Monday, November 5, 2007
Full-Day Seminar, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m .

Rolf Molich

Advanced Methods for Usability Testing

Rolf Molich

Would you like to fine-tune your usability testing skills?  Would you like to write reports that have more impact on the design? Would you like to ensure you're working most efficiently, so you can get projects done quickly?

Most designers and usability professionals have learned how to conduct usability tests by reading books or by watching someone else prepare and conduct tests. But how do you know that the particular way you've learned to do usability testing is the best way?  Many development teams are struggling with this question and working to increase the effectiveness of usability testing projects.

That's why we've asked Rolf Molich, an expert usability testing practitioner, to share his research studying the most effective usability testing techniques. Since 1998, Rolf has collected the methods, reports, and results of more than fifty usability teams and scoured through them, in search of the best practices. He’s found radical differences in the teams’ methods – some very effective and some dreadfully ineffective. He’s culled the best and the worst and packed them into this day-long seminar, along with his amazing insights into the best practices.

If you're a usability professional who has conducted a dozen or so tests, here is an opportunity to improve your skills in all areas of usability testing and facilitation, including planning and designing tests, identifying major usability problems, and writing reports. It’s the best tune-up you’ll ever get.

You will learn:

  1. What constitutes an effective usability test. You'll review the usability study methods used by dozens of development teams and identify which approaches work best.
  2. Tips and tricks used by the most successful usability teams.  Rolf will share his hints on finding good test participants, testing on a minimum budget, testing intermediate and advanced users, and international usability testing.
  3. Why opinions about usability are extremely dangerous for your cause.  As the co-inventor of the heuristic evaluation technique, Rolf will have some surprising recommendations about the use of opinions for creating designs.
  4. What makes a good usability test scenario. You will see how usability test scenarios impact the outcome of a usability study.
  5. How to create the right tasks. Rolf will discuss the distinction between a scenario and a task, and how to avoid the common pitfalls of task design.
  6. What a usability problem is, and how usability problems are identified. You'll review descriptions of sample usability problems found by development teams and identify desirable and questionable elements of a usability problem description.
  7. How to write a good usability test report. Rolf will share the necessary characteristics of a usability report to assure its communicative value and examples of common problems in reports. Plus, you'll learn how to communicate the results of a usability test quickly and efficiently.
  8. How many users are needed to find the majority of usability problems.  Rolf will challenge the assumption "five users is enough" to find the bulk of usability problems.

In addition to the lecture and discussion, you'll receive comprehensive notes filled with over 200 pages of insights.  Along with the seminar slides, the notes include sample usability reports and tips and tricks for experienced usability professionals on how to improve your usability testing skills. Plus, you'll receive two research papers that summarize Rolf's research results.

This seminar has plenty of discussion time built in – it’s critical to ensure you can adapt these new techniques to your own practice. You’ll have the opportunity to describe your biggest issues and have complete access to Rolf ’s years of expertise.

Who Should Attend

No matter how many usability projects you’ve implemented – whether it’s a hundred or you’re just about to start your first – you’ll find tremendous value in this seminar. It’s perfect for usability professionals, product managers, designers, engineers, and technical writers – anyone who is going to put a usability project together. This will be one of the most valuable courses you’ll ever take.

UI12 Seminar Recommendations: If you're interested in Rolf's full-day seminar, you may also want to attend Kim Goodwin's seminar on Interaction Design.