January 29, 2018
This is the Lady Gaga of research methodologies:
“I’m your biggest fan” you say to your design.
Your users sit down and say “I’ll bring him down, bring him down, down.”
You look back at your participant: “No he can’t read my poker face.”
If you run your usability test right, your user won’t get your intentions off the bat. They’ll work through the tasks as you learn what can be improved with your design. Usability tests are core to determining how your design could function in real-world conditions. The crux of this process involves building a prototype and prompting the user to complete a series of tasks.
Aim for 5-6 solid user tests for confidence in a design direction. If you are building a feature that may differ between personas or your user types, try to test with 4-5 users within each major persona.
In a usability test, you will ask your participant to try to use a prototype or low-fidelity mockup of your product. They will try to complete a set of tasks using this mockup, and throughout the time “thinking aloud” on what makes sense to them, frustrates or confuses them, and what they were expecting to see along the way.
Outline a list of tasks to complete in your interface. For instance “run this report” or “update a software plugin” or “share a file with another user.”
Break up tasks into distinct processes that take up to 2-5 minutes to complete. Try to avoid using identical terminology as the micro-copy in your interfacevoid tasks that just ask users to hunt-and-find a button. efine an end-goal .
For instance, “” will help you test your design far better than asking “ reportthat asks
If you are“What does this interface allow you to do?”earl stage , you can use more open-ended questions that focus on what the user suspects the goals of this interface are. For example, you could ask:
How to Think Aloud
- I know it sounds odd, and it might take a minute to get used to doing it but there isn’t a wrong way to do this. And I’ll prompt you to keep talking if you get a little quiet. Sound good?”
the user’s screen and captures video recordings of the users as they work through the outlined tasks.