Session• About me• What – Is usability?• When - Process and techniques overview• How - Techniques explained and how to adapt in-house• Why - Common usability requirements and how to solve• Usability examples and questions
About me• Graduated as Product Designer• Have worked in various industries working with IT projects• Intranet manager for 5 years• Trained in usability• Working full time as Senior User Experience Consultant for SimpleUsability Ltdfi_harwood
About SimpleUsability• SimpleUsability is a behavioural research consultancy• We combine a unique methodology with the latest technology to provide invaluable insight and add value to our clients’ businesses• Established in 2001, twelve strong team• Core experience lies in retail, travel & leisure and financial services sectors
What is Usability? • Usefulness • Learnability • Effectiveness • Efficiency • Memorability • Errors • Satisfaction
How – Overview of usability techniques• Expert reviews• User testing• Eye tracking• Card sorting• Paper prototyping• Field studies
How – Other methods• Focus Groups – Don’t always do what they say they do – Doesn’t encourage the quiet user – Listening to rather than observing users• Web analytics – Don’t know why• Email feedback / surveys / panels – Super user, committed to the cause and not the average user
How – Expert ReviewsPros:• Catches many usability problems before testing takes place• Cost effective• Actionable report for project teamProblems:• Needs to be followed up by user testingWhy?• How do we compare?• What’s working, what’s not?
How – User TestingPros:• Testing on real users• Observe behaviourProblems:• Software investment• Requires trained moderatorsWhy? Screen capture software http://www.techsmith.com/morae.html• How easy is the user journey?• What are the main barriers?• How is a particular part working?
How – Usability methodology• Concurrent Think Aloud o Encourage the user to say what they are thinking o Use unfinished questions, you were expecting o Gets feedback there and then• Retrospective Think Aloud o Play back video or repeat a path how to the user and ask them what why what they were thinking at the time task end wrap o Allows user to naturally complete the task
How – Eye TrackingPros:• Totally natural• Relaxed, detailed feedback• Proven effectiveness• Evidence based resultsProblems:• Requires expert moderation• InvestmentWhy?• How do users interact naturally?• What are users missing?
About Eye Tracking• Lots of scary ways to do it.
About Eye Tracking Eye Tracking Monitor• The non-invasive way• More accurate• Works with glasses / contact lenses Live View of the Eye Tracking
How – Card SortingPros:• Get real users to design the IA• Solve categorisation problemsProblems:• Needs large number of participants• Needs analysisWhy?• How should I structure the site?• What should I call this label? Donna Spencer http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/
How – Paper PrototypingPros:• Quick• CheapProblems:• Needs to be followed up by more testing of the actual interfaceWhy?• How can I quickly check if a workflow makes sense to users? Caroline Snyder http://www.paperprototyping.com/about.html
How – Field StudiesPros:• User is relaxed in their own environment• Can be done in the office environment• Moderator gets to observe the system used in situationProblems:• Investment in time to go out of the office• Testing will not be controlledWhy?• What external effects are there on the user journey?
How – Moderation• Be neutral • Don’t blame the user or defend the design• Acknowledge • Let the user get on with the task but encourage them if necessary • Listen and react• Know when to intervene • Don’t let a user suffer but a user struggling to complete a task can give you the evidence that you need• Users who want to talk (and not want to talk)• Watch your language (and your body language)• Open ended questions
How – Moderation• The alternative guessing game – One person is the moderator – One person is the user• Rules – Only questions that will result in an answer of more than 3 words – Can’t ask a question that will result in the answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – Try and ask as few questions in order to guess the object
How – Moderation – How to ask why• Open ended questions• What worked? • Can • Would • What• What didn’t work? • Is • Did