UCD & Usability testing at the St. Augustine Campus
OverviewUser Centered Design practicesUsability Test?!!!Planning your Usability TestFinal word on UT and Usability.
Usability in ContextIf web development isn’t driven by an alignment ofsustainable technology, user driven content andbusiness driven goals, the corporate Web presence willeither fail to meet the organization’s business goals, betroubled by expensive technology challenges or simplyailienate core users! - G.A Buccholz, Web Strategist Usability must be complimented by strategy
User centered DesignA project based design approach thatputs the intended users of a site atthe centre of its design anddevelopment. Know your audience - Lenny Bruce, Comedian
Typical UCD workﬂow1. Define both the business’ and users’ goals & objectives2. Research site for development, amass necessary content, plan wireframes and develop sitemap3. Develop and (perform technical) testing of prototypes4. Evaluating design alternatives5. Test the site with users6. Analyze usability problems7. Propose and integrate solutions.
Experience DesignA design approach that focuses on thecreation of experiences that producedesired perceptions, cognition, andbehavior among their clients’ “users,”“customers,” “visitors,” or Web Design Tip“audiences.”
The Designer’s viewMost good (front end) designers are nothostile to idea of usability testing. In factthey like the idea of providing sound designto shoot down the ridiculous ideas fromclients (internal and external) - David Jarvis, Sr Front End designer
the usability “Did you knows?”• 45% of users abandon Websites with poor navigability, slow response times and confusing content• 35% of users who experience on a particular site leave that site for a competitor’s site.• 52% of companies make no attempt to measure whether users are successful in finding what they want.• Conversion rates can be increased by 40% by improving user experience on e-commerce sites• Product development cycles can be reduced by 33-50% by incorporating usability engineering methods - stats courtesy Triangle Tech Journal
User research Methods• Usability Testing• Contextual Interviews• Online Surveys• Individual Interviews• Focus Groups• Card sorting
What is a Usability Test? 1. A means to measure how well people can use some human made object (e.g web page, a computer interface, a document or device) for its intended purpose 2. A to determine how well people can use a product.
What is Usability Testing?• It is an iterative test whereby real users personally interacting with the product• It does not involve focus groups, surveys, market trials or even product (in this case, a site) release followed by feedback forms• It is not based on collecting information on opinions but observing and documenting patterns of behaviour user interaction.• It’s a user centred design (UCD) practice
How does it workA user is presented with a real scenario and he/she isasked to perform a variety of tasks.Observers (including the project team) either viewing in asecondary location or at some latter point must Record notes on what the user says or does. Collect data on paths users take to complete tasks Identify what problems and deadly errors user encountered When and where, users/testers were confusedThe information is collected and used duringthe site redesign/revision processes
Why conduct A Usability Test?Simply to understand the dynamics of your own websiteTo find out how the user interacts with your website (i.e.usage patterns)To identify problems and difficulties users encounterwhen using their websiteTo identify what works or what needs to bereconfigured.
UT Project WorkFlowPlanDevelop your UT proposal, the guiding document for your UTproject. Identify website(s) and/or back end application whichwill be the focus of the test. Define short term objectives andlong term goals.AnalyseSegment and Define your target audience, Develop personas,recruit participants.DesignDesign site, develop scenarios & tasks and post testquestionnaireTest and RefineTest, collect data, prepare report and refine or redesign.
Required ResourcesHuman Resources Usability Test Lead/Organizer - this person will lead all planning activities. Communicates with the various groups within the project team. Involved in recruiting/screening activities. Works with the project team to plan scenarios. Briefs primary team ands observers on their respective roles. Project Team - Department manager, Marketing Manager, web team, front end designer(s) (UI D or graphics artist), back end developer. All actively supporting organization activities. UT Primary Test Team - UT Facilitator and A/V Tech UT Assistant - will assist UT lead, (in some cases) interviews prospective recruits, confirms participation of recruits and invited observers, puts together packages for observers, preparing UT flash cards and initially greeting and introducing testers to facilitator.
Required ResourcesLogistics and Tech Requirements Computer lab/ or open room (eg. an office). The room must have reliable internet access. If the room doesn’t have a computer, source a laptop. The room should be large enough to comfortably accommodate, tester, faciltator and AV Support - Make arrangements to have the session tapped A separate or adjoined conference room for observers. It would be better if the footage was viewed in its entirety at some point time after testing. When all observers can all meet.Other Resources Funds
Set a BudgetExpense Item Cost* Recruiting Costs $0.00 - $250 USVideo Taping Cost $500 - $900 USGift or Monetary incentive(x 8 or x 5) < $100US (x 5/x8)Computer lab/Room Rental $?.00(x no of days required)Stipend for UT facilitator < $50USStationery(notepads, flash cards, etc) $25.00 - $50 US
Deﬁne AND SEGMENT Your Website’s Target AudienceIf we want to test the Arthur Lok JackGraduate School of Business Website, ourTarget Audience consists of:Usual suspects Prospective Students Current Students Current ALJ Faculty & Staff Prospective ALJ Faculty & Staff Alumni VisitorsThe often Overlooked suspects Visitors - Visiting Guest Speakers, Local and foreign Faculty, Professionals/Business persons, HR Managers, Goverment Agencies, foreign Research Students, Media Greater UWI Staff - Faculty & Admin
Conduct a Task Analysis After segmenting your site’s audience: Assemble your working project team - content developers and site developers to do a task analysis. What is it? A Task analysis allows you to learn about your users goals—what they want to do at your Web site-and your users ways of working. Task analysis can also mean figuring out what more specific tasks users must do to meet those goals and what steps they must take to accomplish those tasks.
Personas and RecruitsBased on size of test - recruit 5-8 participants.A several studies on UTesting have shown that 5-8users typically discover 80% of problems within a giveninterface*Based on your target audience, Develop a userpersona for each of your prospective testers (utparticipants):User Persona - A Profile which accurately fits the a typeof user who commonly use the websiteThe User persona represents one of the main groups ofusers you have identified as being apart of your targetaudience.
Sample Persona for ALJ Graduate school of Business websiteUser:Ms. Diana SmithTarget GroupProspective Post Grad MBA StudentProfession & QualiﬁcationsMedia Buying Assistant, Ogilvy Maher,Trinidad. B.A. UVI “I want to ﬁnd aKey Attributes Masters (business)task oriented, focused on details, career driven programme either here in theInternet Experience Level Caribbean orIntermediate -IM’s and occasionally updates abroad whichher facebook and LinkedIn pages but mostlyemails, does work related research. Has DSL bests suits myat work, Dial up at home. Seldom uses the chosen careerinternet at home. track.”Experience with UWI websiteLimited exposure - visited UWI St. Augustine postgrad website twice
Recruiting UsersFinding users/testers: Recruit by placing notices on your websiteor ads in the paper. Enlist the assistance of people you know in order to findprospective testers. But don’t recruit close family or friends.Use a Screening Questionnaire: An important tool forscreening and recruiting qualified participants who will accurately fit yourrespective users’ persona.For each recruit, recruit 2 alternatives.In case, your 1st choice can not make the test and/or for the purpose of followup testing. Note: If you are testing a new site NEVER user the original testersfor a follow up UT.Contracts & consent formsOnce you have chosen your UT testers - ask them to sign a special UWIapproved Usability Test Contract of Services and/or Video Tape ReleaseForm - see folder for samples.
Recruiting UsersDon’t be lazy!!!! Recruit persons who are apart of your target audience and are or will be actual users of the site you want to test. The most common result of not recruiting the right people - false results. The members of your IT team/ or web team are most likely not going be the main users of your website so why would you use them for this type of test. Once more, you are not developing for your needs but your target audiences’.
Organize Your testing TeamPrimary Testing Team (team involved in administering test orinteracting with tester) UT Facilitator, AV Technician, UT Test AssistantObservation TeamUsability Test Observers include Website development team - Web Design & Development Team and Marketing (website and content developers) Local web administrators - persons within department responsible for managing and updating content. Subject matter specialists - persons within department responsible for developing and providing web content Managers - IT department, Marketing Department and the Department’s Management (eg ALJ Director, Marketing Officer)
orient your testing TeamPrimary test Team RolesThe Facilitator Greets and takes care of test participant. Makes the user feel comfortable. Presents scenarios & tasks and asks post test questions Encourages users to verbalise what they are doing (the process) as well as their frustrations and issues Observes and listens carefully the participant Patiently waits for user to complete task. Moves the tester to the next scenario if they become stuck for an extended period. Set a maximum time limit for each scenario. A facilitator should never prompt a user, drop hints or rush the testerAudio/Video Technician Tape session (monitor recording equipment) Note: Before the test, instruct the technician to keep the camera focused on the screen during the testing session, so you can capture what the user is doing.
Usability Measurements Time on task How long it takes for the user(s) to complete basic tasks? Accuracy How many mistakes did the user(s) make? Recall How much does a person remember afterwards or after a period of non-use? Emotional Response How does the user feel about the tasks completed?The information collected in these 4 areas (during your first test)should be used as a comparative baseline for further testing.
TesterUser:Mr. Lisle WaldronTarget groupStaff MemberProfessionAV Tech, School of EducationInternet Experience LevelExpert
Planning ScenariosScenario: A scenario is a short story about a specific userwith a specific goal at your site.Scenario Planning Guidelines:• Understanding (information) Consumer behaviour: Include general questions, in your screen questionnaire, to find out more about the user, their surfing behaviours and overall (consumer) interests. This information will be a boon during scenario planning.• Tailor Scenarios!: When developing a scenario it should be designed to resonate with the user/tester, mirroring their own experiences and needs.• Presenting a user with entirely alien scenarios will affect baseline results particularly recall and accuracy.
Presenting The ScenarioAvoid tester fatigue: During a single user testing session,present the user/tester a maximum of 3 scenarios Or you can break a single scenario into three parts Maximum Time given to complete a single task within a given scenario - 10 minutes.Instruct facilitator, at the start of each testing session, toreset the first screen to a page that is offsite, eg searchengine or a portal.(eg. Yahoo, MSN or Google). Mostusers have the home pages of theses websites set as theirbrowser’s default home page.Never start at the pages/site you want to test!
Setting the TasksYour task analysis is a key referencepoint when you are developing thescenario and related tasks for thedifferent users/testersUse Full-scale, task scenarios The scenario presents a goal and steps are included to accomplish the task. A full-scale scenario can either report all the steps that a specific user takes today to accomplish the task, or it can describe the steps you plan to set up for users in the new site. They lay out the steps from the users point of view rather than from the Web sites point of view. They explain how the site may support the goal-oriented scenarios that you started with.
Guidelines for UT Observers Be Unbiased - don’t judge users or their methods of finding information. If biased observers should opt out. Focus on what users are doing, their actions and the route they take to seek out the requested information. Be quiet - if you are talking or making comments during a test you aren’t focusing on the user and what they are doing. Take notes - all observers should take careful notes. Your notes will help the project team when they are compiling & evaluating the results. It may seem pointless but note everything that the user is doing. What others may miss, you may catch.
Post-Test Interview QuestionsYou want to get testers’ impressions of the site after they have interacted withit. You can use: • open-ended questions • closed questions using radio buttons, check boxes, or a Likert scale (rating something on a numerical scale) • a standardized satisfaction questionnaireIf you are going to ask open ended questions, ask questions which are not biased, or attempt tobias the user.Example questions: • What is your overall impression of the site? • How would you describe finding what you were looking for on this site today? • What is your impression of the search capability? • What did you like best about the Web site? • What did you like least about the Web site?
Collecting Qualitative dataFor your report: You require two things qualitative notes and qualitative dataData to be collected • Success measures. Indicate in the report how you will determine "success" for each scenario. • Time measures. Total time to complete the scenario? Separate time figures for navigating and for understanding [time spent on content pages]? Time to recover from an error?) • Error measures. Measure errors and what you would count as an error. • Number Pages. Count the number of clicks or pages visited before finding information. • Pathway. Indentify users paths through the Web site. • Satisfaction Rating. Administer a satisfaction questionnaire to evaluate impressions and gage satisfaction levels.
TIPS for TestingWhen collecting results of the test give more weight tothe actual testing session than post test questioninterview session.Conduct focused usability tests - i.e. a test which studiesa single site or 1 website and directly related sites.These smaller tests reduce your budget, require maximumof 5 users and yield better results. You will also be able toconduct followup tests after redesignLather. Rinse. Repeat.: Test. Revise. Test.Gather your baseline results, incorporate design changesbased on your observations and once revision or redesignis complete. Then Retest.
About Usability• Mimicry without understanding is not usability.• Usability is a coordinated effort• Usability relies on a team effort • If the vision and design goals of the front end designer (or f/e team)/ webteam are not shared by back-end applications team, the site will ultimately not be very user friendly. • If the plan for the interface is inhibited by limited by an inflexible back end, usability will not be achieved. • If objectives are not communicated/or input not sought or adopted across the project team, the site will undoubtedly not be very user friendly.• Usability requires real-time maintenance.• Usability is always a work in progress.• Consistent usability is key.
Usability in ContextCreating a positive user experience should not be takenlightly. After all it’s about creating business valuethrough leveraging metrics, heuristics, usability testing,copy-writing, information architecture, interface design,information design, workﬂow and cross browsercompatibility.In layman’s termsMaking our sites (or applications) useful, usable and user friendlyencourages our users to readily return to it and continue using it.Consequently UWI will further be able to build long standingrelationships with our clients (end users) through our websites.