Guidelines for conducting usability tests

12. April 2008 – 04:23

Meanwhile, the usability testing an essential part in every major Web project has become. Similar to the development of a brand or product launch, Usability testing is a very good way to provide appropriate feedback in advance to receive. This is also very important, because later it may partially be too late, to something about it or it will be very very expensive.

How to get the bottom line from these usability tests?

1) Choice of subjects:
As with any market research, the results are only as good as their subjects. Do not check the employee's own firm or friends and family. Go rather to a market research firm or employment agency and ask participants to your profile requirements. Make sure, that the market research firm does not specify the name of their company or any other references, could influence the verdict of the participants.

2) Before testing:

As in real life, first impressions are the most important. Each participant must feel comfortable. For frequent usability tests in an extremely artificial environment, Thus laboratory conditions. The results can be extremely soft here on a normal result. So try, the tests in a pleasant and familiar environment, best carried out at home or at work depending on the requirements of the relevant subject.

[The statistical quality Kriete arteries such as. high internal validity, back due to the small number of participants in the background.]

Explain how the test runs, all necessary written agreements, the nature of the tasks and how long does the holding of tests. Avoid terms such as usability testing or market research, because they can confuse and influence.
When you do these tests themselves can not or. want, go to a Usability Agency, can do exactly what these usability tests for you and get advice.

Also, remember, that this rule. Psychologists are, in dealing with testing (Interview and systematic observation) are trained.

3) Start with the test

Either you let the subject according to the criteria / Homepage Search or call the Web site name and URL. Ask the tester to give initial feedback on its expectation of this page and what he associates with this site. Note any words or expressions of the subject – that it not only shows, that you take their feedback seriously, but also provides useful tips in terms of features or navigation.
Then look at you let the test person's website. Before the test is to familiarize yourself with the website, ask him about his first impression of the site.
These few simple tasks will be to convince the participants, that the usability tests will not be difficult, and, perhaps most important, that they are not tested, but only the site.

4. Choice of tasks

Set tasks, will contribute to the success of the new website:
– Purchase products
– Bezahlmöglichkeiten (SSL, Credit Cards, etc.)
– Contact
– Navigation

Remember, that constructive criticism to help you and is better than nothing but praise.
The website was programmed for a reason, – your audience can do that quickly and easily find, what they want?

There is also a good idea, that the user himself a task specifies. This way you get a further indication of the expectations and requirements of the user and can possibly. new functionality or priorities are.

5) Word choice in the tasks

People act natural, if you imagine a scenario should, rather than to follow instructions. If you post a job, you should use phrases like “Imagine the following scenario: They urgently need to reach the company by phone – find the phone number”. This is far better than “find the contact details of those Homepage”.

6) Aufgabenpräsentation

Do not ask about the participants or even, so here it and set only one task at a specific time.

Do users always test the entire process. An example: Suppose the user needs to register an email confirmation with the activation of, then let the subject conclude this entire process. This will give you information on all process operations associated with the website.

7) How should you behave during the usability tests

Any feedback is valuable – make sure, that your students know this. Explain to your testers, if something can not be found or, that it is not their fault.

Stay as still as possible during the test and “invisible”. You do not affect test results by referring, All comments, which must be neutral type. So do not shake your head or react emotionally, even if sometimes your patience is put to the test.
When you talk, to give it only to the participants to help with the opinion or to clarify an ambiguous response. When in doubt, They prefer to remain quiet!

Given the high partial investment in a project, will sometimes be like the customer with the usability test. If your customer really want to be present, Explain to your customers, why it makes more sense, by the Real Time Video zuzuschalten and not on site if necessary. to influence the outcome by comments.

8.) After the usability test

After all tasks are completed, You should gather as much information. Ask, whether expectations were met or whether that decision has changed during the test process.

Always ask for suggestions – this shows the tester, that you place great value on its mind.

Finally, ask the participants to inform, what they remember, whether positive or negative, the site structure and features of the site.

It is further noted, that in private testing (Self-evaluation) the risk of corruption is. Caused by Others. clumsy experiment set, “socially desirable” Responses of test persons and non-critical analysis.

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