Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quick Tips for usability testing

Here are three tips for user testing :

1. Do a dry run
Testing, is not unlike a play. Your role, the equipment, everything, needs to be practiced. You will save yourself time, embarrassment & good user study content when you are fully prepared.

2. Replicate the experience when you can & observe, don't teach
Assuming your test is task-based., give instructions but no guidance. You aren't there to provide a tutorial, you are there to observe. Let users make mistakes & explore. Set a time so that if they get very lost, you allow them to attempt to get back on track before you intervene, & that limit should be at least several seconds. Intervening should be a last resort.

2. Involve the team
Product managers & devlopers should attend user testing or watch the videos. When combed for detail they provide a lot of insight. For some this just isn't possible and they are leaning on you to report your findings. Your job is to translate lots of details into a digestible format they can use.

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