Importance of Usability• Consumer can use your site more easily and will come back more often• Less frustrating and more enjoyable experience• Increase in sales• Decrease in support costs• Increase in employee productivity and decrease in employee frustration• Fewer mistakes
Usability Principles• Use your audience’s language and labels• Make navigation, layout, graphics simple and consistent• Provide help information• Make sure the organization and presentation of the site reflects user’s needs and goals• Design should reinforce easy task flows• Use logical and organized information groupings
Benefits of Testing• Real world/ real user perspective• Identifies the majority of the functionality issues• Allows testers to see the user’s decision making process and the amount of time spent on different areas of the website
Types of Tests• Exploratory (Formative Study) – Conducted early in the development cycle when a product is still in the preliminary stages of being defined and designed. – Main objective is to examine the effectiveness of preliminary design concepts. • Can the user navigate from screen to screen • Can the user complete the tasks needed to reach their goal• Assessment Test (Summative Test) – Conducted midway into the development cycle after the fundamental design and organization of the site has been established. – Purpose of the test is to see how well a user can perform realistic tasks and identify problems in the usability of the site.• Validation Test (Verification Test) – Conducted late in the development cycle. – Intended to measure the usability of a product against established benchmarks or to confirm that problems discovered earlier have been remedied• Comparison Test – Compare two or more design interface styles or to compare your site with a competitor’s.
Example of a test plan• Purpose• Participants – Participant Questionnaire• Methodology• Script – Introduction – Pre Test Value Questionnaire – Familiarization – Task Scenarios – Wrap Up – Post Test Questionnaire
Google Redesign• Google calls it a “simpler, cleaner design”• Creates a consistent search experience across devices• Focuses on the user getting the answers they are looking for whether through the website search results or Knowledge Graph• Google has invited users to provide feedback on their Google+ page
Resources• Rubin, Jeff and Chisnell, Dana. Handbook of Usability Testing, Second Edition. Wiley Publishing, 2008• Summers, Kathryn. Usability Testing, 2010• Soper, Taylor. Google redesigns search results interface: What do you think?, GeekWire, November 7, 2012• Spiffing up your search results page, Inside Search: The Official Google Search Blog, November 6, 2012