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Author Topic: 8 Guidelines For Usability Testing  (Read 626 times)

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Offline Perfect

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In professional circles of web design, usability testing session has become an essential component of any major project. Like focus groups in brand development and product launches, usability testing offers a rare opportunity to receive feedback from the same people go the website - before it's too late to do anything about it.

But how do you get the most out of these sessions of usability testing?

1. Choice of Subjects

As with any market research project, results will only be as good as the people of the test. Do not test the people of his own company, or friends and family. Go to an agency of the market research firm or temporary, and ask participants to rise to a certain profile. Make sure that the market research firm does not provide the name of the company or any other details that cloud the view of participants.

2. Before the usability test

As with everything in life, first impressions are vital. Each participant must be put at ease. Remember, usability testing session is often a very artificial environment, and for the most beneficial and informative results, we want to behave as if they were using the site at home or work.

Provide clear instructions on how to get to usability testing, and if necessary meet the participants at local stations. Do not use terms like "usability testing" or "market" because it can confuse and put people on edge. Also, make sure that participants know how long the usability testing will take, and the type of tasks they are expected to perform.

After the initial greeting and welcome drinks, there is always legal formS must be signed. It is essential that these are written in plain English, and be as short as possible. The last thing any nervous usability testing subject you want is to have a contract that appears to be signing your soul. All we want is to be assured that the tests are completely confidential, and for permission to use the data generated during the test as part of our results. So I say that.

3. Usability testing starts

Before diving into key tasks, getting the user familiar with the environment. Tell them the website name and URL, and request initial information about what you would expect on the site or what they would like the site is. Take note of the terms or phrases they use - this not only demonstrates that you are taking your comments seriously, but can provide helpful advice regarding the possible labels for key functionality or navigation.

Then we search the web site you are testing. Gauge their views before allowing them to become familiar with the site.

These simple tasks will help convince participants that usability testing is not difficult and, perhaps most important, are not being tested.

4. Choice of tasks

Set tasks that are essential to the success of the new site, such as:

Purchasing products
Paying bills
Contact the customer
Remember, you are not looking for an ego massage. The site was built for a reason - your target audience can do what you need to do?

It is also a good idea to ask the user to suggest tasks. While this is one more example of their expectations and needs, you can suggest new features or priorities.

5. How Word Tasks

People tend to make more natural if they are provided with scenarios rather than instructions. When given tasks, you must use phrases like "Scenario A has occurred, and you must call the company urgently - find the phone number. This is much better than 'find the contact section of the site."

6. The presentation of the tasks

Just give participants one task at a time. More than this may intimidate them, or modify its approach to the test.

If the user is required to use inputs from outside the test (eg an email giving them a password to the site), give these inputs in the form to be submitted. This will provide useful information on all elements of the process rather than simply the site.

7. How to behave during the usability testing

It is essential that you remember that the website is being tested, not you or the subject. Any feedback you get is valuable - make sure the participant knows. If they can do something, make sure you know that's not his fault.

You should stay out of sight and calm during the test. You must not alter the results, providing clues, suggesting directions or by reacting to things they say or do. All comments are to be neutral. Do not start shaking your head or breathe, no matter how tempting it can be!

The only time you should talk is to help the participant to give an opinion, or to clarify a response. If in doubt, shut up!

Given the investment in the project, clients often find it difficult to be quiet during testing. If the client wants to be there, put them in another room with a link to audio / video.

8. After the usability test

After all tasks have been completed, you should gather as much information as possible. Request for general impressions of the site will help you determine if expectations have been met, and if you look at the participants of the client or on the site has changed during the process.

Always ask for suggestions - this not only demonstrates the value placed on their thoughts, but can provide insight into how the site can best support the user.

Finally, ask participants what they remember about the site structure and functions of the site. I remember clearly confirm that the site is structured logically and help identify any problem labeling you may have missed.


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