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5 tips for running usability tests

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You’re planning a new feature for your product; you need to know that it will work for your customers and meet the needs of your business.

Navigation, layout, messaging and styling are only some of the hidden dangers which could render your product dead in the water.

These types of usability issues can only be identified through some form of usability testing, but by taking an iterative approach to the design, you have the opportunity to fix them long before your feature is released.

‘Iterative usability testing’ is the process of conducting usability tests, on a regular basis, throughout the design and development lifecycle. It differs from more-formal testing because customers are involved at every stage of the project, rather than just at the end; it causes the design direction to change gradually, rather than in a huge panic at the end.

Here are 5 tips for running usability testing sessions.

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5 tips for running usability tests

  1. 1. 5 tips for running usability tests I00 SHAPES I00 S H A PES
  2. 2. 2 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands Introduction Iterative usability testing is an extremely useful tool when it’s baked into the design process.
  3. 3. 3 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands Introduction Real feedback from users will give the design team the valuable insights they need to shape the product into something your customers will love.
  4. 4. 4 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands Introduction Here are 5 tips for running usability tests.
  5. 5. 5 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands 1. Remember the incentives
  6. 6. 6 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands You need to thank people for their time and opinions. 1. Remember the incentives
  7. 7. 7 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands The usual way to do this is with incentives... 1. Remember the incentives
  8. 8. 8 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands On average, you can pay upwards of £50-£100 to be given to people upon completion of the test. 1. Remember the incentives
  9. 9. 9 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands However, with the preparing of the designs and scripts, it’s easy to forget the cash to pay your participants. 1. Remember the incentives
  10. 10. 10 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands Put a reminder in the calendar and get the incentives organised beforehand. 1. Remember the incentives
  11. 11. 11 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands 2. Make people feel welcome
  12. 12. 12 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands Get to know them a little, thank them for their time and generally make them feel comfortable. 2. Make people feel welcome
  13. 13. 13 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands Remind them that you aren’t testing them, rather the experience. 2. Make people feel welcome
  14. 14. 14 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands Encourage them to ‘think aloud’. 2. Make people feel welcome
  15. 15. 15 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands 3. People are late (and early)
  16. 16. 16 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands Make sure to plan plenty of time between sessions to reset. 3. People are late (and early)
  17. 17. 17 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands While participants have to wait, they need a place to sit if there’s an issue with the scheduling. 3. People are late (and early)
  18. 18. 18 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands 4. Be mindful of existing customers
  19. 19. 19 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands Using existing customers might be cheaper, but they will skip over usability issues which new customers might struggle with. 4. Be mindful of existing customers
  20. 20. 20 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands 5. Be wary of the seasoned tester!
  21. 21. 21 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands 5. Be wary of the seasoned tester! It’s possible that some people have already attended their fair share of testing sessions and are just going through the motions to get their incentive.
  22. 22. 22 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands 5. Be wary of the seasoned tester! Watch out for participants who are too eager to please!
  23. 23. 23 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands 5. Be wary of the seasoned tester! Or have an unusually impressive grasp of technical language!
  24. 24. 24 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands Thinking about embarking on a digital product design piece? Talk to us about how audience research can help to make it a success.
  25. 25. 25 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands +44 (0) 203 7738175 hello@100shapes.com I00 SHAPESUX & design for broadcast and media brands
  26. 26. 26 100 Shapes — UX & design for broadcast and media brands For advice and inspiration on effective UX & Design strategies visit: 100shapes.com/blog

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