questions about personas, research sharing, remote usability

14 Jan 2010 - 1:56pm
4 years ago
4 replies
1183 reads
Hilary Bienstock
2009

Hi, all,

A few questions about personas and other topics relevant to this group.

1. At my work we've made up a set of personas. Now we want to be able toidentify which persona users are through a recruit (i.e. a few questions) rather than through an
hour-long interview. Ideally, we'd like to be able to get people into
the lab who match a specific persona -- but of course, we can't screen
demographically to get them. Any ideas?

2. Does anyone have any experiencesharing findings among
a large department of researchers, user experience designers, and
others? We want to allow everyone to have access to the findings, be
aware of what was tested, and be able to use results, but we can't
require dozens of people to read giant reports. I've worked at many
companies that have large research and UX communities, and they've
never been able to solve this problem satisfactorily, so any thoughts
you guys have would be great.

3. Has anyone used a non-moderated remote usability testing tool like
usertesting.com to get results? Obviously, a moderated test is better,
but for questions where time is of the essence and a lot of feedback is
needed quickly, have you used something like this?

Thanks,
Hilary

Hilary User Experience
Hilary Bienstock, Principal

hilary at hilaryue.com :: 310.883.5818 :: fax 310.829.2839

Comments

14 Jan 2010 - 2:10pm
SemanticWill
2007

Could you rephrase question 1, because it sounds as if you are saying
that you make the personas up first and then recruit people to match
the personas, instead of using the data from the user interviews/
contextual inquiry/user testing/journaling/surveys to then drive the
creation of the personas.

thx

~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | Director, Experience Design
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
http://blog.semanticfoundry.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/semanticwill
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Jan 14, 2010, at 2:56 PM, Hilary Bienstock wrote:

> Hi, all,
>
> A few questions about personas and other topics relevant to this
> group.
>
> 1. At my work we've made up a set of personas. Now we want to be
> able toidentify which persona users are through a recruit (i.e. a
> few questions) rather than through an
> hour-long interview. Ideally, we'd like to be able to get people into
> the lab who match a specific persona -- but of course, we can't screen
> demographically to get them. Any ideas?
>
> 2. Does anyone have any experiencesharing findings among
> a large department of researchers, user experience designers, and
> others? We want to allow everyone to have access to the findings, be
> aware of what was tested, and be able to use results, but we can't
> require dozens of people to read giant reports. I've worked at many
> companies that have large research and UX communities, and they've
> never been able to solve this problem satisfactorily, so any thoughts
> you guys have would be great.
>
> 3. Has anyone used a non-moderated remote usability testing tool like
> usertesting.com to get results? Obviously, a moderated test is
> better,
> but for questions where time is of the essence and a lot of feedback
> is
> needed quickly, have you used something like this?
>
> Thanks,
> Hilary
>
>
> Hilary User Experience
> Hilary Bienstock, Principal
>
> hilary at hilaryue.com :: 310.883.5818 :: fax 310.829.2839
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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

14 Jan 2010 - 2:57pm
Tony Tulathimutte
2008

For question #3: We've used many un-moderated (aka automated)
usability tools in the past, including Usabilla, Loop11, OptimalSort,
UserZoom, and MindCanvas (now defunct).

Our take on automated research is that it's good for resolving or
validating very specific, targeted usability issues%u2014how long
does it take for people to long in on the new site vs. the old site?
Where do people drop off in the shopping cart task flow? Where do
people click when looking for contact information? And so on.

Obviously, this is only a very limited slice of the overall point of
user research%u2014to gain insight into how people use a product /
service / interface. You're unlikely to gain deep insight into why
people behave the way they do, how it fits into the context of their
lives and larger goals, or the circumstances under which they're
using the interface.

As for specific tools, we loved MindCanvas, but it's kaput now.
Usabilla is a newcomer that has many of the same features, but a
handful of glitches and shortcomings (which Paul Veugen assures us
will be addressed soon). UserZoom and WebEffective are feature-rich,
but the browser-bar prompt method isn't ideal for capturing natural
usage. OptimalSort is great for card sorting.

A few other tools we're less familiar with, but have heard good
things about: Loop11, OpenHallway, Webnographer, UserTesting.com, and
lots more.

There are two books due to be released later this month, which deal
specifically with automated research tools and methods.

The first is the book I co-authored with Nate Bolt, Remote Research,
which takes a practical approach to setting up and conducting a
remote study, as well as containing a comprehensive list of tools,
with accompanying capsule reviews:
http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/remote-research/

The second, which we obviously haven't read yet, is by Bill Albert
et al., and it's called Beyond the Usability Lab:
http://www.beyondtheusabilitylab.com/

By the way, we maintain a list of automated (and moderated) tools on
this page: http://remoteusability.com/tools/

And Elizabeth Bacon also keeps a public Google Docs spreadsheet:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AiUefdff4crxcGMtTkFlRExtWUZ2ZUNSbEllak51RkE&hl=en

Hope this helps!

Tony T.
twitter.com/boltpeters
boltpeters.com

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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14 Jan 2010 - 3:29pm
Hilary Bienstock
2009

Great question, Will.

We created the personas using a research-driven process: a series of 22 contextual inquiries with participants. Based on this data, we compiled a set of 4 primary and 3 secondary personas. Now we are trying to find people who match one of these personas for usability testing. For example, we're building a particular product for Danielle and Molly, so it would be nice to get people who match those two personas into the lab for usability testing, because (we assume that) someone who doesn't match those personas wouldn't be as interested in the feature.

Does that make more sense?

Hilary

Hilary User Experience
Hilary Bienstock, Principal

hilary at hilaryue.com :: 310.883.5818 :: fax 310.829.2839

________________________________
From: Will Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com>
To: Hilary Bienstock <hilaryb at stanfordalumni.org>
Cc: IXDA List <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Thu, January 14, 2010 12:10:56 PM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] questions about personas, research sharing, remote usability

Could you rephrase question 1, because it sounds as if you are saying that you make the personas up first and then recruit people to match the personas, instead of using the data from the user interviews/contextual inquiry/user testing/journaling/surveys to then drive the creation of the personas.

thx

~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | Director, Experience Design
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
http://blog.semanticfoundry.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/semanticwill
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Jan 14, 2010, at 2:56 PM, Hilary Bienstock wrote:

Hi, all,
>
>A few questions about personas and other topics relevant to this group.
>
>1. At my work we've made up a set of personas. Now we want to be able toidentify which persona users are through a recruit (i.e. a few questions) rather than through an
>hour-long interview. Ideally, we'd like to be able to get people into
>the lab who match a specific persona -- but of course, we can't screen
>demographically to get them. Any ideas?
>
>2. Does anyone have any experiencesharing findings among
>a large department of researchers, user experience designers, and
>others? We want to allow everyone to have access to the findings, be
>aware of what was tested, and be able to use results, but we can't
>require dozens of people to read giant reports. I've worked at many
>companies that have large research and UX communities, and they've
>never been able to solve this problem satisfactorily, so any thoughts
>you guys have would be great.
>
>3. Has anyone used a non-moderated remote usability testing tool like
>usertesting.com to get results? Obviously, a moderated test is better,
>but for questions where time is of the essence and a lot of feedback is
>needed quickly, have you used something like this?
>
>Thanks,
>Hilary
>
>
>Hilary User Experience
> Hilary Bienstock, Principal
>
>hilary at hilaryue.com :: 310.883.5818 :: fax 310.829.2839
>________________________________________________________________
>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
>

15 Jan 2010 - 3:10pm
walt9
2010

Hilary: Don't know if this will help, but in Steve Krug's new book
(Rocket Surgery Made Easy), he has a chapter about remote usability
testing. In that chapter he recommends two services: gotomeeting and
usertesting.com.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=48352

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