Activities of Usability team

10 Aug 2008 - 10:18pm
6 years ago
5 replies
821 reads
Guillermo Ermel
2008

Hello IxDA members!

I'm trying to define common activities of a usability team... So I've made a
list.

Maybe there are some activities I haven't thought of, or maybe there are
some that you think shouldn't be part of a usability team duties.

Would you add/remove any items to this list? I'd greatly appreciate your
help.

*Evaluations without users*
Informal evaluations (by intuition, cognitive walkthrough)
Heuristic evaluations (several evaluators, using guidelines)
Recommend changes

*User recruiting
*Define user profiles
Create Personas
Create screening scripts
Filter out users from database
Maintain database
Recruit users on the phone
Schedule users
Schedule observers
Reconfirm users

*Usability testing with users
*Plan usability test / Design experiment
Define test goals (purpose of test, how results will be used)
Define research questions
Write test script (introduction, tasks, questionnaires)
Revise script using prototype or product
Determine equipment needs for test
Prepare and operate equipment
Interview users
Moderate tests
Observe tests (taking notes)
Take special notes (data collection, time on task, success, etc.)
Play Computer in tests with paper prototypes
Debrief users
Transcript notes (to digital format)
Consolidate data gathered during tests to make analysis easier (tables,
graphics)
Analyze videos, notes and other date to infer problems
Recommend changes to interface
Make highlight videos – choose segments, make script for video
Make highlight videos – edit, operate video software

*Interface design*
Create / analyze design options with development team
Create flow diagrams
Create paper prototypes
Create software prototypes (e.g. Axure)
Revise designs made by others

*Other activities*
Analyze other sources of information (surveys, access logs, search logs)
Create User Profiles / Personas
Conduct contextual enquiries (at users' home/work)
Moderate participatory design sessions
Conduct Focus Groups
Train other team members in usability matters

*Information Architecture*
Design taxonomies, organization criteria, labeling systems, controlled
vocabularies.

Thanks!
--
Guillermo Ermel

Comments

17 Aug 2008 - 1:33pm
dszuc
2005

Another way to think about the activities is how well you can sell the
approach and results to your stakeholders. Sometimes a simple toolkit
can work just as well.

You can also look at combination of approaches to help find insights.
For example, interviews, usability reviews, sketching with
stakeholders and usability testing.

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=31932

17 Aug 2008 - 7:51pm
Chan FoongYeen
2008

You can also understand user activities by doing ethnography studies and
time motion tracking.

cheers,
Donny

On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 11:18 AM, Guillermo Ermel
<guillermoermel at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello IxDA members!
>
> I'm trying to define common activities of a usability team... So I've made
> a
> list.
>
> Maybe there are some activities I haven't thought of, or maybe there are
> some that you think shouldn't be part of a usability team duties.
>
>
> Would you add/remove any items to this list? I'd greatly appreciate your
> help.
>
>
> *Evaluations without users*
> Informal evaluations (by intuition, cognitive walkthrough)
> Heuristic evaluations (several evaluators, using guidelines)
> Recommend changes
>
> *User recruiting
> *Define user profiles
> Create Personas
> Create screening scripts
> Filter out users from database
> Maintain database
> Recruit users on the phone
> Schedule users
> Schedule observers
> Reconfirm users
>
> *Usability testing with users
> *Plan usability test / Design experiment
> Define test goals (purpose of test, how results will be used)
> Define research questions
> Write test script (introduction, tasks, questionnaires)
> Revise script using prototype or product
> Determine equipment needs for test
> Prepare and operate equipment
> Interview users
> Moderate tests
> Observe tests (taking notes)
> Take special notes (data collection, time on task, success, etc.)
> Play Computer in tests with paper prototypes
> Debrief users
> Transcript notes (to digital format)
> Consolidate data gathered during tests to make analysis easier (tables,
> graphics)
> Analyze videos, notes and other date to infer problems
> Recommend changes to interface
> Make highlight videos – choose segments, make script for video
> Make highlight videos – edit, operate video software
>
> *Interface design*
> Create / analyze design options with development team
> Create flow diagrams
> Create paper prototypes
> Create software prototypes (e.g. Axure)
> Revise designs made by others
>
> *Other activities*
> Analyze other sources of information (surveys, access logs, search logs)
> Create User Profiles / Personas
> Conduct contextual enquiries (at users' home/work)
> Moderate participatory design sessions
> Conduct Focus Groups
> Train other team members in usability matters
>
> *Information Architecture*
> Design taxonomies, organization criteria, labeling systems, controlled
> vocabularies.
>
>
> Thanks!
> --
> Guillermo Ermel
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

18 Aug 2008 - 12:16am
Melvin Jay Kumar
2007

Hi Ermel,

Hello to you. =)

I would like to start by saying the infamous " IT DEPENDS" quote.

A lot of it depends on where you are in the organization and the type
of organization you are in. Consultancy? Software development firm?
product company? research org? HR self service? etc...etc..etc..

I've worked in many of the different org's I've mentioned, and
everyone is so different based on the needs / priorities / limitations
etc...etc...

So as Daniel specified earlier, you need to understand how and what
your usability team is going to do that is going to provide value to
your stakeholders.

One more thing, all that stuff you wrote before is in Design /
usability /IA speak, you would need to convert it into business speak
if your stakeholders / customers are not aware of this field and its
value.

Aight gotta go, just wanted to point out a couple of items.

Regards,

Jay Kumar

On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 11:18 AM, Guillermo Ermel
<guillermoermel at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello IxDA members!
>
> I'm trying to define common activities of a usability team... So I've made a
> list.
>
> Maybe there are some activities I haven't thought of, or maybe there are
> some that you think shouldn't be part of a usability team duties.
>
>
> Would you add/remove any items to this list? I'd greatly appreciate your
> help.
>
>
> *Evaluations without users*
> Informal evaluations (by intuition, cognitive walkthrough)
> Heuristic evaluations (several evaluators, using guidelines)
> Recommend changes
>
> *User recruiting
> *Define user profiles
> Create Personas
> Create screening scripts
> Filter out users from database
> Maintain database
> Recruit users on the phone
> Schedule users
> Schedule observers
> Reconfirm users
>
> *Usability testing with users
> *Plan usability test / Design experiment
> Define test goals (purpose of test, how results will be used)
> Define research questions
> Write test script (introduction, tasks, questionnaires)
> Revise script using prototype or product
> Determine equipment needs for test
> Prepare and operate equipment
> Interview users
> Moderate tests
> Observe tests (taking notes)
> Take special notes (data collection, time on task, success, etc.)
> Play Computer in tests with paper prototypes
> Debrief users
> Transcript notes (to digital format)
> Consolidate data gathered during tests to make analysis easier (tables,
> graphics)
> Analyze videos, notes and other date to infer problems
> Recommend changes to interface
> Make highlight videos – choose segments, make script for video
> Make highlight videos – edit, operate video software
>
> *Interface design*
> Create / analyze design options with development team
> Create flow diagrams
> Create paper prototypes
> Create software prototypes (e.g. Axure)
> Revise designs made by others
>
> *Other activities*
> Analyze other sources of information (surveys, access logs, search logs)
> Create User Profiles / Personas
> Conduct contextual enquiries (at users' home/work)
> Moderate participatory design sessions
> Conduct Focus Groups
> Train other team members in usability matters
>
> *Information Architecture*
> Design taxonomies, organization criteria, labeling systems, controlled
> vocabularies.
>
>
> Thanks!
> --
> Guillermo Ermel
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

18 Aug 2008 - 12:18am
Itamar Medeiros
2006

Holla, Guilhermo! Como estas? I'm not sure what kind of feedback you
wanted on that, but I believe you've listed most of the areas that
Usability Teams get involved in, and you've covered all areas quite
accurately.

There is one area that -- at least in my company, and pretty much in
most other companies I've worked for -- usually Usability Experts
don't get involved a lot: INTERFACE DESIGN; looking at the
activities you've listed:

1- Create / analyze design options with development team
2- Create flow diagrams
3- Create paper prototypes
4- Create software prototypes (e.g. Axure)
5- Revise designs made by others

In most of the companies I've ever worked, a small usability expert
team have to support several project simultaneously, which means that
this team ends up giving support to interaction designers in the other
areas you've mentioned.

That been said, I would say that in the Interface Design part
you've listed, only (1) --- the analysis part -- and (5) seem to be
aligned to what I've seen usability experts do.

{ Itamar Medeiros } Information Designer
designing clear, understandable communication by
caring to structure, context, and presentation
of data and information

mobile ::: 86 13671503252
website ::: http://designative.info/
aim ::: itamarlmedeiros
skype ::: designative

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=31932

18 Aug 2008 - 6:49am
Guillermo Ermel
2008

Thanks a lot.

I'll take that into account.

Best regards,
Guillermo

2008/8/18 Melvin Jay Kumar <melvink2 at gmail.com>

> Hi Ermel,
>
> Hello to you. =)
>
> I would like to start by saying the infamous " IT DEPENDS" quote.
>
> A lot of it depends on where you are in the organization and the type
> of organization you are in. Consultancy? Software development firm?
> product company? research org? HR self service? etc...etc..etc..
>
> I've worked in many of the different org's I've mentioned, and
> everyone is so different based on the needs / priorities / limitations
> etc...etc...
>
> So as Daniel specified earlier, you need to understand how and what
> your usability team is going to do that is going to provide value to
> your stakeholders.
>
> One more thing, all that stuff you wrote before is in Design /
> usability /IA speak, you would need to convert it into business speak
> if your stakeholders / customers are not aware of this field and its
> value.
>
> Aight gotta go, just wanted to point out a couple of items.
>
> Regards,
>
> Jay Kumar
>
> On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 11:18 AM, Guillermo Ermel
> <guillermoermel at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hello IxDA members!
> >
> > I'm trying to define common activities of a usability team... So I've
> made a
> > list.
> >
> > Maybe there are some activities I haven't thought of, or maybe there are
> > some that you think shouldn't be part of a usability team duties.
> >
> >
> > Would you add/remove any items to this list? I'd greatly appreciate your
> > help.
> >
> >
> > *Evaluations without users*
> > Informal evaluations (by intuition, cognitive walkthrough)
> > Heuristic evaluations (several evaluators, using guidelines)
> > Recommend changes
> >
> > *User recruiting
> > *Define user profiles
> > Create Personas
> > Create screening scripts
> > Filter out users from database
> > Maintain database
> > Recruit users on the phone
> > Schedule users
> > Schedule observers
> > Reconfirm users
> >
> > *Usability testing with users
> > *Plan usability test / Design experiment
> > Define test goals (purpose of test, how results will be used)
> > Define research questions
> > Write test script (introduction, tasks, questionnaires)
> > Revise script using prototype or product
> > Determine equipment needs for test
> > Prepare and operate equipment
> > Interview users
> > Moderate tests
> > Observe tests (taking notes)
> > Take special notes (data collection, time on task, success, etc.)
> > Play Computer in tests with paper prototypes
> > Debrief users
> > Transcript notes (to digital format)
> > Consolidate data gathered during tests to make analysis easier (tables,
> > graphics)
> > Analyze videos, notes and other date to infer problems
> > Recommend changes to interface
> > Make highlight videos – choose segments, make script for video
> > Make highlight videos – edit, operate video software
> >
> > *Interface design*
> > Create / analyze design options with development team
> > Create flow diagrams
> > Create paper prototypes
> > Create software prototypes (e.g. Axure)
> > Revise designs made by others
> >
> > *Other activities*
> > Analyze other sources of information (surveys, access logs, search logs)
> > Create User Profiles / Personas
> > Conduct contextual enquiries (at users' home/work)
> > Moderate participatory design sessions
> > Conduct Focus Groups
> > Train other team members in usability matters
> >
> > *Information Architecture*
> > Design taxonomies, organization criteria, labeling systems, controlled
> > vocabularies.
> >
> >
> > Thanks!
> > --
> > Guillermo Ermel
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>

--
Guillermo Ermel
Consultor de usabilidad web

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