10 things you should know about usability testing


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Everyone knows that their product should be "user friendly" but how can you tell if it is? Here are 10 things you need to know about conducting usability evaluations of your software.

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10 things you should know about usability testing

  1. 1. 10 things you need to know about usability testing Jana Sedivy
  2. 2. start testing right now #1
  3. 3. What most people do Oh well, too late to fix it now… We’ll fix it in the next release!
  4. 4. What you should do What an awesome product!
  5. 5. You can test with this Fully functioning product
  6. 6. Or this wireframes
  7. 7. Or even this! Paper prototypes
  8. 8. My personal preferred combo Balsamiq wireframes InVision App + (Total cost ~$100) (to make it clickable)
  9. 9. How NOT to do a usability test #2
  10. 10. Give a tour to a colleague http://bit.ly/12KsLo2
  11. 11. “So, what do you think?” http://bit.ly/19iHMxs
  12. 12. People will always ask for more stuff They might not be your target user Even though they don’t really want it So who cares what they think? You don’t want their opinion You want their data
  13. 13. Ask the right users #3
  14. 14. If these are your users http://bit.ly/16gRZse
  15. 15. Don’t ask his opinion (Even if he’s very smart)
  16. 16. Your users should not be hard to find #4
  17. 17. How to find users + 1) Customers! 4) 5) 2) Friends and family 3) Visitors to your web site +
  18. 18. (sometimes) Offer money
  19. 19. 6-8 participants is great But you can get away with 4-5 The problems you will find The problems you have resources to fix Credit: Steve Krug
  20. 20. If you can’t find any users… That might be a sign they don’t exist!
  21. 21. Define concrete tasks for users to complete and ask them to “think aloud” #5
  22. 22. Bad Good! “What are your thoughts about this screen?” “I’d like you to set up a conference call between John Smith and Sanjiv Rashad” Don’t expect users to just poke around
  23. 23. Tasks should Represent features you are building in the current/next sprint Be critical, frequent tasks Test your assumptions
  24. 24. 6-8 tasks is usually about right Reverse task order between participants
  25. 25. “What are you looking for here?” “Is that what you expected?” Ask them to “think aloud” “where do you think you would go to find this information?” “Does this situation come up often for you?”
  26. 26. SHUT UP! #6
  27. 27. 2 ears 2 eyes 1 mouth Use in those proportions!
  28. 28. Don’t listen to what users say #7
  29. 29. Pay attention to what they do! “I find this button confusing” Did they find it? Then it wasn’t THAT confusing… http://bit.ly/1atLJRr
  30. 30. Pay attention to what they do! Did they succeed in the tasks? If not, it’s not easy to use. http://bit.ly/11MeTmZ “This is pretty easy to use!”
  31. 31. What they do tells you what they have problems with http://bit.ly/11MeTmZ What they say helps you understand why
  32. 32. Don’t let participants speak for others #8
  33. 33. “What about you? Would you want to customize this? Tell me about it.” If you have the right people in your sessions they are qualified to speak for themselves.
  34. 34. Don’t explain why your system operates that way #9
  35. 35. “Well, if we did it that way, the search would not be scalable to tens of thousands of records.” http://bit.ly/12dOBde
  36. 36. In the “real world”, users won’t have you there to explain it. So you had better understand how they see things. “what the $*#&@!!?”
  37. 37. Remember, you are there to listen If you keep telling participants why they are wrong, they will stop talking.
  38. 38. There will be some tough calls to make It’s your job to consider the trade-offs afterwards.
  39. 39. Don’t write a report #10
  40. 40. The people you are doing this for should be there, live. All the stakeholders should attend Product manager Designer Lead engineer Then discuss afterwards
  41. 41. Make the test results part of your process Put big issues into Jira / Wiki / Bugzilla For smaller issues - have a bug called “Fix 80% of usability bugs”
  42. 42. Recommend: 2 hours every 6 weeks directly observing customers http://www.uie.com/articles/user_exposure_hours/
  43. 43. The fastest path to great UX is regular exposure to your users.
  44. 44. Thank you! jana@authenticInsight.com @janasedivy