Articles about Usability Testing

  • Conducting Usability Research for Mobile 02/27/2013

    Jared M. Spool speaks with Cyd Harrell on conducting user research on mobile devices.

  • Bending the Protocols: Useful Variations on Usability Tests 12/20/2011

    Jared M. Spool talks about five of our favorite usability test variations. You’ll see how we bend and twist basic techniques to discover new things about what we’re designing.

  • Fast Path to a Great UX - Increased Exposure Hours 03/30/2011

    Learn how upping your exposure hours is the fastest path to enhancing the quality of your product or service’s user experience.

  • Three Questions You Shouldn't Ask During User Research 08/16/2010

    Jared M. Spool talks about getting information faster when you avoid three types of questions during user research sessions.

  • Pros and Cons of Remote Usability Testing 07/15/2010

    Nate Bolt explores the pros and cons of remote usability testing.

  • Are You Really Prepared for Your Usability Study? The Three Steps for Success 06/22/2010

    UIE alumni Christine Perfetti provides us 3 steps to ensure you're truly prepared for your usability studies.

  • Gerry McGovern Says "Manage the Tasks" 10/28/09/2009

    Jared Spool discusses with Gerry McGovern how users' performance on a site correlates strongly with their completion of tasks.

  • Moderating with Multiple Personalities: 3 Roles for Facilitating Usability Tests 10/14/09/2009

    Jared Spool explains the 3 personalities needed to moderate successful usability tests.

  • Testing in the Wild, Seizing Opportunity 08/12/2009

    Dana Chisnell explains how you can easily conduct usability tests "in the wild."

  • Five Techniques for Getting Buy-In for Usability Testing 09/02/2008

    In this popular article, originally published in April 2008, Christine Perfetti outlines the 5 best techniques for convincing management and key stakeholders of the benefits of incorporating usability testing into the formal design process. It's easier than you think.

  • 5-Second Tests: Measuring Your Site's Content Pages 06/09/2005

    How can design teams be confident their content pages are understandable to users? How does a team ensure they've designed content pages that communicate the essential information effectively? A simple usability testing technique can help design teams quickly measure how a content page performs with users. We call it the 5-Second Test.

  • Five Techniques for Getting Buy-In for Usability Testing 04/24/2007

    Christine Perfetti outlines the 5 best techniques for convincing management and key stakeholders of the benefits of incorporating usability testing into the formal design process. It's easier than you think.

  • Usability Testing. Oh, The Things You Can Learn. 02/27/2007

    Jared Spool sheds light on the aspects of usability testing nobody ever talks about, and catalogues some of the things a team learns when they put together their own usability tests, starting with recruiting and ending with analysis.

  • Streamlining the Design Process with Paper Prototyping: An Interview with Carolyn Snyder 01/30/2007

    UIE's Ashley McKee managed to get a bit of Carolyn Snyder's time to discuss the increased popularity of paper prototyping, what the technique is, who can use it, and how it's beneficial to the design process.

  • Interview-Based Tasks: Learning from Leonardo DiCaprio 01/23/2006

    In interview-based tasks, the participants interests are discovered, not assigned. Because each task is drawn from the experience and interest of each participant, no two participants perform exactly the same tasks.

  • CUE: A Usability Testing Bake-Off 08/19/2005

    In 1998, Rolf Molich held what we could call the first usability testing bake-off. He called it a Comparative Usability Evaluation or CUE. The CUE can help you improve your own usability practices by learning how others test their interfaces.

  • Thinking Beyond Conversion 06/17/2005

    Jeffrey Eisenberg discusses how teams need to change their design strategies to see dramatic improvements in site conversion rates. They must recognize that while their goal may be conversion, their practice must be persuasion.

  • Streamlining Usability Testing by Avoiding the Lab 05/25/2005

    The usability lab, with its fancy cameras, one-way mirrors, and comfortable observation suites, is often considered a can't-do-without necessity for conducting serious usability tests. Even those who feel it's not required will jump at the chance to use a lab when available. However, while studying successful projects over the years, we've found that usability testing can often be more effective when the team eliminates the lab from the process.

  • Seven Common Usability Testing Mistakes 02/15/2005

    As we work with teams all over the globe, there are mistakes that we see frequently. These mistakes are very easy to prevent -- if only the team members realized they were making them. Here are seven of the most common mistakes.

  • Six Steps to Ensure a Successful Usability Test 01/18/2005

    Ginny Redish, a recognized expert in the world of usability testing, and author of the book, "A Practical Guide to Usability Testing", has written a fantastic article with tips for ensuring you get the most out of each usability test.

  • Preventing Usability Problems from the Get-go 11/19/2004

    UIE has been researching how designs are created in the first place. Our goal is to identify those places where usability problems are first put into the design and to come up with ways to prevent it from the outset. in the successful teams, the same three techniques pop up again and again: field studies, personas, and usability testing.

  • Designing Products That Work the Way People Work: An Interview with Kate Gomoll 09/17/2004

    While techniques, such as focus groups, usability tests, and surveys, can lead to valuable insights, the most powerful tool in the toolbox is the field study. We talked with Kate Gomoll, a User Research expert, about how she and her team at Gomoll Research & Design conduct their Field Research.

  • Honing Your Usability Testing Skills: An Interview with Ginny Redish 09/09/2004

    Ginny Redish, a recognized usability expert, shares her insight into usability testing best practices.

  • Conducting Inherent Value Testing 02/25/2004

    In a past article, Jared summarized the benefits of Inherent Value Testing, a simple usability testing technique that can help you measure how your site communicates your product's value

  • Inherent Value Testing 02/19/2004

    Is your web site chartered with encouraging people to buy or use your product or service? Is it succeeding? It turns out there is a simple usability testing technique that can help you measure how your site communicates your product's inherent value.

  • Usability Testing Best Practices: An Interview with Rolf Molich 07/24/2003

    UIE's Christine Perfetti asked expert usability practitioner Rolf Molich his thoughts on the best practices surrounding usability testing. Here's what they talked about.

  • Learning from the Work of Others 08/01/2001

    Rolf Molich has conducted two experiments comparing the work of different usability teams, examining their practices, and looking for patterns and differences. His experiments provide extremely valuable material for sharpening individual usability practices.

  • Eight is Not Enough 06/18/2001

    How many users should you test? Christine Perfetti and Lori Landesman address this commonly-asked question.

  • Usability Labs: Our Take 07/01/1999

    Here at User Interface Engineering, we recognize that many people find usability labs to be valuable tools, but we have a different view. We're happy with our no-lab setup and confident that it gives excellent results.

  • Observing What Didn't Happen 01/01/1999

    During usability tests, everyone notices when a user fails because a feature breaks down. But when expected things don't happen, or illogical things do happen, it can mean that developers didn't understand what the users needed, or how they would use the product.

  • Testing Web Sites with Eye-Tracking 09/01/1998

    Designers want their web site visitors to look over here, but, by following their gaze and analyzing their actions, we know that users more often were looking over there.

  • What is Eye-Tracking Good For? 09/01/1998

    We learned a lot about web users by bouncing light off their eyeballs, but this useful technique can't answer some questions, such as why users look at something.

  • Scheduling Hard-to-Find Users 01/01/1998

    Developers may hesitate to start usability testing because they worry that their product poses special problems in finding, scheduling, or compensating the right users. This shouldn't stop them. We successfully find and test hundreds of users a year and about 10% of these require special tactics for scheduling. Here are some of the things we've learned.

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