User testing workshop for EYC conference
By courtney in Other on April 28, 2011
Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be running a user-testing workshop at the Engage Your Community conference here in Wellington. This will be the third EYC gathering I’ve presented at, and I’m really looking forward to it.
The workshop is called ‘Fast and Cheap Usability’. It’s targeted at people who haven’t done user testing before, and aims to give an overview of different techniques for testing different things, all of which can be undertaken at little cost (except for time: I will be emphasising that good user testing takes quite a bit of time: to recruit participants, to craft the tests, to run the tests, and to interpret and apply the results).
It’s a hands-on workshop, focused on getting people to try out the user testing techniques for themselves. We’re going to:
- talk about how you can recruit testing participants (and who you should be trying to test)
- run open and closed card-sorting exercises (to test how content should be organised in a website)
- look at ways to assess the usability of content (such as comprehension testing, and uncovering what content is most important to users)
- try some in-person testing (run live task-based tests for sample websites, including those of participants if they’re feeling brave/curious)
- try some online testing tools (including our own IntuitionHQ)
I’ll also be promising people some useful links, so here they are. Some of them go back a few years (the article on card sorting – still my favourite introduction to the topic – is from 2004) but these have been gathered for people relatively new to user-testing:
- Usability Testing Demystified by Dana Chisnell
- Card Sorting: A Definitive Guide by Donna Spencer and Todd Warfel
- Usability Testing with Card Sorting by Kayla Knight
- Quick and Dirty Remote User Testing by Nate Bolt
- Top 6 User Testing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them – Jeff Sexton interviews Patrick Sullivan
- Paper Prototyping – Shawn Medero
- Homepage goals – Derek Powazek
Staying up to date:
- Boxes and Arrows
- A List Apart
- The IntuitionHQ blog, where Jake posts regularly about trends and topics in user testing, including this recent piece on A/B and preference testing.
And I was inspired by content strategist Kristina Halvorson and user testing expert Christine Perfetti when putting together the workshop – you should definitely put some time aside to check out their presentations from Webstock this year.
Kristina Halvorson on Content/Communication
Christine Perfetti on Adventurous Usability Techniques