How you usually conduct a usability study?

13 Feb 2008 - 10:26am
8 years ago
1 reply
859 reads
Lya Santoso

Hi Guys (and girls of course),

I'm curious how do you conduct a usability study in your project. (What kind? How many usability study per project? How many user?)

Best regards,
Lya Santoso
Interaction Designer


14 Feb 2008 - 5:16am
Kel Smith

Lya, the answer you seek depends greatly on the type/size of the
project, the allocated timeline, available resources, budget, etc.

I prefer doing small groups in sprints of ~five users, one at a time.
This can be remote or in person; I prefer in person b/c facial
expressions can reveal hesitation or frustration that might otherwise
go unrecorded. Two or three sprints per project has worked for me, but
again this can vary.

I design a script of tasks based upon stakeholder goals, specific
pain points and features that have changed since the last version. I
ask users to do something and rate the efficiency of the system's
response on a scale of 1 to 5.

Any opportunity for feedback, advice, criticism, questions,
complaints or additional commentary is cheerfully received and
encouraged. Paper/pens or a whiteboard should be within easy access.
Any predetermined opinions I have are kept well in check - they have
no place here.

They say it helps if you have a third person around to take notes or
whatever, but I find that users will give more honest feedback if
they don't feel outnumbered. I try to keep the test as far from a
"lab" situation as possible.

Number one rule = make sure the folks you're working with understand
that you're testing the software/prototype/application, not their
ability as a user. And *always* thank them for their contributions; I
also like to provide a follow-up email upon release to let them know
how things worked out.

Hope this helps. Good luck ...

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