To design an easy-to-use interface, pay attention to what users do, not only what they say… Jacob Nielson

How we do it… A  typical set-up for testing usability and user experience might looks as follows:

Test Design:  Initially, we work with clients identifying specific tasks and areas of an application/website that they would like to test.   Together we identify what success criteria should be used to measure participant’s performance during the test.

Target group:   In order to gain real insights into the user experience, we think it is essential to recruit and test with real users, or potential users of your system.  Some clients like to create personas to profile their typical target customer.  We have found for high level testing, that it does not take a large amount of people to identify any major problems and our smaller projects typically work with five participants. 

During testing:

  • Users are introduced to study and asked to complete pre-test questionnaire (demographics, prior experience etc.)
  • User are then given a scenario and a task list and asked work their way through task list. 
  • User behaviour is observed and recorded during observation using video and sound recording, screen recording, interaction logging and eye-tracking.
  • At the end of test, users are then asked to complete an on-line questionnaire rating the application and will also participate in a post-session interview, which is recorded using video, audio and interaction logging.   This allows participants to explain their behaviour during the test and gives them the opportunity to tell us more about their experience while using the application.

Analysis: During analysis we measure user behavior against pre-defined success criteria such as task completion, ease of use, engagement, satisfaction etc.  We also consider any other issues that may have emerged during testing that we may not have foreseen e.g users understanding of the concept of the application, or particular areas of website etc. 

We then produce a final report detailing the user experience, explaining any trends that emerged from the data and highlighting areas for future improvement. Eye-tracking data, video samples of recorded data and critical episodes will also be included in the report.

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