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Usability testing
Making it fast, good, and cheap
Whitney Quesenbery
Center for Civic Design
@civicdesign | @whitneyq
#Dot...
What can you learn
from a usability test?
And how you can make it a
useful part of your work.
Do you think this is usability testing?
Photo: www.unic.com
Usability testing can also look like this
Photos: UXBlog.com
What makes it a
usability test?
We observe people's behavior
Quietly
And use the results to inform
design
What do you want to learn?
Do people understand
how to fill in a form?
Qualitative
 relationship
 mental models
 contex...
The recipe for a usability test
Location and context formal informal
Participants defined opportunistic
Technology yours t...
Location:
Go where the people are
Participants:
How will you find them
Convenience
Purposeful
Quota
Participants:
Not just demographics
Attitude
(motivation, emotion, persistence,
optimism, tolerance for frustration)
Aptit...
Asssistive Technology: Refreshable Braille, mouth stick, screen
reader, magnifier, iPad (Glenda Watson Hyatt
Technology:
D...
Tasks:
Think about the 5 Es
Effective
Efficient
Engaging
Error-tolerant
Easy to learn
and don't forget delight
Let's talk
What are you working on?
What do you want to learn
about usability?
Planning a
usability program
Look for balance
Look for balance
Think about cadence
Seeing the Elephant: Defragmenting User Research by Lou Rosenfeld
http://alistapart.com/article/seeing...
Rocket Surgery
First Fridays @ DigitalGov
 3 participants; 35 minute sessions
 Debrief over lunch to identify the 3
most...
What about the Paperwork Reduction Act?
https://www.digitalgov.gov/files/2014/01/PRAPrimer_04072010-2.pdf
Fast Track Clearance for PRA
When the data collection
 Is focus on improving services
 Is voluntary
 Does not require s...
Take any opportunity for a quick
usability observation
The next time someone asks you
a question about your site, ask
them...
Just do it
Fast – small, frequent
Good – insights you need
Cheap –informal methods
Get in touch!
Whitney Quesenbery
whitneyq@civicdesign.org
@whitneyq
civicdesign.org
@civicdesign
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Usability Testing: Making it fast, good, and cheap

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Usability testing: rapid results when you need them. Have a question about whether a new feature or design idea works for users? It’s easy to find out early, so your design process is as responsive as your code. We'll look at ways to run quick usability test, how to find users in the wild, and when to add it to your project plan. Yes, it can be fast, good, and cheap.

Presentation at the dotgov design conference - March 27, 2015

Published in: Design
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Usability Testing: Making it fast, good, and cheap

  1. 1. Usability testing Making it fast, good, and cheap Whitney Quesenbery Center for Civic Design @civicdesign | @whitneyq #DotGovDesignConf 27 March 2015
  2. 2. What can you learn from a usability test? And how you can make it a useful part of your work.
  3. 3. Do you think this is usability testing? Photo: www.unic.com
  4. 4. Usability testing can also look like this Photos: UXBlog.com
  5. 5. What makes it a usability test? We observe people's behavior Quietly And use the results to inform design
  6. 6. What do you want to learn? Do people understand how to fill in a form? Qualitative  relationship  mental models  context of use but also  how many people have different understandings Which design helps people fill in the form accurately? Quantitative  how many like each  number of errors  severity of errors but also  insights into the source and nature of the errors
  7. 7. The recipe for a usability test Location and context formal informal Participants defined opportunistic Technology yours theirs Activities instructed tasks free tasks Goals usable useful Results quantitative qualitative
  8. 8. Location: Go where the people are
  9. 9. Participants: How will you find them Convenience Purposeful Quota
  10. 10. Participants: Not just demographics Attitude (motivation, emotion, persistence, optimism, tolerance for frustration) Aptitude (knowledge, expertise, habits, skills) Ability (physical and cognitive attributes) http://www.slideshare.net/danachisnell/character-creator
  11. 11. Asssistive Technology: Refreshable Braille, mouth stick, screen reader, magnifier, iPad (Glenda Watson Hyatt Technology: Diversity of devices
  12. 12. Tasks: Think about the 5 Es Effective Efficient Engaging Error-tolerant Easy to learn and don't forget delight
  13. 13. Let's talk What are you working on? What do you want to learn about usability?
  14. 14. Planning a usability program
  15. 15. Look for balance
  16. 16. Look for balance
  17. 17. Think about cadence Seeing the Elephant: Defragmenting User Research by Lou Rosenfeld http://alistapart.com/article/seeing-the-elephant-defragmenting-user-research
  18. 18. Rocket Surgery First Fridays @ DigitalGov  3 participants; 35 minute sessions  Debrief over lunch to identify the 3 most serious problems  Site stakeholders agree in advance to work on recommendations within one month. www.digitalgov.gov/resources/digitalgov-user-experience-program/ www.sensible.com/rsme.html
  19. 19. What about the Paperwork Reduction Act? https://www.digitalgov.gov/files/2014/01/PRAPrimer_04072010-2.pdf
  20. 20. Fast Track Clearance for PRA When the data collection  Is focus on improving services  Is voluntary  Does not require statical rigor  Does not put high burden on participants  Will not be published as quantitative, generalizable data http://www.digitalgov.gov/resources/digitalgov-user-experience-program/digitalgov-user- experience-program-usability-starter-kit/
  21. 21. Take any opportunity for a quick usability observation The next time someone asks you a question about your site, ask them to use it instead. Watch as they try to find the information.
  22. 22. Just do it Fast – small, frequent Good – insights you need Cheap –informal methods
  23. 23. Get in touch! Whitney Quesenbery whitneyq@civicdesign.org @whitneyq civicdesign.org @civicdesign

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