Archive for the 'Usability Testing' topic

Outsourcing Your User Research Is Like Outsourcing Your Vacation

Hang around me long enough and you’ll hear me say this: Outsourcing your user research work is like outsourcing your vacation. It gets the job done, but probably won’t have the effects you were seeking. I usually say this when someone is asking me to do their user research for them. This is something we […]

Task Success Rate – Is that the right way to judge a usability test?

Over at the Boxes and Arrows LinkedIn discussion group, Carrie asked: What is a good success rate for a usability test task? We just conducted user testing on a site map. So we have success rate percentages for each task. They range from 9% – 51% success (in up to 3 tries). Obviously there are […]

UIEtips: The KJ-Technique – A Group Process for Establishing Priorities

Our favorite method for prioritizing is the KJ Technique. It’s a method that helps teams rank the important issues for a focus question, such as “What are the most important usability problems we need to fix in this version of the design?” or “Which observations from a usability study are most important to act on?” […]

UIEtips: 3 Important Usability Challenges for Designing Web Apps

Web-based applications are different from content-based web sites because the users are involved in a transaction. In our work researching the usability of content-based sites, we focus on how users will find and react to the information. However, with web-based applications, there are many other considerations we need to account for. In this week’s UIEtips, […]

Steve Portigal – You’ve Done All This Research… Now What?

Conducting research and gathering data are crucial parts in the process of creating great design. But once you have all of the data, what do you do with it? How do you know you’re extracting the right conclusions and not leaving anything important on the table? Steve Portigal discusses the methods of synthesis and ideation to approach this crucial next step.

UIEtips: Usability Testing – Oh, The Things You Can Learn

Almost 23 years ago, UIE started with the goal of conducting usability tests for clients. For many years, we made quite a good business of this. Now, it feels like we do our best to convince people they should be conducting tests on their own, even those folks who want to pay us. Don’t get […]

Tips for Recruiting Research Participants

Our good friend, Dana Chisnell, wrote a fabulous answer on Quora, sharing her tips on recruiting participants for user research: Do the recruiting yourself. This gives you bonus research data about your people, and you may learn things you hadn’t anticipated that will influence how you conduct the study. It also starts a relationship with […]

UIEtips: 3 Questions You Shouldn’t Ask During User Research

When we prepare for our user research sessions, it’s easy to focus on the questions we should ask. But what about the ones we shouldn’t ask? Our goal, of course, is to learn everything we can. We need to leverage the research time, to ensure we’re filling our brains with the information we’ll need to […]

UIEtips: Pros and Cons of Remote Usability Testing

30 years ago, I conducted my first usability study. The lab we had— the first ever built for this purpose— was the size of a janitor’s closet (because it was a converted janitor’s closet) and was packed with more than $20,000 of video equipment (because that’s what a simple camera and editing system cost then). […]

UIEtips: Are You Really Prepared for Your Usability Study? The Three Steps for Success

Usability testing is a powerful tool. It guides the design of products. It informs us on the behaviors and expectations of users. And it gives teams a way to measure how close they are to achieving their goals. Our clients recognize that usability testing is still the most effective way to ensure their designs meet […]