Tuesday, August 28, 2007

10 Usability Testing Tips

Practical tips when doing usability testing ...

"Recently, a client asked us to put together a list of high level “dos” and “don’ts” for usability testing. It has taken us several years to get good at usability testing – so this list of tips is not meant to replace an expert facilitator, it’s simply meant to provide a bit more insight.

1. Remind the subject that you are not testing them, that you are testing the website.

2. Don’t lead. If the subject doesn’t understand a question, try to ask it differently without giving the answer away. This is particularly important when testing “labels” or the site’s navigation options.

3. Be friendly and approachable, to diffuse some of the anxiety and tension experienced by the subject, but don’t overdo it or you will end up swaying the results in the other direction. The goal is to neutralize the artificial setting.

4. If an answer to a question seems vague or if the subject seems unsure, take the opportunity to probe by asking follow up questions.

5. Ask subjects to “think outloud” when they are trying to execute a task.

6. Be patient. Silence is ok at first (for five to ten seconds), then ask the subject to “think out loud”."    (Continued via idfive's AttentionScan)    [Usability Resources]

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