Table of Contents

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Usability Testing Essentials

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 Forewordxv
 
 Acknowledgmentsxvii
 
 About the authorxix
 
 Image credits and permissionsxxi
 
 Introduction: Getting started guide1
 Usability is invisible1
 U R usability3
 How to use this book3
   Special features you can use or skip5
   A few words about words6
 But wait, there's more on the companion website7
 
1Establishing the essentials9
  Focus on the user, not the product 10
  Start with some essential definitions 10
    Defining usability 11
    Defining usability testing 13
  Know when to conduct small studies 17
  Know how to conduct small studies 18
    Define the user profile 18
    Create task-based scenarios 19
    Use a think-aloud process 19
    Make changes and test again 19
  Know when to conduct large studies 20
  Think of usability testing as hill climbing 21
 
2Testing here, there, everywhere25
  Testing in a lab offers some benefits 26
    The bare essentials for testing in a lab 27
    Other equipment that's nice to have 27
    Specialized equipment you might need in certain situations 28
  Formal labs can cost a lot, or not 34
  Informal labs can be set up anywhere at very little cost 37
  Field testing gets you into the world of your users 38
    Advantages of field testing 39
    Disadvantages of field testing 40
  Remote testing extends your reach to your users 41
    Moderated remote testing is synchronous 42
    Unmoderated remote testing is asynchronous 44
    New methods push the envelope on remote testing 46
  Choosing the right method is a balancing act 48
 
3Big U and little u usability53
  Introducing big U and little u usability 53
  Using a user-centered design process 54
  Opening your toolkit and seeing what's there 56
    Analysis tools 56
    Development tools 57
    Post-release tools 58
  Choosing heuristic evaluation from the toolkit 59
  Conducting a heuristic evaluation 61
    Conducting a formal evaluation 63
    Conducting an expert review 64
    Conducting an informal evaluation 65
  Comparing the results from heuristic evaluation and usability testing 66
  Putting both methods together: The 1–2 punch 68
  Cost-justifying usability 69
  Case Study: Heuristic evaluation of Holiday Inn China website 72
 
4Understanding users and their goals83
  People are goal-oriented 84
  When people use the web, they bring their experience and expectations 85
    People expect web objects to be in specific places 86
    People don't want to read — they want to act 87
    Make a good first impression — you might not get a second chance 87
    Generational differences matter when it comes to the web 89
  Personas help you get to know your users 94
    Personas are based on real information about real users 94
    Personas are a creative activity, but don't get carried away 97
    Personas should be a manageable number 98
    Personas need to be visible 98
  Scenarios tell the story of your users' goals 99
    Start by knowing the difference between a task and a goal 99
    Tell stories about your personas in a compelling way 100
 
5Planning for usability testing105
  Scheduling the planning meeting 106
    Establish test goals 107
    Determine how to test the product 111
    Agree on user subgroups 116
    Determine participant incentive 122
    Draft the screener for recruiting participants 124
    Create scenarios based on tasks that match test goals 128
    Determine quantitative and qualitative feedback methods 136
    Set dates for testing and deliverables 138
  Writing the test plan 142
    Writing an informal test plan 143
    Writing a formal test plan 145
  Case Study: Test plan for Holiday Inn China website usability study 148
 
6Preparing for usability testing157
  Recruiting participants 158
    How to do the recruiting yourself 158
    How to recruit through an agency 160
    How to plan for no-shows 161
  Assigning team roles and responsibilities 162
  Developing team checklists 163
  Writing the moderator's script 167
  Preparing or using other forms 170
    Preparing a video consent form 170
    Preparing a special consent form for testing with minors 171
    Using a non-disclosure agreement 172
    Preparing an observer form 172
  Creating questionnaires 173
    Creating a pre-test questionnaire 173
    Creating post-task questionnaires 176
    Creating a post-test questionnaire 176
  Using standard post-test questionnaires 181
    Using the SUS 182
    Using the CSUQ 183
  Creating or using qualitative feedback methods 185
    Using product reaction cards 185
    Ending with an interview 187
  Testing the test 188
    Conducting the walkthrough 188
    Conducting the pilot 189
  Case Study: Sample test materials for Holiday Inn China website usability study 193
 
7Conducting a usability test199
  Setting up for testing 200
  Meeting, greeting, briefing 200
    Meeting and greeting the participant 201
    Conducting the pre-test briefing 201
    Preparing the participant to think out loud 205
  Being an effective and unbiased moderator 207
    Monitor your body language 207
    Balance your praise 208
    Ask "good" questions 209
    Know how and when to intervene 214
    Administer post-test feedback mechanisms 216
  Managing variations on the theme of testing 218
    Testing with two or more participants 218
    Testing with two or more moderators 219
    Testing remotely with a moderator 220
  Providing help or customer support during testing 223
  Logging observations 225
  Handling observers and visitors 226
    Observers with you and the participant 226
    Visitors in the executive viewing room 228
    Remote observers 230
  Working solo 230
  Case Study: Session log from Holiday Inn China website usability study 234
 
8Analyzing the findings239
  What did we see? 240
    Gather input from everyone 241
    Collect the top findings and surprises 241
    Choose your organizational method 242
  What does it mean? 249
    Determining who should do the analysis 249
    Collating the findings 250
    Presenting quantitative data 251
    Working with statistics 252
    Analyzing questionnaires 256
    Using qualitative feedback from the think- aloud process 258
    Collating responses from the product reaction cards 259
  What should we do about it? 259
    Triangulating the data from findings 260
    Characterizing findings by scope and severity 261
    Making recommendations 265
  Case Study: Findings analysis from Holiday Inn China website usability study 270
 
9Reporting the findings277
  Following Aristotle's advice 279
  Preparing the message for the medium 279
  Writing an informal memo report 280
  Writing a formal report 283
    Preparing the parts of a formal report 283
    Writing the executive summary 285
    Organizing the rest of the report to match youraudience needs 285
  Presenting the findings 289
    Using tables to summarize the findings 291
    Illustrating the findings 293
    Ordering the findings 299
  Presenting post-task and post-test results 300
    Presenting survey responses 301
    Presenting SUS results 302
    Presenting qualitative responses 303
  Making recommendations 304
  Presenting an oral report 307
    Plan your presentation 308
    Prepare video clips 309
    Practice, practice, practice 310
    Deliver your presentation 311
    Know how and when to ask for questions 311
  Advocating for more UCD 312
  Case Study: Report of Holiday Inn China website usability study 315
 
10International usability testing319
  Learning about your international users 320
    Some international users are here 320
    Other international users are "there" 320
  Understanding cultural differences 324
    Books to learn more 324
    Articles to learn more 324
  Applying the work of Hall and Hofstede to understand international users 331
    Hall's concept of high-context and low- context cultures 331
    Hofstede's concept of five cultural dimensions 332
  Planning for international testing 334
    Where to test 335
    How to test 340
  Structuring the test protocol 342
    Localizing the scenarios 342
    Localizing the questionnaires 343
    Scheduling single sessions or co- discovery sessions 346
    Choosing think-aloud or retrospective recall 346
  Selecting the moderator 346
  Anticipating other aspects of international testing 348
    What if the participant arrives with someone else? 348
    Should more time be set aside for meeting and greeting? 349
    Should breaks be longer between sessions? 349
    Can you interpret nonverbal communication cues? 350
  Case Study: Analysis of the UPS Costa Rican website 353
 
  References 355
 
  Index 367