RAPID-
TURNAROUND
USABILITY TESTING:
NOT JUST
A PIPE DREAM


IA Summit 2010
Holly Phillips & Kyle Soucy
Over the last two years, we’ve
conducted 88 usability tests
together while doing rapid
design iterations and…

we’ve never...
Q. How do you get
   more customer input
   into your designs
   without the time and
   expense of
   traditional usabili...
A. Rapid-turnaround
   Usability Testing
RITE Usability Testing



                 e                  e
          R evis e           R evis e
   Test        otyp ...
How do you make
design decisions
based on only testing
1 person?
Process Overview

      Define Scope        Define Tasks          Prototype



2 week iteration       Conduct Testing


    ...
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       Con...
Benefits

• Team stays on the same page -- no working in
  a vacuum!
• Rapid feedback from end users
• Produces rapid findin...
Interview-based Tasks
Script
“Improv Testing” Process

1. Interview participant about how they use the
   product.
2. Use the answers given in the inte...
Benefits

•   Learn users true intent
•   Gain the insight and feedback that truly matters
•   No need to conduct an in-dep...
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...
Benefits

          Generalizations
          Jumping to solutions
          I'm right you're wrong.


                    ...
Benefits

          Generalizations
          Jumping to solutions
          I'm right you're wrong


                     ...
http://www.apw.cnyric.org/teacherpage3.cfm?teacher=438
Report Findings




•   fast-turnaround
•   no surprises
•   recommendations, not just problem
•   speeds up start of next...
Gotchas!
Gotchas!

• Not getting the team involved
• Not finding a moderator comfortable with
  interview-based tasks
• Not sticking...
Go for it.




             photo by nike
Thank You!
Rapid turnaround usability testing: not just a pipe dream
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Rapid turnaround usability testing: not just a pipe dream

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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

  1. 1. RAPID- TURNAROUND USABILITY TESTING: NOT JUST A PIPE DREAM IA Summit 2010 Holly Phillips & Kyle Soucy
  2. 2. Over the last two years, we’ve conducted 88 usability tests together while doing rapid design iterations and… we’ve never met before now!
  3. 3. Q. How do you get more customer input into your designs without the time and expense of traditional usability testing?
  4. 4. A. Rapid-turnaround Usability Testing
  5. 5. RITE Usability Testing e e R evis e R evis e Test otyp Test otyp Test Prot Prot
  6. 6. How do you make design decisions based on only testing 1 person?
  7. 7. Process Overview Define Scope Define Tasks Prototype 2 week iteration Conduct Testing Debrief Report/Present Findings Revise Prototype
  8. 8. Key to Success… Attendance of product decision makers during testing!
  9. 9. A different way to think about usability testing…
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. Interview-based Tasks
  13. 13. Script
  14. 14. “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?”
  15. 15. 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!
  16. 16. Observer Debriefing
  17. 17. Why debrief? photo by agit8
  18. 18. How to debrief • Do nothing • Informal discussion • Affinity diagramming.
  19. 19. • Structured • Quote/Observation • Implication:  H2, W4, Wif • Round-robin or lead + additions • After every 3-6 respondents.
  20. 20. Benefits Generalizations Jumping to solutions I'm right you're wrong. photo by subboard.com
  21. 21. Benefits Generalizations Jumping to solutions I'm right you're wrong photo by subboard.com Different perspective ootb thinking Immediate "transcript" and importance.
  22. 22. http://www.apw.cnyric.org/teacherpage3.cfm?teacher=438
  23. 23. Report Findings • fast-turnaround • no surprises • recommendations, not just problem • speeds up start of next round of designs.
  24. 24. Gotchas!
  25. 25. Gotchas! • Not getting the team involved • Not finding a moderator comfortable with interview-based tasks • Not sticking to the structure in the debrief.
  26. 26. Go for it. photo by nike
  27. 27. Thank You!
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