JN 553Assessing Community JournalismUsability testing
RECALL from your reading According to Jakob Nielsen, usability testing with FIVE people can uncover ____ percent of your problems.a.65b.75c. 80d.90
What is usability testingA process that employees people as testing participants who are representative of the target audience, to evaluate the degree to which a product meets specific usability criteria. THE MOM TEST… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKru8BK4P58 USABILITY TEST ON CAMPUS WEBSITE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-OC1_QxIdw&feature=related
Why usability? Informs the site’s designHighlights design problems and frustration Improves profitability
Types of usability studies Exploratory test: conducted prior to product designAssessment test: Conducted early or midway into the product development (test “lower‐level” operations)Verification test: Close to or after release of product – usually tested against a “benchmark”
Skills needed:Good rapport with participants (empathetic) Excellent memory Good listener Flexibly, comfortable with ambiguity Long attention span
Basics on usability methodRecruit participants: Acquaintances OK, but best not to be close family or friends. Five is a good number.Include mix of strong and weak competency; seek representative sample (representing various target audiences)Tasks: Develop questions or tasks for users to conduct – a mix of specific tasks and open‐ended tasks can work well. Think‐aloud method: Ask participant to talk out loud about thoughts and feelings they are having as they search or use site. Record sessions: At least take notes diligently. Revisit conclusions with them.
Tips for usability sessionBe aware of effects of your voice and body language (be neutral). Demo the “think‐aloud” technique first so participants feel less self‐conscious Don’t force “think aloud” if there’s strong resistance Pay attention to where participant falls silent (ask later) Practice silences and patient waiting Don’t show surprise Don’t say too much, don’t problem solve, don’t “rescue” Probe where needed