Testing Your Content Is the Missing Link

Jared Spool

October 23rd, 2015

Typically when we conduct usability tests we watch how a person moves from one task to another. Where do they click? Why did they take that action? But we should also look to see if usability issues are actually understandability problems.

That’s one of the topics that Steph Hay and I discussed in a recent podcast, Designing with a Content-First Approach. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:

There were a couple projects that had been in usability testing and the teams were saying “I know that there’s something here and we just can’t get at it.” What we ended up doing, taking a content first mindset, is actually extracting the content from the interface, from the prototype that we were testing, and putting it in a Google Doc or in a Word doc and then going in and testing the language agnostic of the interface.

We would figure out where the ah-ha moments were and we would pay attention to the language that they were using, so that we could really understand what specifically were the compelling words that would make somebody want to move forward.

Listen to the podcast interview or read the transcript.

In Steph Hay’s UI20 workshop, Content-First UX Design: A Lean Approach, you’ll learn how to:

  • Design conversations that engage and motivate your users
  • Plan your user experience with text in a Google doc
  • Write scripts for user interviews to test content and language preferences

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