UX testing on social networks

12 Feb 2009 - 7:22pm
7 years ago
4 replies
2034 reads
Frank Long
2009

As a commercial agency we are getting more and more UX design work in
the social network area. (which is good news)

One of the issues that we have come up against is how difficult it
can be to test the user experience on social network sites.

The way we use these sites evolves over time, so its not possible to
get a realistic assessment in a one hour user test. Conducting
multiple sessions with the same user over the course of a week-or-so
is difficult and expensive to organise.

I was wondering whether anyone has experienced the same issue and
whether you have come up with any innovative and commercially viable
solutions? Or is the solution to just put it up there and see if it
works?

frank

http://www.frontend.com

Comments

13 Feb 2009 - 8:22am
Christopher Jam...
2009

I don't have experience with this technique, but I have heard of studies
that ask participants to log everything they do in one specific area of
their lives. They must be given detailed instructions on how you want them
to log their activities, even what to log and what not to log. Then you
meet with the participants once or twice to collect the logs and interview
them about their logs.

Can anyone offer more insight into this technique?

Cheers,
Chris

On Feb 13, 2009 2:20 AM, "Frank Long" <frank at frontend.com> wrote:

As a commercial agency we are getting more and more UX design work in
the social network area. (which is good news)

One of the issues that we have come up against is how difficult it
can be to test the user experience on social network sites.

The way we use these sites evolves over time, so its not possible to
get a realistic assessment in a one hour user test. Conducting
multiple sessions with the same user over the course of a week-or-so
is difficult and expensive to organise.

I was wondering whether anyone has experienced the same issue and
whether you have come up with any innovative and commercially viable
solutions? Or is the solution to just put it up there and see if it
works?

frank

http://www.frontend.com

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13 Feb 2009 - 12:41pm
Samantha LeVan
2009

I conduct a diary/log study once or twice a year and find it
incredibly valuable for understanding what people are enjoying and
what the biggest frustration points are. My favorite study was a
workbook that asked participants to describe themselves and their
interests, followed by a detailed task to complete and log. We then
reviewed that task and covered what information was most or least
helpful for my project. Then the participants were guided to document
their real experiences for a month. It was a lot of work for both me
and my participants and a relatively low completion rate, but the
information gathered really helped drive the perception of our users,
personas, and solution ideas with engineering and marketing teams.

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