Usability tests and reports
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Usability Tests and Reports. Brian Gastle Western Carolina University. What is a Usability Test. Examines How Effective a Document or Device Is: Finding Information Performing Tasks Answering Questions Solving Problems. How is it performed/conducted?. Experiments with “real” users

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Usability tests and reports

Usability Tests and Reports

Brian Gastle

Western Carolina University


What is a usability test

What is a Usability Test

  • Examines How Effective a Document or Device Is:

    • Finding Information

    • Performing Tasks

    • Answering Questions

    • Solving Problems


How is it performed conducted

How is it performed/conducted?

  • Experiments with “real” users

    • Study users as they use the document or device

  • Observed by development team or testing agency

    • Should be viewed by a variety of “specialists”


Goals of the test

Goals of the Test

  • Safety

  • Economic

    • Reduce clarification inquiries

    • Highlight “best” parts of product in marketing

    • Future product development

    • Customer Satisfaction


Stages of the test

Stages of the Test

  • Preparation of the Test

  • Administration of the Test

  • Interpreting and Reporting Test Info


Preparation of the test

Preparation of the Test

  • Define important needs of users

    • Goals of the document or device

  • Define purpose of the test based upon needs

  • Define Test Team

  • Write Test Plan (proposal – resources)

  • Prepare materials

    • Activities, questions, etc.

  • Select Participants

  • Establish Testing Environment

  • Pilot Test


Administering test

Administering Test

  • Develop Clear Checklist and/or Schedule for each test

  • Conduct each test the same way

    • Including interaction with participant

      • Watch leading questions / statements

  • Debrief / Interview after test


Reporting data

Reporting Data

  • Tabulate and graph numerical data

  • Group data into appropriate categories for revision of document

  • Follow Formal Report Format and Layout.


Some sample online tests

Some Sample Online Tests

  • http://zing.ncsl.nist.gov/iusr/documents/cifv1.1b.htm

    • Common Industry Format for Usability Test Reports

    • A gov. document outlining standard formats for UT’s

    • If you do all this you’ll be in good shape ;-)

  • http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/productinfo/usability/usability_test/

    • A very clear UT comparing usability of two web sites

  • http://www.gooddocuments.com/samples/usabilitytest.htm

    • A complete report from inception to administration to recommendations


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