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Design usability tests to make
data-driven design decisions
John McGloon
Teresa Washburn

© 2013 Teresa John McGloon
© 201...
Things we’ll cover
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Write better screeners by linking personas
Prioritize with task sampling and selection
W...
Step 1: Have a plan
• What are your goals?
• What does success look like?
– Meet with your stakeholders and define success...
What are personas?
• Personas are a guide to help the team keep
the user top of mind
• Audience and purpose
• Make general...
© 2013 Teresa John McGloon
© 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
Persona map

© 2013 Teresa John McGloon
© 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
Link personas to your screener!
• Write screener questions that only Taylor
Biggs could answer
• Watch out for Taylor impo...
© 2013 Teresa John McGloon
© 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
Prioritize with task sampling and
selection
• How do you decide what to have the
participant do?
– What are your goals?

•...
Task analysis: Checkout
2.0
Scan
products
(repeat for
ea. Item)

2.1
Locate
barcode on
product

2.1.1
No
barcode
located

...
Write the Test Script
• Script everything – even your greeting.
Consistency is key!
• Start with your goals
• Consider how...
Use various prototypes
• Prototyping: keep it simple
• Don’t have enough budget? Consider paper
prototyping.

© 2013 Teres...
Facilitate a test
• Facilitating is an art
• Professionals learn as an apprentices with little
formal practice
• The impor...
Plan for observers
Pros

Cons

See the usability items under
consideration
Always surprised by what they see

Can be distr...
Incorporate additional methods (card
sorts, system usability scales)
• Card sorts
• System Usability scales
• Product reac...
© 2013 Teresa Washburn and John McGloon

Card sorts
Card sorts

© 2013 Teresa Washburn and John McGloon
Card sorts: results

© 2013 Teresa John McGloon
© 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
System Usability Scale

© 2013 Teresa John McGloon
© 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
System Usability Scale results
Aggregate usability score:

81

19

© 2013 Teresa John McGloon
© 2013 Teresa Washburn andWa...
Product reaction cards
Accessible

Desirable

Gets in the way

Patronizing

Stressful

Appealing

Easy to use

Hard to use...
Product reaction cards: results

© 2013 Teresa John McGloon
© 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
Product reaction cards: results

© 2013 Teresa Washburn and John McGloon

© 2013 Teresa Washburn and John McGloon
Summarize a usability test:
sample outline
1. Overview or executive summary
2. Goals
3. Methodology
4. Participant Profile...
Summarize a usability test
• Audience and purpose
• Budget and timing
• Organizing
– By severity
– By category
– Content
–...
Overview Screen: Usability Issues
Update Numbers
Some participants were
unsure what the update
numbers referred to.
One th...
Questions about anything we’ve
covered:
•
•
•
•

•
•
•
•

Write better screeners by linking personas
Prioritize with task ...
Further reading
• Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and
Practices for Interacting (Interactive
Technologies) by Josep...
Interested to learn more?
If you would like more information about
usability testing, the user experience field, or
how te...
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Design usability tests to make data-driven design decisions by Teresa Washburn and John McGloon

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Usability Testing is an extremely exciting opportunity since it connects us face to face with our users. When done well, it is among the most productive activities that any UX team can engage in. Information architects, interaction designers, and visual designers share equal stake in sound results garnered from well-executed usability testing. Learn how to plan and execute great usability tests. Make key links between personas and test screeners. Select key tasks for testing and trace those to the accompanying script. Facilitate a usability test well. Understand pros and cons for observers. Incorporate key information architecture methods, such as card sorts, into a usability test.

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Design usability tests to make data-driven design decisions by Teresa Washburn and John McGloon

  1. 1. Design usability tests to make data-driven design decisions John McGloon Teresa Washburn © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  2. 2. Things we’ll cover • • • • • • • Write better screeners by linking personas Prioritize with task sampling and selection Write a test script Use various prototypes Facilitate a test Plan for observers Incorporate additional methods (card sorts, system usability scales) • Summarize a usability test © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  3. 3. Step 1: Have a plan • What are your goals? • What does success look like? – Meet with your stakeholders and define success • Why should you define success with stakeholders? – Gets everyone on the same page – When observing, everyone should be coming from the same position – After the test, there will be less chance of miscommunication © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  4. 4. What are personas? • Personas are a guide to help the team keep the user top of mind • Audience and purpose • Make generalizations! © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  5. 5. © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  6. 6. Persona map © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  7. 7. Link personas to your screener! • Write screener questions that only Taylor Biggs could answer • Watch out for Taylor imposters • Constructing the right screener will get you the right participant • Make better design decisions based on the right set of participants © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  8. 8. © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  9. 9. Prioritize with task sampling and selection • How do you decide what to have the participant do? – What are your goals? • Complete a task analysis Goal Task Task Subtask Task Subtask © 2013 Teresa Washburn and John © 2013 Teresa Washburn and John McGloon McGloon
  10. 10. Task analysis: Checkout 2.0 Scan products (repeat for ea. Item) 2.1 Locate barcode on product 2.1.1 No barcode located 2.2 Place Barcode in infrared beam 2.3 Rotate until price registers (“beep”) 2.4 Verify scanned price =expected price) 2.3.1 Price does not register 2.4.1 Price is not correct Go to 2.6 (FAIL) © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  11. 11. Write the Test Script • Script everything – even your greeting. Consistency is key! • Start with your goals • Consider how learnable your task is – Switch the order of tasks • What are you trying to observe? – Be careful not to help them if they get stuck © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  12. 12. Use various prototypes • Prototyping: keep it simple • Don’t have enough budget? Consider paper prototyping. © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  13. 13. Facilitate a test • Facilitating is an art • Professionals learn as an apprentices with little formal practice • The importance of “Think aloud” • Dumas’ and Loring’s (10) Golden Rules: – Participants are the experts; you are in charge. – Let the participants speak! – Be unbiased. • Moderator role: all logistics, pacing, interaction © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  14. 14. Plan for observers Pros Cons See the usability items under consideration Always surprised by what they see Can be distracting May build confidence in UX May latch on to single observation Can make participants feel uncomfortable © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  15. 15. Incorporate additional methods (card sorts, system usability scales) • Card sorts • System Usability scales • Product reaction cards © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  16. 16. © 2013 Teresa Washburn and John McGloon Card sorts Card sorts © 2013 Teresa Washburn and John McGloon
  17. 17. Card sorts: results © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  18. 18. System Usability Scale © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  19. 19. System Usability Scale results Aggregate usability score: 81 19 © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  20. 20. Product reaction cards Accessible Desirable Gets in the way Patronizing Stressful Appealing Easy to use Hard to use Personal Time-consuming Attractive Efficient High quality Predictable Time-saving Busy Empowering Inconsistent Relevant Too technical Collaborative Exciting Intimidating Reliable Trustworthy Complex Familiar Inviting Rigid Uncontrollable Comprehensive Fast Motivating Simplistic Unconventional Confusing Flexible Not valuable Slow Unpredictable Connected Fresh Organized Sophisticated Usable Consistent Frustrating Overbearing Stimulating Useful Customizable Fun Overwhelming Straight Forward Valuable © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  21. 21. Product reaction cards: results © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  22. 22. Product reaction cards: results © 2013 Teresa Washburn and John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn and John McGloon
  23. 23. Summarize a usability test: sample outline 1. Overview or executive summary 2. Goals 3. Methodology 4. Participant Profile 5. Tasks 6. Findings / Recommendations 7. Appendix (And the “question” of highlights.) © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  24. 24. Summarize a usability test • Audience and purpose • Budget and timing • Organizing – By severity – By category – Content – By action required © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  25. 25. Overview Screen: Usability Issues Update Numbers Some participants were unsure what the update numbers referred to. One thought they represented summary info of the maintenance alerts below. Others thought they referred to the number of devices in each of those states. Severity 3 - Moderate 25 © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  26. 26. Questions about anything we’ve covered: • • • • • • • • Write better screeners by linking personas Prioritize with task sampling and selection Write a test script Use various prototypes (no prototyping will be done, but examples will be provided) Facilitate a test Plan for observers Incorporate additional methods (card sorts, system usability scales) Summarize a usability test © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  27. 27. Further reading • Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Interacting (Interactive Technologies) by Joseph Dumas and Beth Loring. • User and Task Analysis for Interface Design by JoAnn Hackos, and Janice Redish. • A Practical Guide to Usability Testing by Joseph Dumas and Janice Redish. © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon
  28. 28. Interested to learn more? If you would like more information about usability testing, the user experience field, or how technical communication fits with those, feel free to provide your contact information and we’ll be in touch. Thank you! © 2013 Teresa John McGloon © 2013 Teresa Washburn andWashburn and John McGloon

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