Budget Usability without a Usability Budget

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Presented at the 2010 Michigan Library Association Academic Libraries Conference

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Budget Usability without a Usability Budget

  1. 1. Budget Usability without a Usability Budget Suzanne Chapman User Experience Department Julie Piacentine Reference DepartmentImage by flickr user alancleaver_2000
  2. 2. Who Are We?
  3. 3. “The purpose isn’t to What is Budget prove anything; it’s to get Usability? insights that enable you to improve what you’re building”aka "discount” or “informal” or "do it yourself" – Steve KrugIt’s not just about the money… Its also about the time and effort.It’s qualitative, informal, and unscientific.Our definition: Anything that you can do with low overhead that involves users interacting with a site. Image by flickr user sarabc
  4. 4. Image by flickr user electrofantastic Why Use Budget Methods? • Quick answers to simple questions • Faster • Easier • Cheaper • Targeted • More staff participation
  5. 5. When to Use Budget Techniques? When you just want a quick reaction to something. • Link label • Placement of something • Findability of some piece of content • Attitude towards a design • Do users get it?Image by flickr user s2photo
  6. 6. How to Use Budget Techniques? • Early and often • Alongside usage statistics & user feedback • In conjunction (or in preparation for) larger evaluations • With a grain of saltImage by flickr user sergesegal
  7. 7. Participants• Anywhere from 6-100+• Where & how to find participants: o "in the wild" & on-the-fly! o links from website o emails sent to departments via Subject Specialist Librarians• Incentives: candy, MLibrary gadgets, or a few "blue bucks" each by flickr user faultypixel Image
  8. 8. Lessons Learned & Tips• Test the test. Time spent piloting the test is time well spent.• Articulate your expectations but be flexible. o Just want general feedback? Ask an open question. o Want to solve a specific problem? Ask a direct question.• Iterate. Know when to admit that something didnt work well. Refine and repeat.
  9. 9. Participatory Description: Design X/O & Ideal DesignActively involve users in the design process. (inspired by Nancy Foster)
  10. 10. Participatory Design X/O Instructions: 1. Circle the things you find useful 2. Put an X through the things you dont find useful 3. Add a note for anything thats missing
  11. 11. Participatory Design Ideal Design Instructions: 1. Draw your ideal library website.
  12. 12. Participatory Description: Design X/O & Ideal Design 36 Participants: • 15 Undergrads • 5 Grad Students • 2 Faculty • 15 Library Staff Materials Cost: $0 Incentives Cost: $75+Actively involve users in Set up time: ~1hr the design process. Test time: ~4hrs (inspired by Nancy Foster) Analysis: >12hrs
  13. 13. Participatory Design
  14. 14. Description: Card Sorting Did a combination of sessions with individual participants and groups. 158 Participants: • 18 Undergrads & Grads • 140 Library Staff Materials Cost: $0 / $125 for online tool. Incentives Cost: $90Ask users to sort a series of Set up time: ~3hrscards, each labeled with a piece Test time: ~2hrsof content, into groups that makesense to them. Analysis: >10hrs
  15. 15. Card Sorting - Services/Departments/Libraries Group paper card sort
  16. 16. Card Sorting - Services/Departments/Libraries OptimalSort online card sort
  17. 17. - Services/Departments/Libraries
  18. 18. Description: • Print out web page Guerrilla Testing • Approach someone “in the wild” & ask if they can spare 5 min. • Ask 1-2 short questions Participants: • 20 undergrad/grad Materials Cost: $0 Incentives Cost: $0 Set up time: ~2hrsQuick and short answers to quickand short questions. Five minutes Test time: ~2hrsis our goal! Analysis: ~4hrs
  19. 19. Guerrilla Testing Contents: • Removed/added links Labels: • “Quick Links” is good • Some link labels revised Location: • Not good! Needs to be more prominent
  20. 20. Description: Online Guerrilla “Survey” distributed via Testing Subject Specialist Librarians, news items, and directly from access system interface. Participants: • In progress Materials Cost: $0* Incentives Cost: $0 Set up time: ~1hrAutomated version of paperguerrilla test to reach a larger Test time: 0audience. Analysis: ~1hrs
  21. 21. Where would you click to find more information about the 1stitem in8. Where would you click to go the list? directly to an article?
  22. 22. Online Guerrilla TestingTools: • Qualtrics • Infomaki • Optimal Workshop’s Chalkmark • Usabilla • Many more!
  23. 23. Now, It’sYour Turn!
  24. 24. Now, It’s Your Turn!Participatory Design:Circle 3 things you find useful.Put an X through 3 things you don’t find useful.
  25. 25. Now, It’s Your Turn!Guerrilla Test:Where would you click to find the The New York TimesBestsellers list? Draw a box around it.
  26. 26. Questions?All past reports:www.lib.umich.edu/usabilitySuzanne Chapman(suzchap@umich.edu)Julie Piacentine(juliepia@umich.edu) Image by flickr user krapow

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