Joan Winchester - Usability Testing on a Dime


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"Usability Testing on a Dime: What, Why, and How" was presented as part of the Center for Health Literacy Conference 2011: Plain Talk in Complex Times by Joan Winchester, Consultant, Center for Health Literacy.

Description: Learn the basics of using cost-efficient field testing to find out whether your website or document works. Learn why field testing is important and gain insight into how people really receive your messages. Learn how to write and deliver a successful field testing interview.

Published in: Education, Technology, Design
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Joan Winchester - Usability Testing on a Dime

  1. 1. Usability Testing Workshop Joan Winchester Plain Talk in Complex Times September 22, 2011
  2. 2. Usability Spigot <ul><li> </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Usability Testing? <ul><li>Usability testing is a method of evaluating a website or document by observing users as they use it. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Usability testing can measure <ul><li>Ease of use </li></ul><ul><li>Readability </li></ul><ul><li>Visual consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Task time </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to meet intended purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to accomplish user’s goal </li></ul><ul><li>Appeal </li></ul><ul><li>Is it user friendly? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it easy to understand? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the design good? </li></ul><ul><li>How long does it take? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it do what it is supposed to? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the user get what he needs from it? </li></ul><ul><li>What does the user think of it? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why do usability testing? <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>To find out the site or document works </li></ul><ul><li>To make sure it is readable, easy to use and friendly </li></ul><ul><li>To use the findings to make changes </li></ul><ul><li>To save money </li></ul>
  6. 6. Save money?
  7. 7. How is usability testing done? <ul><li>First, figure out what you want to know. </li></ul>Is it clear? Can the user navigate easily? Can the user fill in the boxes correctly? Is it easy to read? Is the vocabulary too high level? Is the tone welcoming and friendly?
  8. 8. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Websites
  9. 9. The Introduction: Why <ul><li>We would like to know how easy or hard it is to fill out this application. </li></ul><ul><li>We want to see how people will use this site. </li></ul>
  10. 10. What <ul><li>I am going to ask you to read this form and answer some questions. </li></ul><ul><li>I’ll have you fill out a section or two while I watch. Feel free to think out loud! </li></ul>
  11. 11. How <ul><li>Remember, it’s OK to get something wrong or have trouble – we are trying to find out whether this document/site is easy or hard to use! </li></ul>
  12. 12. How long <ul><li>This will take about 45 minutes. </li></ul>
  13. 13. How much <ul><li>At the end of our session, I will give you $35 in cash. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Questions <ul><li>Focus on three or four major problems or issues </li></ul><ul><li>Decide if you want just the “big picture” or detailed information </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the right questions to get the information you need </li></ul>
  15. 15. The home page
  16. 16. As they go <ul><li>What are you thinking? </li></ul><ul><li>What are you looking at/doing now? </li></ul><ul><li>What would you do next? </li></ul><ul><li>Is that what you expected to happen when you clicked that? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you tell me why you decided to do that/go there? </li></ul>
  17. 17. For a document <ul><li>Read this sentence out loud. Can you tell me in your own words what it is saying? </li></ul><ul><li>Please indicate for EACH person listed on this application any health coverage, including Medicare or Medicaid, in effect within 24 months prior to the proposed effective date of this coverage. Each person applying for coverage must be listed below. If no health care coverage was in effect within the past 24 months, please indicate NONE. If coverage is provided for a dependent from a previous marriage or relationship, please attach a copy of the court documentation showing who is responsible for the dependent(s)’ health care coverage so that the insurer can determine whose coverage is primary. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Tasks and Scenarios <ul><li>Find </li></ul><ul><li>Order </li></ul><ul><li>Fill in </li></ul><ul><li>Pretend you are applying for </li></ul><ul><li>What if you need to? </li></ul><ul><li>You are trying to </li></ul>
  19. 19. Test the vocabulary <ul><li>What would you do here? </li></ul><ul><li>NOT </li></ul><ul><li>Can you complete the section below? </li></ul>
  20. 21. Be supportive and encouraging <ul><li>This is exactly what we need. </li></ul><ul><li>Your comments are very helpful. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Do you like this or that?
  22. 24. Recruiting test participants <ul><li>DO decide how much domain knowledge is necessary </li></ul><ul><li>DO recruit the right people </li></ul><ul><li>DO plan how much and how you will pay </li></ul><ul><li>DO know what you will do about no shows or extras </li></ul><ul><li>DO make all necessary arrangements and schedules </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>DON’T recruit people who have worked on the site or document or know it well </li></ul><ul><li>DON’T think you need large samples </li></ul>
  23. 25. Remember <ul><li>&quot;It takes only five users to uncover 80% </li></ul><ul><li>of high-level usability problems&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Jakob Nielsen </li></ul>
  24. 26. How should you prepare for testing? <ul><li>Make it easy to take notes </li></ul><ul><li>Use check boxes </li></ul><ul><li>Leave space for comments </li></ul><ul><li>Keep everything together </li></ul><ul><li>Assemble materials and cash envelopes </li></ul>
  25. 27. Good facilitators get good results! <ul><li>A good facilitator… </li></ul><ul><li>Is friendly and welcoming </li></ul><ul><li>Puts the participant at ease </li></ul><ul><li>Has a professional demeanor </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on exactly what the designers / writers want to know </li></ul><ul><li>Probes and clarifies </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps the participant on task </li></ul><ul><li>Avoids leading the participant or supplying answers </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps the test interesting – and keeps it moving </li></ul><ul><li>Will not let personal opinions or beliefs about the product influence results </li></ul><ul><li>Finishes each test in the allotted time </li></ul><ul><li>Is consistent across testing, doing it the same way every time </li></ul>
  26. 28. Before you test <ul><li>Practice! </li></ul>
  27. 29. Where should you test?
  28. 30. Have a schedule <ul><li> TESTING INTERVIEW SCHEDULE </li></ul><ul><li>TIME ROOM 1 ROOM 2 </li></ul><ul><li>9:00 Sally Jones Sam Smith </li></ul><ul><li>10:00 Meg Green Bill Taylor </li></ul><ul><li>11:00 R Garcia Ty Willis </li></ul><ul><li>12:00 Lunch Lunch </li></ul><ul><li>1:00 Mrs. Elliott Harry Lauder </li></ul>
  29. 31. What should you do with the results? <ul><li>Plan how you'll disseminate the results </li></ul><ul><li>Write a quick list when the session is fresh in your mind </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze the data </li></ul><ul><li>Draw conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Create your final report – including quotations and suggestions </li></ul>
  30. 32. <ul><li>&quot;Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” </li></ul><ul><li>Antoine de Saint Exupery </li></ul>