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Day 10 Usability testing Objectives Examine the different types of usability tests Learn the six stages of usability testing Understand the purpose of a test plan and know how to create one Consider the criteria for selecting participants for a usability test

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Day 10 l.jpg

Day 10

Usability testing


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Objectives

  • Examine the different types of usability tests

  • Learn the six stages of usability testing

  • Understand the purpose of a test plan and know how to create one

  • Consider the criteria for selecting participants for a usability test

  • Consider the components of a testing environment

  • Learn how to conduct a usability test

  • Identify the components of a usability test report


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Usability testing basics

  • Don’t depend on designers to judge their own designs

  • Test often using small groups

  • Select the appropriate type of usability test

    • exploratory tests

    • assessment tests

    • evaluation tests

    • comparison tests


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Types of Usability Tests


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Conducting a usability test

  • Six main steps

    • create the test plan

    • prepare the test materials

    • select the participants

    • conduct the test

    • Post-test discussion and questionnaire

    • convert the test results to recommendations


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Create the test plan - purpose

  • Purpose of the usability test

    • examples

      • to obtain feedback on the initial design as shown on wireframes, specifically with regard to the whether the functions and features conform to what potential users would expect

      • to obtain feedback on two alternative designs, to identify any strengths or weaknesses of each design

      • to determine whether tasks can be performed in accordance with the set benchmark


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Create the test plan - goals

  • Goals of the usability test

    • examples

      • Do users complete a task successfully?

        • If so, how fast do they complete each task?

        • Is that fast enough to satisfy them?

      • What paths do they take when trying?

        • Do those paths seem efficient enough to them?

      • Where do they seem to stumble or get confused?

      • What words or paths are they looking for that are not currently on the site?


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Create the test plan – participant profiles

  • This section lists

    • the characteristics of the users who will participate in the usability test

    • the desired number of each type of user


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Create the test plan – tasks

  • Sample task list

    • What are your first impressions of this page? What do you think of layout, colors, and other visual of the page?

    • Look at the options presented and tell me what you think each of these choices is for?

    • If you were exploring this site, what would you do first on this page?

    • Perform a search that interests you.

    • Find the meaning of the term “anther.”

    • Explore any part of the site you’d like.


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Create the test plan – environment

  • test environment

    • the room – quiet, free of other happenings

    • a computer – make sure your software is on it

    • a mounted video camera – (if possible)

  • roles of people involved in the test

    • the facilitator

    • the participant

    • the recorder (if possible)

    • the observer(s) (if possible)


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A possible environment


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Create the test plan – data to collect

  • examples

    • the actual steps the participant took to attempt to complete each task

    • the time it takes to complete each task

    • the participant’s rating of the ease or difficulty with which each task was completed

    • participant’s comments and recorder’s observations that indicate the participant’s satisfaction with the product being tested

    • the number of “errors” or diversions from the ideal steps outlined for each task


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Prepare the test materials

  • screening questionnaire

  • orientation and administration script

  • consent form

  • post-test questionnaire/interview


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Select the participants

  • They should reflect the target audience for the product you are testing

  • Keep a database of possible participants

  • Use a screening questionnaire to find candidates that meet the criteria you set

  • You should pay or reward them for their time


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Conduct the test

  • Put the participants at ease

  • Do not lead the participants.

  • Be flexible

  • Never lose patience with a participant

  • Be a good listener

  • Keep your body language and facial expressions neutral

  • Don’t jump to conclusions


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Post-test discussion and questionnaire

  • The post-test questionnaire/interview

    • It provides an opportunity for the participant to provide conclusions and recommendations about the product or design being tested


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Results to recommendations

  • Keep it brief

  • Include positive findings (not just problem areas)

  • Organise comments logically

  • Include an executive summary

    • Summarise the most important findings of the report in an executive summary that is placed at the front of the report


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Usability

  • Remember the definition

    • [ISO 13407] "The usability of an interface is a measure of the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users can achieve specified goals in a particular environment with that interface.“

    • You would need to measure

      • Effectiveness

      • efficiency

      • Satisfaction

    • You need to measure these objectively


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Some usability techniques with users

  • During the task

    • Think aloud protocol

    • Co-discovery learning

    • Question-asking protocol

    • Performance measurement

    • Logging actual use

  • Post test

    • questionnaire

    • interviews

    • focus groups


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Think aloud protocol

  • Users are asked to vocalise their thoughts, feelings, and opinions whilst interacting with a system as they perform a task

  • Verbalizations are quite useful in understanding mistakes that are made and getting ideas about what the causes might be and how the interface could be improved to avoid those problems


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Co-discovery learning

  • Two participants are asked to use the system together and are encouraged to think aloud and discuss the product together


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Question-asking Protocol

  • While users are carrying out a task, a tester asks direct questions about the product, in order to understand their mental model of the system and the tasks, and any trouble they have in understanding and using the system. Like co-discovery learning, this is a more natural way of encouraging users to verbalise their thoughts than the thinking-aloud method.


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Performance Measurement

  • Quantitative data are obtained about a test participant’s performance when performing tasks


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Logging Actual Use

  • The computer is used to automatically collect statistics about the detailed use of the system. It shows exactly how users perform their work. Because data is automatically collected, data from a large number of users working under different circumstances can be collected.


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Questionnaires

  • After using the product, users fill out a questionnaire. They are given a series of questions that have been formulated about the system.


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Interviews

  • Users are interviewed after using the product. They are given a series of questions that have been formulated about the system.


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Focus Groups

  • About 6 to 9 users are brought together to discuss issues relating to the system. A list of issues to be discussed beforehand are formulated and the discussion is moderated by a usability expert. This method can capture spontaneous user reactions and ideas that evolve in the dynamic group process.


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  • http://www.cit.gu.edu.au/~mf/uidweek10/ergosoft.pdf

  • http://www.cit.gu.edu.au/~mf/uidweek10/Tower_Test_Report.pdf


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About today’s lab

  • Usability testing techniques


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