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Predefined tasks in usability tests give flawed results

If usability tests are not guided by what real users want to do, they can give misleading results. Instead of using predefined tasks, Jared Spool suggests that we let the users design their own tasks:

"In interview-based tasks, the participant's interest are discovered, not assigned. Unlike scavenger-hunt tasks, the test's facilitator and participant negotiate the tasks during the tests, instead of proceeding down a list of predefined tasks."

According to Jared Spool, it starts with recruiting. When conducting interview-based tasks it's important to identify candidates that have a passion for the subject matter we're evaluating.

The method is very similar to Mark Hurst's Listening labs.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - April 09, 2006

See also: Usability testing (68) 

 

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