How effectively can users accomplish their goals? To make a product usable, we need to know, What are the company’s goals for the product? Who are the product’s users? What are the users’ goals? Do they have different goals? What we’ll cover How to complete all of the steps for a usability study Plan a study Create tasks Moderate a session Analyze the data Communicate the findings Quick-and-dirty techniques
  • 9. Study planning The study plan Provides a systematic approach to the testing process Serves as a blueprint for the test Facilitates communication and buy-in from stakeholders Addresses concerns or issues about the product and data to uncover Outlines project deliverables and timelines
  • 10. Topics to address Study’s goal Research questions and issues to explore User characteristics Study method Schedule Task list Data to collect Reporting strategy Hold a planning meeting At the beginning of the project, we hold a planning meeting with all product team members and stakeholders to discuss: An overview of the testing process Project scope Issues (risks and concerns) with the design Decide on number of users to study Testing schedule No surprises! Avoid the game of telephone
  • 11. Who should attend Product and design team members Marketing, engineering leads, and executives Any person who is involved in the design Issues, risks, and concerns What do you want to learn? Most studies aren’t purely exploratory The issues and research questions will drive the tasks and participants you choose Work with the design team and stakeholders to outline the research questions Vague statement: Will this work for users?
  • 12. Creating your tasks
  • 13. Designing tasks Tasks allow us to assess a product’s usability The tasks create a realistic context to observe the problems users encounter Interest affects behavior Users search more vigorously They are more likely to read the content They are willing to wait for downloads
  • 14. Traditional tasks Verb-based tasks Scavenger hunt tasks Verb-based tasks Ask users to do something specific Assess the product’s functionality Most common for evaluating software, hardware, and web applications
  • 15. Examples Respond to the email you just received from Edmund Boston Write a note to your mother Copy the text of this page to another document Send the message from Edmund to your friend, Lisa Pros and cons Positives: Test functionality Measure how different users perform the same task Negatives: Is this something users really do? Not taking the larger context of when/why users perform these tasks into account
  • 16. Scavenger hunt tasks Challenge users to find something specific Test users’ understanding of information Most common form of task used for information-rich web sites Examples You were at a party last week. The discussion turned to recipes for authentic Italian pasta dishes. Go to the Food Network site and find an Italian recipe for pasta. Of the bookcases on the IKEA site, find the ideal one for your living room.
  • 17. Pros and cons Positives: Test how well users find and understand information Measure how easy/difficult it is for different users to find the same information Negatives: Is this something users really do? Not taking the larger context of when/why users perform these tasks into account Creating verb-based tasks List out the things the product or design allows users to do Identify critical verbs from the list May need a logical order Create tasks for each verb Success is when the user completes the task
  • 18. What are Gmail’s verbs? Verb-based tasks Sign up for a new account Send mail to lisa@perfettimedia.com Attach a Word file to the message Add Lisa’s email to your address book Open and read Lisa’s reply Send a meeting invitation to Lisa
  • 19. Creating scavenger hunt tasks Surf site or product Find topic that could be of interest to users Create scenarios and questions to go with the topic Avoid “giveaway” words Success is when the topic is found Scavenger hunt tasks are verb-based tasks with the verb, “find” Finding IRS forms
  • 20. Scavenger hunt tasks Find the latest version of the 1099 form Will you be eligible to file your taxes online? What changes are planned for taxes in 2011? Exercise Brainstorm at least four tasks for the product or site you would like to evaluate They can be a combination of verb-based or scavenger hunt tasks Write one task per page Create a short scenario to set the context for each task You will use these tasks to test your product
  • 21. Testing exercise Break into groups of 3. Spend 10 minutes testing your product You can also pick another site to test After 10 minutes, switch roles Running a usability study
  • 22. Moderating a session How to reduce user anxiety How to maximize the information you get from each test How to get users unstuck Overview of a session Pre-test briefing (users and observers) Introduce users and observers Explain testing protocol to users Conduct test Mini Q&A session after each task General Q&A session at the end Debrief observers
  • 23. How WeTest Lab configuration Conference room Moderator Priorities Flight attendant Responsible for safety and comfort of passengers Sportscaster Doing the play-by-play Probing issues Maximizing information to observers Carolyn Snyder,“Paper Prototyping” (2003)
  • 24. Moderator Priorities Scientist Planning the study activities Gathering and prioritizing data Writing the reports Carolyn Snyder,“Paper Prototyping” (2003) Pre-test briefing We are testing the product, not you You can stop or take a break at any time It’s fine if you don’t complete a task Problems aren’t your fault What we are learning is valuable You’re allowed to give up
  • 25. Maximizing Information Verbally reinforce the action Observers may not see everything Respond to user vocalizations Hmmm, Aha, Oops Respond to user silence Take advantage of download time and pauses Summarize the users’ recent actions Ask what they will do next Questions to Ask Is that what you expected? What are you thinking? What are you trying to accomplish? What does XX mean to you? Can you say more about that?
  • 26. Getting Users Unstuck Facilitators must balance two responsibilities: gather as much information as possible and assist the user Help the user when: They show signs of frustration or discomfort The observers aren’t learning anything new Helping the user Move from general to specific Use questions rather than answers whenever possible Can you explain what you're trying to do? What do you think the next step is? Do you see anything on the screen that might help you? What do you think that button does?
  • 27. Provide encouragement Provide reassurance to a struggling user Note any user questions you don't answer Respond immediately to any user statements about their lack of ability At the end of a task Provide positive feedback on user's performance ("You're doing great!") Answer user's questions (when possible) Ask if user needs a break, a drink After a particularly stressful task Take a break Talk to user; assess how they're feeling
  • 28. End of session Q&A What are two things you liked about the product?! Helps turn the test session into a positive experience What are two things you would like to see improved about the product? Helps prioritize usability problems or unresolved issues Quick and Dirty Techniques
  • 29. Quick techniques 5 second test First click test Comprehension test 5 Second PageTests Quick and dirty technique for measuring content pages Takes less than 10 minutes to run Measures if content pages quickly convey their purpose
  • 30. Sharing your pictures online You want to post pictures online from your last vacation You are concerned that the upload process will be difficult How confident are you that you can upload photos quickly and easily?
  • 31. Sharing your pictures online You want to post pictures online from your last vacation You are concerned that the upload process will be difficult How confident are you that you can upload photos quickly and easily?
  • 32. Sharing your pictures online You want to post pictures online from your last vacation You are concerned that the upload process will be difficult How confident are you that you can upload photos quickly and easily?
  • 33. Not for the Home Page
  • 34. First ClickTest Useful method to assess where users first click on your site’s home or entry page Provide users with a specific task to complete when they arrive at the site By observing where users first click, it’s a clear indicator whether they’ll eventually be successful
  • 35. ComprehensionTest Pages containing complex content Such as policies or procedures How your product works User comprehension is imperative to their success Questions determine if users understand content
  • 36. Exercise: PracticeYour Moderation Skills
  • 37. Analyzing the data Analyzing the data Gather all observations Identify problems Prioritize problems based on importance and frequency Iterate the design
  • 38. Data analysis for exploratory tests Identify patterns of usability problems Group related observations together Prioritize the usability problems based on importance How widespread is the problem? How critical is the problem to fix? The KJ Method Named after Kawakita Jiro Consensus method for grouping and prioritizing usability findings Quickly determines most important observations Captures everyone’s perspective and observations
  • 39. Step 1: Organize the group Call together the group Only invite members of team who observed a test session KJ takes one hour Step 2: Decide on focus Every KJ has a focus question that drives the prioritization exercise: What are the biggest usability problems we observed in the test? What needs to be fixed in the product to improve the user experience?
  • 40. Step 3: List problems observed in test Step 4: Put observations on wall
  • 41. Step 5: Group the notes Step 6: Name each group
  • 42. Step 7: Choose and rank the groups Step 8: Voting
  • 43. Step 9: Order and discuss groups We order the groups based on number of votes, highest numbers at the top Participants combine groups and discuss identified priorities Advantages of method Writing down observations lets all team members contribute Prevents too much influence from select team members Identifies top priorities
  • 44. Exercise Conduct a KJ ? Airline check-in and flight experience What are the biggest problems that need to be fixed to improve the experience? Communicate the results
  • 45. The importance of communicating results Must convey important findings to the people responsible for making design changes Teams often underestimate the amount of communication necessary Plan a communication strategy before testing Success factors Communicate results quickly Debrief often Report to stakeholders and project team when they need it Don’t report too much information Determine best delivery method considering the needs of your different audiences No surprises!
  • 46. Methods for communicating results Informal Emails or internet dashboard with short memos of findings and recommendations Working meetings with project teams Integration with existing problem/bug reporting strategy Formal Presentations and workshops Highlight video Usability reports Email or internet dashboard Effective communication tool for sharing test results immediately After each day of tests, send a short email to design team with major observations from the day
  • 47. Working meeting When quick changes are required after a round of tests, schedule a one-hour meeting to share and prioritize the test results Review the usability test observations Determine next steps and short-term fixes Integrate with bug tracking Most organizations already have a method for collecting problem or bug reports Merge usability problems with other bugs Prevents having two tracking systems Helps determine relative importance of a problem
  • 48. Presentation and workshops 1-2 hour presentation with design team (and sometimes engineers, marketing, key stakeholders) Share most important usability findings based on prioritization of problems Effective communication technique People often ignore written communications Active involvement with design team and stakeholders Highlight videos 20-30 minute video capturing the most important findings from the usability test They can be helpful to convince stakeholders of problems Time consuming to produce and many teams don’t watch them
  • 49. A formal report A formal report may be necessary if: The usability study is being conducted by an external consultant The results won’t be implemented immediately The company culture demands it Reporting tips Describe findings in terms of user behaviors and expressed thoughts Include positive findings in addition to the negative findings Include screen (prototype) snapshots; the report has to stand alone Write clearly and concisely short to the point bulleted lists
  • 50. Focus of report Focus on: Important findings Data to support each finding Recommendations for each findings Relate your findings back to the focus of the study What did you learn about each of your issues? What else did you learn? What is working well? What needs to change?