Agile User StudiesDerek PoppinkUser Experience Manager
Cengage LearningWho we are LIFELONG LEARNING                        RESEARCH  Elementary and high school                ...
User ExperienceWhat we do             http://www.limina-ao.com/approach/agile.html
User ExperienceWhy we do it                       Peter Morville’s UX Honeycomb:        http://semanticstudios.com/publica...
Agile User StudiesAgenda• Why User Studies?• What is an Agile User Study?• When• Where• What• Who• How• Questions
Why User Studies?                    •All sites have usability issues                    •Serious issues are easy to find ...
Big Honkin’ User Studieshttp://www.laurasmith.info/UsabilityTest.jpg
Big Honkin’ User Studies1-2 rounds of tests when site is nearly complete1-2 days of tests per round5-8 participants per...
Agile User Studieshttp://www.uxforthemasses.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/usability-testing-session.jpg
Agile User Studies1 round of tests per sprint from concept to launch1 morning per round (tests and debriefing)3 partici...
A Morning A Month               http://b.vimeocdn.com/ts/693/515/69351512_640.jpg
A Morning A Month Morning    3 sessions (9, 10, 11)    Debriefing over lunch    Allows more people to attend Month (S...
Use Existing Spaceshttp://portfolio.splendidnoise.com/
Or Test Remotely Conference room    Laptop, projector, speakerphone, snacks    Moderator, observers    WebEx Remote p...
Test What You Have
Test WhatYou Have
Test What You HaveLegacyMaterials products         Mockups (Balsamiq)Competitor products       Wireframes (HotGloo)Pr...
What Have We Tested?Business & Company Resource Center      Gale Virtual Reference LibraryBusiness Insights: Global    ...
What Have We Tested?Powerspeak                                  PowerSearchGalaxy                                      ...
Recruit  http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6211/6351911040_9f7c92804b.jpg
Recruit Who?    Representative users How many?    Three per sprint, plus one backup How?    Customers, personal netw...
Prepare Taskshttp://www.uqul.uq.edu.au
Prepare Tasks Pre-test questions    Get participants talking Critical tasks    Home – impressions    Search – satisfa...
Moderatehttp://iutp.org/files/bunnyfoot/pics/blowup6.jpg
Moderate Tour guide   Give participant instructions   Keep things moving Therapist   Get participant talking   Show ...
Observe Attend a session (or three)     Avoid distractions Take notes     Notice where user is confused or can’t compl...
Debrief Share observations    Three most serious usability problems per observer Prioritize as a team Discuss easiest ...
Agile User Studies1 round of tests per sprint from concept to launch1 morning per round (tests and debriefing)3 partici...
Agile User Studies (Agile & Beyond 2012)
Agile User Studies (Agile & Beyond 2012)
Agile User Studies (Agile & Beyond 2012)
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Agile User Studies (Agile & Beyond 2012)

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Agile User Studies: Affordable, Iterative, Scalable, Team-Based User Feedback. Most Agile practitioners would agree that regular customer feedback is essential, but many teams struggle to obtain that information. Traditional usability tests seem too abstract, expensive, and time consuming. I will present a methodology that allows any team or practitioner to conduct affordable, iterative, team-based user studies. I will also share the result of applying this methodology at Cengage Learning over two years, multiple Agile teams, and dozens of projects.

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  • Cengage Learning is headquartered in Stamford, CT with annual revenues of approximately $2 billion. With more than 5,000 employees in operations all across the U.S and in more than 20 countries around the world, we connect the company to, and sell our products on every continent.Our research and curriculum tools focus on the necessity to deliver information where and when you need it to enhance the learning experience with current and relevant digital content. These tools feature 160 million full-text articles from leading books, journals, magazines, newspapers and primary sources, multimedia assets including videos, podcasts, tutorials and images, with daily updates of new content.In the education market, we serve K through grey understanding that learning should last a lifetime.
  • Agile User Studies (Agile & Beyond 2012)

    1. 1. Agile User StudiesDerek PoppinkUser Experience Manager
    2. 2. Cengage LearningWho we are LIFELONG LEARNING RESEARCH  Elementary and high school  Academic  2- and 4-year colleges and  School universities  Public  Private/For Profit Colleges  Government  Professional Training & Continuing Education  Annual revenue: $2 billion  5,600 employees  Operations in more than 20 countries
    3. 3. User ExperienceWhat we do http://www.limina-ao.com/approach/agile.html
    4. 4. User ExperienceWhy we do it Peter Morville’s UX Honeycomb: http://semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/000029.php
    5. 5. Agile User StudiesAgenda• Why User Studies?• What is an Agile User Study?• When• Where• What• Who• How• Questions
    6. 6. Why User Studies? •All sites have usability issues •Serious issues are easy to find •Watching users makes you a better designer
    7. 7. Big Honkin’ User Studieshttp://www.laurasmith.info/UsabilityTest.jpg
    8. 8. Big Honkin’ User Studies1-2 rounds of tests when site is nearly complete1-2 days of tests per round5-8 participants per roundHeld on-site in room with one-way mirror1-2 observers (product owner)Dozens of problems prioritized by moderator1 week to prepare report afterwards$25,000 per round
    9. 9. Agile User Studieshttp://www.uxforthemasses.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/usability-testing-session.jpg
    10. 10. Agile User Studies1 round of tests per sprint from concept to launch1 morning per round (tests and debriefing)3 participants per roundHeld in conference rooms and remotely with WebExObserved by teamTen problems and fixes prioritized by teamFindings and fixes distributed immediately afterwards$4,000 per round
    11. 11. A Morning A Month http://b.vimeocdn.com/ts/693/515/69351512_640.jpg
    12. 12. A Morning A Month Morning  3 sessions (9, 10, 11)  Debriefing over lunch  Allows more people to attend Month (Sprint)  Eliminates deciding when to test  Finds enough problems to fix  Affordable, iterative, scalable
    13. 13. Use Existing Spaceshttp://portfolio.splendidnoise.com/
    14. 14. Or Test Remotely Conference room  Laptop, projector, speakerphone, snacks  Moderator, observers  WebEx Remote participant  Internet connection, phone Benefits  Easier recruiting  Easier scheduling  No travel required  Natural environment
    15. 15. Test What You Have
    16. 16. Test WhatYou Have
    17. 17. Test What You HaveLegacyMaterials products Mockups (Balsamiq)Competitor products Wireframes (HotGloo)Products in development Visual compositesCompleted products Prototypes (HTML)
    18. 18. What Have We Tested?Business & Company Resource Center Gale Virtual Reference LibraryBusiness Insights: Global Illustrated London NewsBooks & Authors World Scholar: Latin AmericaHealth Matters Slavery Anti-SlaveryCourse Reader State Papers OnlineGale Admin Literature Resources from GaleNineteenth Century Collections Online National Geographic Digital Library
    19. 19. What Have We Tested?Powerspeak PowerSearchGalaxy Academic OneFileGale NewsVault NewsstandBusiness Principles and Practices for the Science, Technology, Engineering, &Salon and Spa Medicine (STEM)Encyclopedia.com Opposing Viewpoints in ContextPublic Library Websites HR Immersion Site
    20. 20. Recruit http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6211/6351911040_9f7c92804b.jpg
    21. 21. Recruit Who?  Representative users How many?  Three per sprint, plus one backup How?  Customers, personal networks Why?  Amazon gift cards
    22. 22. Prepare Taskshttp://www.uqul.uq.edu.au
    23. 23. Prepare Tasks Pre-test questions  Get participants talking Critical tasks  Home – impressions  Search – satisfaction  Documents – outcomes Alternative designs Upcoming stories
    24. 24. Moderatehttp://iutp.org/files/bunnyfoot/pics/blowup6.jpg
    25. 25. Moderate Tour guide Give participant instructions Keep things moving Therapist Get participant talking Show you are listening Stay neutral Respect participant, privacy
    26. 26. Observe Attend a session (or three)  Avoid distractions Take notes  Notice where user is confused or can’t complete tasks Make list  Three most serious usability problems
    27. 27. Debrief Share observations  Three most serious usability problems per observer Prioritize as a team Discuss easiest fix  Tweak, don’t redesign  Take something away Commit to changes
    28. 28. Agile User Studies1 round of tests per sprint from concept to launch1 morning per round (tests and debriefing)3 participants per roundHeld in conference rooms and remotely with WebExObserved by teamTen problems and fixes prioritized by teamFindings and fixes distributed immediately afterwards$4,000 per round

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