Rapid turnaround usability testing: not just a pipe dream
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Rapid turnaround usability testing: not just a pipe dream



This was presented at the IA Summit in Phoenix, AZ. ...

This was presented at the IA Summit in Phoenix, AZ.

Talk Abstract: Is your usability testing always attached to a design project? And does it require a fair amount of planning, time, and resources to accomplish? Time for the designer to come up with his business questions and create a few prototypes; time for the researcher to develop an applicable discussion guide; time for the moderator to conduct the interviews, create and review the transcripts, make sense of it all, and finally come out with some solid
findings and recommendations? If so, you’re in the norm. But there’s a better way that can enable you to get more insight quicker, cheaper, and with fewer people and headaches.

This talk will describe how, with a little planning and a few innovative techniques, you can conduct regular, fast-turnaround usability interviews with
a shoestring staff and budget. You can provide timely feedback to designers, uncover surprising problems with your site, and capture rich customer quotes – and do this week after week.

By scheduling regular customer interviews regardless of the project timing, you can start to condition your designers and project managers to expect to be able to get customer input whenever they want. And exploring customers’ “native tasks” can give insights about parts of the site you and your designers would never even think to ask about. Finally, the unique debrief methodology will
greatly simplify the analysis process, enabling you to quickly produce Findings and Recommendations that will be already bought-into by the team.

This talk is aimed at IA’s, Usability professionals, and designers who want to learn how to get more customer input into their designs without the hassle,
time, and expense of traditional usability interviews.

You will walk away from this talk with a practical plan-of-action and some new techniques for conducting rapid-turnaround usability testing.



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Rapid turnaround usability testing: not just a pipe dream Rapid turnaround usability testing: not just a pipe dream Presentation Transcript

  • Over the last two years, we’ve conducted 88 usability tests together while doing rapid design iterations and… we’ve never met before now!
  • Q. How do you get more customer input into your designs without the time and expense of traditional usability testing?
  • A. Rapid-turnaround Usability Testing
  • RITE Usability Testing e e R evis e R evis e Test otyp Test otyp Test Prot Prot
  • How do you make design decisions based on only testing 1 person?
  • Process Overview Define Scope Define Tasks Prototype 2 week iteration Conduct Testing Debrief Report/Present Findings Revise Prototype
  • Key to Success… Attendance of product decision makers during testing!
  • A different way to think about usability testing…
  • Where’s the “rapid” in the process? Define Scope Define Tasks Prototype 2 week iteration Conduct Testing 3 DAYS! Debrief Report/Present Findings Revise Prototype
  • Benefits • Team stays on the same page -- no working in a vacuum! • Rapid feedback from end users • Produces rapid findings and recommendations • Team consensus on product changes • Saves time and money • Ingrains usability testing into the design and development process
  • Interview-based Tasks
  • Script
  • “Improv Testing” Process 1. Interview participant about how they use the product. 2. Use the answers given in the interview to create tasks on the fly. When in doubt just ask, “what was the last thing you did when you used this product? Can you show me?”
  • Benefits • Learn users true intent • Gain the insight and feedback that truly matters • No need to conduct an in-depth task analysis • The unexpected -- enjoy the ride to enlightenment!
  • Observer Debriefing
  • Why debrief? photo by agit8
  • How to debrief • Do nothing • Informal discussion • Affinity diagramming.
  • • Structured • Quote/Observation • Implication:  H2, W4, Wif • Round-robin or lead + additions • After every 3-6 respondents.
  • Benefits Generalizations Jumping to solutions I'm right you're wrong. photo by subboard.com
  • Benefits Generalizations Jumping to solutions I'm right you're wrong photo by subboard.com Different perspective ootb thinking Immediate "transcript" and importance.
  • http://www.apw.cnyric.org/teacherpage3.cfm?teacher=438
  • Report Findings • fast-turnaround • no surprises • recommendations, not just problem • speeds up start of next round of designs.
  • Gotchas!
  • Gotchas! • Not getting the team involved • Not finding a moderator comfortable with interview-based tasks • Not sticking to the structure in the debrief.
  • Go for it. photo by nike
  • Thank You!