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11

How to moderate usability tests

Jared Spool has published a two-part podcast on moderating usability tests. He covers all the steps from greeting the participants and making them feel comfortable, getting tasks done, keeping observers posted about what happens at the screen, and ending the session.

Links:

  • Usability Tools Podcast: Moderating Usability Tests, Part 1 Open link in new window
  • Usability Tools Podcast: Moderating Usability Tests, Part 2 Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 11, 2008

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See also: Audio and video (48) 


 

12

Demographics is secondary when recruiting test participants

In this podcast, Jared Spool and Dana Chisnell, co-author of the Handbook of Usability Testing, discuss how relying on demographics when recruiting participants for usability test can be problematic.

In usability tests, we can learn much more from people that are motivated to carry out the tasks than from people that go though the tasks in a mechanical way without understanding what they are doing or why. Demographic, such as age, gender and occupation, might be helpful in narrowing down potential participants. But they don't say anything about peoples' motivation. In order to recruit motivated people, we should focus more on peoples' interests in the subject.

Links:

  • Avoiding Demographics When Recruiting Participants: An Interview with Dana Chisnell Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - July 09, 2008

Permanent link Comments (1)


 

13

The top 8 mistakes in usability

According to Mark Hurst, these are the eight major mistakes that companies make when investing in the usability of their website:

- Not conducting any customer research
- Making decisions based on made-up user profiles
- Conducting the wrong type of research
- Using predefined tasks in usability tests
- Not inviting stakeholders to attend usability tests
- Not prioritizing findings from usability tests
- Not relating research to business objectives
- Missing the larger strategic picture

Links:

  • The top 8 mistakes in usability (and companies investing in it) Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 21, 2008

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See also: User research (23) 


 

14

Video of paper prototype usability tests

Here's an interesting video showing how a paper prototype usability test helped the usability team at Corel find flaws in a preliminary design of a website creation product.

Links:

  • YouTube video of paper prototype usability test Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 16, 2008

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119) 


 

15

How the new Office 2007 interface came about

MIX08 has published a talk by Jensen Harris giving a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the new interface design of Office 2007. He talks about how Microsoft said farewell to menus and toolbars and hello to the Ribbon.

In his presentations, Jensen shows some of the many concepts prototypes that came before the final design and explains how usability tests of these prototypes led to the Ribbon concept.

Links:

  • The Story of the Ribbon Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 11, 2008

Permanent link Comments (3)

See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Audio and video (48)  Cases and Examples (28)  Talks and presentations (18) 


 

16

Recording paper prototype tests with Morea

This how-to article shows how to exploit the full functionality of the screen recording tool Morae when carrying out paper prototype usability tests.

Links:

  • Paper Prototyping with Morae Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 20, 2008

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See also: Tools (106) 


 

17

How usability tests are put together determines the outcome

In this article, Bryan Eisenberg makes an interesting comparison between Gap.com and Newport-News.com. According UIE, Gap.com outperforms Newport News when people are looking for particularly products. But in spite of its lower traffic and reach, Newport News rank higher in terms of revenue.

Why this difference? The answer might be that Newport News relies more on presenting goods within the context of fashion themes and trends, rather than merely classifying them by product categories. This approach might appeal to impulse buyers.

Whether Bryan Eisenberg's analysis is correct or not, the story is a reminder of an important aspect of usability testing: how you test will inevitable influence your results. If UIE had tested people who didn't know in advance what to buy, they may have seen different results.

Links:

  • Does Usability Actually Sell Anything? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 10, 2007 - via Usability In The News

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See also: Persuasive design (21) 


 

18

Watch users navigate websites with RobotReplay

RobotReplay an online service that records and plays back visitors' sessions on websites. Sit back and watch every mouse movement, click, keystroke, scroll, etc.

RobotReplay a direct competitor to ClickTale - a similar service previously mentioned here at GUUUI.

RobotReplay promises to always have a free version of their service available.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - November 09, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Tools (106)  Web traffic analysis (12) 


 

19

Statistical significance in usability test and surveys

Statistical significance revolves around having enough participants to make our findings valid.

In this episode of the Usability Tools Podcast, Jared Spool talks about:

- What statistical significance mean
- How many people it takes to produce reliable results
- How usability tests require many fewer participants than surveys because they are behavioural and not attitudinal
- How to gather enough data from research

Links:

  • Usability Tools Podcast: Statistical Significance Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 23, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: User research (23)  Audio and video (48)  Interviews (30) 


 

20

Tasks in usability test should be made on-the-fly

In this episode of the UIE's Usability Tools Podcast, Jared Spool talks about interview-based tasks in usability tests, that is, task that the test facilitator and the participant negotiate during the test. According to Jared, predefined tasks give flawed test results.

Links:

  • Interview-Based Tasks for Usability Testing Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 01, 2007

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Audio and video (48)  Interviews (30) 


 

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