Effective User Testing


Which quadrant do you want to be in?


Which quadrant do you NOT want to be in?


How do you make sure you're in the top half?

User Testing!


User Testing Challenge

Watch, Don't Ask

User Testing DON'T's

  • Don't give them any buttons or links that don't work or matter
  • Don't give them an ugly or flashy design
  • Don't give a demo tour of the app to them
  • Don't ask them to play with it (unless it's a game)
  • Don't jump in and help them when confused
  • Don't ask if they liked it

User Testing DOs

  • Do get a few testers immediately
  • Do give them several task scenarios (on paper)
  • Do watch
  • Do record or take notes
  • Afterwards, ask them for
    • the 3 best things they saw
    • the 3 worst things they saw
  • Do look at these slides by the Center for Plain Language

User Scenario Testing

  • BEFORE: Write everything out in advance
    • Scenarios, app overview, pre / post surveys, waivers, ...
  • DURING: Shut up and watch
    • Don't tell them what to do
    • Answer questions with questions
    • Let them fail -- see if they can recover
  • AFTER: Analyze
    • categorize and tally mistakes, confusions, hesitation, ...
    • focus on most critical and common problems

User Scenario Form

  • Brief background on context and problem
    • It's 5:30pm
    • you're at the main library
    • you're late for a team meeting in Tech
    • you're really hungry
  • Specify the goals to be achieved
    • You want to find the nearest open dining hall
    • with something vegan