Usability testing tips for UX Designers

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Slides from my talk at the Northern UX event in October 2013

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Usability testing tips for UX Designers

  1. 1. Usability Testing - Top Tips for UX Designers 28 October, 2013
  2. 2. “I'm gonna be the man who's havering to you.” The Proclaimers
  3. 3. Me and Skyscanner
  4. 4. Me Usability specialist 10 years in usability research 6 years in consultancy Used to write a blog (goodusability.co.uk) Took a „proper job‟ this year BBC, British Museum, Schuh, Covestor, Share Centre, lots of big banks (please don‟t hate me) etc. etc.
  5. 5. Skyscanner Europe‟s most popular flight comparison website 60m+ sessions per month (site and apps) 25m+ app downloads 70 currencies and over 30 languages Also cover hotels and car hire Over 250 employees and growing very very fast …and we‟re hiring UX people www.skyscanner.net/jobs
  6. 6. What I do at Skyscanner 1. Usability testing Design iterations Live website and apps International testing (not me yet) 2. Research Travel planning needs and behaviour Bury my head in analytics 3. Annoy everyone with my opinions
  7. 7. Our approach to usability testing
  8. 8. About Skyscanner Little and often Use meeting rooms (sometimes coffee shops) not labs Around 6 participants per study (always target users) Mostly use interview-based tasks Promote observation over reports
  9. 9. Top tips
  10. 10. Usability testing - top tips Doing something is better than doing nothing
  11. 11. Usability testing - top tips There‟s no one best way of doing usability testing You‟re always sacrificing something
  12. 12. Usability testing - top tips Empathy isn’t a science
  13. 13. Usability testing - top tips Remember: You‟re not like real people
  14. 14. Usability testing - top tips Every design is broken Yours isn‟t going to “pass”
  15. 15. Usability testing - top tips Comparing A to B? Get ready to make Design C
  16. 16. Usability testing - top tips Test the clarity of information Bad “Is this information clear?” Good “Tell me about this flight so I know the information is clear”
  17. 17. Usability testing - top tips A prototype gallows has to have rope
  18. 18. Usability testing - top tips Don‟t stop testing at the prototype stage
  19. 19. Usability testing - top tips Some issues are best ignored
  20. 20. Usability testing - top tips Is that even a word? Humanise observers “Dave‟s going to watch in another room”
  21. 21. Usability testing - top tips Learn your script then stop reading it
  22. 22. Usability testing - top tips Distance yourself from the design
  23. 23. Usability testing - top tips Don’t aim to prove anything
  24. 24. Usability testing - top tips Test tasks not features Go back to unused features at the end of the task/session
  25. 25. Usability testing - top tips Make the designer watch ..and all the people who make design decisions Image: PoliceLifestyle.com
  26. 26. Usability testing - top tips Keep it realistic……but remember, it‟s not real
  27. 27. Usability testing - top tips Don’t exhaust your empathy Small studies, short sessions, frontload your day
  28. 28. Usability testing - top tips Task 1 is most precious
  29. 29. Usability testing - top tips Find the balance Clear but leading task instructions Not leading but vague and confusing
  30. 30. Usability testing - top tips Put words in their mouth …when they don‟t have their own
  31. 31. Usability testing - top tips Avoid conveniently timed prompts “Now pretend you‟re bringing three children with you”
  32. 32. Usability testing - top tips Give the participant a punty
  33. 33. Usability testing - top tips Take few notes Watch instead
  34. 34. Usability testing - top tips Write pretend notes Make a „Stuff to ignore‟ section but don‟t write that on it
  35. 35. Usability testing - top tips Make tasks very specific Even when you don‟t need them to be “Choose a destination, it doesn‟t matter where” This is bad
  36. 36. Be human Relax and make miskates

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