Testing & Evaluation

How will it be organized?How will it be organized?

  • Card Sorting: What do you call functions, screens and abstract concepts and how do you group them?  Instead of guessing, have users sort items into groups and then name the groups.
  • Tree Testing: Test the navigation of your wireframes and prototypes using just an abstracted taxonomy by having users try to locate items in your navigation.
  • First Click Testing: If users go down the wrong path, they’re more likely to get lost and fail to complete tasks. Understand where users go first.
  • Keystroke Level Modeling: Without even testing a user you can have some idea about how long a task will take or whether proposed changes will take more or less time. The KLM method uses some core HCI laws to estimate how long skilled users will take to complete tasks.
  • Heuristic Evaluations: Identify issues early before subjecting them to users. Inspection methods like HE tend to uncover around 30% of the issues users will have.  Ideally, you have at least two independent evaluators who know something about HCI principles and the domain. Fix the obvious problems before wasting valuable user time on them.

What problems are users having?

  • Moderated In Person Testing: Ideal for mobile device testing or when it’s tough to put prototypes up remotely, test users in a lab, conference room or even a hallway to get an idea about what tasks are problems and what needs to be fixed.
  • Moderated Remote Testing:  Using cheap and ubiquitous services like GoTo Meeting or WebEx, you can recruit users from anywhere in the world to attempt tasks. You can even record facial expressions with webcams.  Don’t simply ask what users think of the design, have them attempt tasks and probe on difficulties and collect metrics.
  • Unmoderated Remote Usability Testing: If your designs and tasks are well defined enough and you can host your prototypes online, users can attempt tasks remotely without having to be there. You can even test images with hotspots. With structured tasks and specific questions using services like UserZoom, Usertesting.com and Loop11 can get you results from dozens to hundreds of users the same day.  Act on the insights and test again.