Cheap'n'easy usability

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This presentation explains and covers discount usability techniques

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Cheap'n'easy usability

  1. 1. CHEAP’N’EASY USABILITY <ul><li>Paul Canning </li></ul><ul><li>First presented August 2006, East Midlands Conference Centre </li></ul>
  2. 2. Introduction This presentation is about how YOU can do discount testing <ul><li>How to do discount testing </li></ul><ul><li>Why you should do it </li></ul><ul><li>Tackling perceived barriers </li></ul>
  3. 3. Do you want to hear the good news first or the bad news?
  4. 4. So you want to hear the good news? <ul><li>You’re already doing it </li></ul>
  5. 5. Take-away <ul><li>Anyone can do it </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t need to sign up </li></ul><ul><li>Discount testing is not a black art </li></ul>
  6. 6. How come?
  7. 7. This ain’t new <ul><li>Jacob Nielsen article from 1994 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Saint Jacob <ul><li>Testers — Confidence </li></ul>5 - 7= 80% 20 = 90%
  9. 9. <ul><li>Jacob Nielsen’s Alertbox March 2000 </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Jacob Nielsen’s Alertbox June 2006 </li></ul>
  11. 11. When would you need to hire an expert? <ul><li>When you know you can’t fix it yourself </li></ul>
  12. 12. In a design review <ul><li>At the beginning </li></ul><ul><li>Interpreting lots of info </li></ul><ul><li>Will produce ‘best fit’ web design styles </li></ul>Focus Group skills needed
  13. 13. <ul><li>When you need serious web design expertise </li></ul>In a design review Making this ‘simple’ took expertise
  14. 14. In a design review: <ul><li>For specialised usability needs </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Shaving the percentages’ </li></ul><ul><li>Analyzing ‘outliers’ </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Web log analysis </li></ul>
  15. 15. Why do it? <ul><li>Woods and trees </li></ul>
  16. 16. Why do it? <ul><li>Save money </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid stress </li></ul>
  17. 17. Why do it? <ul><li>Becoming more user focussed </li></ul><ul><li>Answer management / directors / councillors </li></ul>
  18. 18. How to do it <ul><li>What to test </li></ul><ul><li>Existing pages and sites </li></ul><ul><li>Prototypes </li></ul><ul><li>Design types </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>CCC Car Parks paper prototype </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Location: </li></ul>Quiet-ish Don’t obsess Pick different types of people Testers: Remember: 5-7 = 80% Confidence You: People skills Affiliation with deodorant
  21. 21. Two of you <ul><li>Observe each other </li></ul><ul><li>Do it 5 times first up </li></ul>
  22. 22. Welcome them <ul><li>Tell them what you’re doing </li></ul>Set simple tasks <ul><li>Find a phone number </li></ul><ul><li>Report something </li></ul>Tell them to verbalise (and remind)
  23. 23. Observe <ul><li>Don’t show them </li></ul><ul><li>Answer with ‘Can you just show me?’ </li></ul><ul><li>Take LOTS of notes </li></ul><ul><li>Time how long they take </li></ul>
  24. 24. Debrief <ul><li>Ask them to talk about the website </li></ul><ul><li>Ask them for ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Give them a goodie bag </li></ul>
  25. 25. Results <ul><li>Obvious problems leap out </li></ul><ul><li>Common ideas and comments leap out </li></ul>
  26. 26. Dangers <ul><li>Things not to do: </li></ul><ul><li>Lead them on: </li></ul>generally, just shut up <ul><li>Smaller samples miss ‘outliers’, meaning: </li></ul><ul><li>Some of our customers </li></ul><ul><li>Good ideas </li></ul>The more you test the more useful information comes up
  27. 27. What bad news? <ul><li>Can be confronting </li></ul><ul><li>Usability testing about error </li></ul><ul><li>Upsets designers </li></ul>
  28. 28. Users fail most of the time <ul><li>“ The average outcome of Web usability studies is that test users fail when they try to perform a test task on the Web. Thus, when you try something new on the Web, the expected outcome is failure. ” Jacob Nielsen’s Alertbox, November 24, 2003 </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, November 2003 </li></ul>
  30. 30. Usability news
  31. 31. Usability Exchange stidy for SOCITM <ul><li>Usability exchange study for SOCITM </li></ul>
  32. 32. Everyday Usability is poor <ul><li>Packaging so badly designed it requires a knife to open </li></ul><ul><li>Still improving ATMs </li></ul><ul><li>The web has existed for a lot less time than packaging — so of course it's hard to use for a lot of people </li></ul>
  33. 33. Must work for all these people
  34. 34. Summary <ul><li>Anybody can do discount user testing </li></ul><ul><li>Your visits will increase </li></ul><ul><li>More revenue will come via the web </li></ul><ul><li>More transactions sucessfully completed </li></ul><ul><li>Much happier customers </li></ul><ul><li>It’s all good! </li></ul>
  35. 35. Resources <ul><li>www.useit.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.usability.gov </li></ul><ul><li>www.egov.vic.gov.au </li></ul>
  36. 36. Thank you for listening <ul><li>Paul Canning  </li></ul><ul><li>Web Development Officer </li></ul><ul><li>Cambridge City Council </li></ul><ul><li>01223 457415 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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