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Beyond Usability Testing: Assessing the Usefulness of Your Design

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Beyond Usability Testing: Assessing the Usefulness of Your Design

  1. 1. Beyond Usability Testing: Assessing the Usefulness of Your Design<br />UPA Boston Mini-Conference 2011<br />Prepared by:<br />Michael Hawley – Chief Design Officer<br />Daniel Berlin – Experience Research Director<br />May 25, 2011<br />
  2. 2. Have You Run Usability Tests?<br />
  3. 3. Usability Testing<br />Participants attempt to complete a set of defined tasks.<br />Researchers learn what to improve by observing and interpreting think-aloud.<br />
  4. 4. Virzi, R.A., Refining the Test Phase of Usability Evaluation: How Many Subjects is Enough? Human Factors, 1992. 34(4): p. 457-468.<br />
  5. 5. Trend<br />Business sponsors turn to us as UX professionals with questions that are not about usability problems.<br />Rather, their questions are about overall user experience strategy, value and usefulness.<br />
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  7. 7. Usability:<br />Find interruptions in workflow that prevent users from performing tasks quickly and efficiently.<br />
  8. 8. Usefulness:<br />Inform a re-structure of the application to best align with workflow.<br />Determine where to position productivity tips and help buttons within the application for best utilization.<br />Find optimal level of personalization and customization that users would take advantage of.<br />
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  10. 10. Usability:<br />Assess effectiveness of navigation system in guiding users to desired pages.<br />Evaluate descriptiveness and clarity of links.<br />Gauge ability of page layouts to orient users to relevant content.<br />
  11. 11. Usefulness:<br />Identify content that is missing which will help overcome objections or answer critical questions? <br />Understand how branded labels and content themes contribute to the overall experience or detract from it.<br />Determine level/types of promotions and interstitials that are acceptable to users.<br />Understand how different audience personas prefer to consume information for the particular domain.<br />
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  13. 13. Usability:<br />Determine optimal level of difficulty to encourage advancement to multiple levels of the game.<br />Assess discoverability of game features and controls.<br />
  14. 14. Usefulness:<br />Find the optimal rate of point accumulation and alignment with prize levels.<br />Understand best use of social media within or around the game.<br />Determine the threshold for ads, interstitials and registration for game play.<br />
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Usability:<br />Assess if users can figure out how to add a comment, share content, or use a tagging mechanism to find what they are looking for.<br />
  17. 17. Usefulness:<br />Determine the most compelling and appealing topics or categories for conversation.<br />Understand the level of involvement the sponsoring company should have in the social experience, if any. <br />Balance branded or non-branded experience for optimal trust of the site. <br />Determine the elements or attributes that should allow comment and review. <br />
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  19. 19. Usability:<br />Find any confusion points or interruptions that prevent users from registering.<br />Find misleading or ambiguous terminology.<br />
  20. 20. Usefulness:<br />Determine the most persuasive elements that will compel the target audience to register.<br />Understand a design’s impact a user’s perception of the brand. <br />Position the offering and messaging against the company’s competitors.<br />Determine missing content that can help target audience make an informed decision about the product.<br />
  21. 21. Sound Familiar?<br />
  22. 22. Natural Reaction<br />Turn to what we know: Usability Testing<br />(one-on-one interviews, design artifact, and tasks)<br />
  23. 23. Are You Forgetting Contextual Inquiry and Foundational Research?<br />Discovery research and needs analysis is valid, but:<br /><ul><li>Time and budget for separate research is not always an option
  24. 24. Many participants need design artifacts to elicit appropriate reaction and commentary</li></li></ul><li>Our Goal<br />Leverage the strengths of usability testing but adjust our approach when objectives differ from finding usability problems.<br />
  25. 25. Three Components<br />
  26. 26. Three Components<br />
  27. 27. Three Components<br />
  28. 28. Three Components<br />
  29. 29. Example: Usability<br />Goal:<br />Find usability problems<br />Pre-Task Questions:<br />Audience segmentation<br />Tasks:<br />Defined<br />Post-Task Questions:<br />Baseline satisfaction<br />
  30. 30. Example: Usefulness<br />Goal:<br />Role of personalization<br />Pre-Task Questions:<br />Common tasks, pain points<br />Tasks:<br />Emphasis on participant direction <br />Post-Task Questions:<br />Comparison of expectation<br />
  31. 31. Summary<br />Foundational research is still important.<br />Usability testing is still important. <br />However, recognize when you have different goals and adapt the research method as necessary.<br />
  32. 32. Additional Information<br />Complete Presentation Slides<br /><ul><li>http://www.slideshare.net/hawleymichael
  33. 33. http://www.slideshare.net/banderlin</li></ul>Contact Information<br />Michael Hawley<br />mhawley@madpow.net<br />@hawleymichael<br />Dan Berlin<br />dberlin@madpow.net<br />@banderlin<br />