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Usability Testing. COMP 6620 User Interface Design Dr. Seals. What is usability?. Usability means focusing on users People use products to be productive Users are busy people trying to accomplish tasks Users decide when a product is easy to use. Why Usability Testing?.

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Usability testing l.jpg

Usability Testing

COMP 6620

User Interface Design

Dr. Seals


What is usability l.jpg
What is usability?

  • Usability means focusing on users

  • People use products to be productive

  • Users are busy people trying to accomplish tasks

  • Users decide when a product is easy to use


Why usability testing l.jpg
Why Usability Testing?

  • To ensure that the product is usable for your user

  • Usability testing should be an iterative practice

  • Completed several times during the design and development life-cycle

  • End result is an improved product and a better understanding of the users that we’re designing for (Kaufmann 2006)


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Project Usability Testing

  • Project Status

  • Prototypes should be near completion

  • Nov 10-30 Usability Testing

  • Nov 14-Dec 4 Final Writeups&Evaluation


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Usability Testing Components

  • Pilot Test

  • Usability Test


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Usability Testing Components

  • Pilot testing

    • Designed to identify hidden issues and eliminate surprises.

    • Pilot testing tests the methods of your actual study as a trial

    • Not with actual users

    • During pilot testing you can make modifications to your final study


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Usability Testing Components

  • Usability testing (Dumas & Reddish)

    • Goal to improve usability of a product

    • Participants represent real users

    • Participants do real tasks

    • You observe and record what participants do and day

    • You analyze the data, diagnose the real problems, and recommend changes to fix those problems


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How many people should I test?

  • Discount usability methods (Nielson)

    • Suggests 5 Users (we will use one more 6 just to be on the safe side)


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When to test?

  • Nov10-Nov30

  • Special Configurations on Nov18(30mins)/Nov20(30mins)

    • Second half of class please bring your laptop and running system to perform some user usability testing. This way you don’t have to track down users and the class will get a chance to see multiple systems running. So you will have all users in one place.


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What do I need to perform a Usability Test?

  • Approval from Institutional Review Board (IRB office on your university campus)

  • Usability Testing Protocol, Instruments, Prototype system

    • Perform Pilot to validate Protocol & Instruments

    • Perform Usability test

      • Collect background demographics about users (Pretest questionnaire)

      • Task List to guide user through usability test

      • Collect data about test or user acceptance (Post test questionnaire)

      • Analyze test

      • Write testing results


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What do I need to perform a Usability Test?

  • Approval from Institutional Review Board (IRB office on your university campus)

  • When you perform any experiment that involves human subjects you must receive consent from the Auburn Institutional Review Board if we plan to use the data collected in a publication. Just to make sure you are aware of any concerns that your study may impose on participants



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Pretest Questionnaire

  • To Obtain user demographics so that you are able to out biases in experiment that may be caused by age or experience


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Task List

  • Contains multiple tasks or items (for our purposes 6, 12 or 18 tasks) that the user has to find or perform.


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Post test Questionnaire

  • Ben Shneiderman, Design the User Interface


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Post test Questionnaire

  • Written user surveys are a familiar, inexpensive and generally acceptable companion for usability tests and expert reviews.

  • Acceptance Tests