Simple usability testing


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Simple usability testing

  1. 1. Simple usability testing Hans Põldoja
  2. 2. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
  3. 3. “Usability is like cooking: everybody needs the results, anybody can do it reasonably well with a bit of training, and yet it takes a master to produce a gourmet outcome.” (Jakob Nielsen) (Nielsen, 2009b)
  4. 4. “Discount Usability” • Simplified user testing, which includes a handful of participants, a focus on qualitative studies, and use of the thinking-aloud method • Narrowed-down prototypes — usually paper prototypes — that support a single path through the user interface • Heuristic evaluation in which you evaluate user interface designs by inspecting them relative to established usability guidelines (Nielsen, 2009a)
  5. 5. Testing with paper prototypes
  6. 6. Testing with checklists
  7. 7. Testing with checklists • Ten Usability Heuristics • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines • (... and following web standards)
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  9. 9. 1.Visibility of system status The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time. (Nielsen, 2005)
  10. 10. 2. Match between system and the real world The system should speak the users' language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order. (Nielsen, 2005)
  11. 11. 3. User control and freedom Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked "emergency exit" to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo. (Nielsen, 2005)
  12. 12. 4. Consistency and standards Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions. (Nielsen, 2005)
  13. 13. 5. Error prevention Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action. (Nielsen, 2005)
  14. 14. 6. Recognition rather than recall Minimize the user's memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever appropriate. (Nielsen, 2005)
  15. 15. 7. Flexibility and efficiency of use Accelerators -- unseen by the novice user -- may often speed up the interaction for the expert user such that the system can cater to both inexperienced and experienced users. Allow users to tailor frequent actions. (Nielsen, 2005)
  16. 16. 8. Aesthetic and minimalist design Dialogues should not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed. Every extra unit of information in a dialogue competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility. (Nielsen, 2005)
  17. 17. 9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution. (Nielsen, 2005)
  18. 18. 10. Help and documentation Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation. Any such information should be easy to search, focused on the user's task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large. (Nielsen, 2005)
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  21. 21. Think aloud testing with users
  22. 22. How many users should you test? • Steve Krug: 3 users 2 times • Jakob Nielsen: 5 users 1 time (Krug, 2006; Nielsen, 2000)
  23. 23. References • Krug, S. (2006). Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. Berkeley, CA: New Riders. • Nielsen, J. (2000). Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users. http:// • Nielsen, J. (2005). Ten Usability Heuristics. heuristic/heuristic_list.html • Nielsen, J. (2009a). Discount Usability: 20 Years. discount-usability.html • Nielsen, J. (2009b). Anybody Can Do Usability. anybody-usability.html