UIEtips: Bending the Protocols – Useful Variations on Usability Tests

Jared Spool

December 20th, 2011

I remember my first usability test like it was yesterday, even though it was actually more than 30 years ago. I sat in the newly built lab (first of its kind) and watched the participant through the silvered glass as they struggled with the design we were working on. What I didn’t know then was how far we’d take this basic technique and how important it would become to great design.

Now I look at the basic usability test protocol like it’s a column of wet clay, ready to be molded into exactly the research instrument we need. Over the years, we’ve invented, borrowed, and stolen different variations, all to help us better understand our users and what we’re designing.

In today’s UIEtips, I talk about five of our favorite variations. You’ll see how we bend and twist basic techniques to discover new things about what we’re designing.

Read the article: Bending the Protocols – Useful Variations on Usability Tests

What are your favorite variations on usability testing? Tell us below what you’re doing.

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