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Diagnostic Usability Testing

How to Plan, Conduct and Analyze a Usability Test

You know that customers aren’t finding key content on your site, but do you know why? Enter diagnostic usability testing. Designed for practitioners new to the field or to usability testing, attendees will learn to execute key components of a diagnostic usability test, including recruiting, planning, facilitation and reporting.

Tutorial by Elizabeth Benker (Centralis), Jennifer Canady (Centralis)
Usability Fundamentals (UF)
9:00am to 5:00pm on Tuesday, June 21, 2011

About the Tutorial

8:30 – 8:45am (15 minutes) Welcome & Introductions Speakers welcome attendees to the session and introduce their background and qualifications. Attendees introduce themselves and discuss what they hope to learn from the tutorial.

8:45 – 9:30am (45 minutes) Overview & Objectives Speakers define “usability”, explaining why it is important and how it compares with other user experience evaluation methods. Speakers also introduce basic elements of human information processing.

9:30 – 10:00am (30 minutes) Participants & Recruiting Speakers discuss key concerns when planning for a usability test—who and what will be tested, and what special characteristics the participants should possess.

10:00 – 10:30am (30 minutes) Morning Break

10:30 – 10:40am (10 minutes) Introduce Tutorial Project & Divide Into Groups Speakers introduce the group project for the tutorial. Attendees will divide into small groups and complete elements of a mini usability study of a website pre-selected by the presenters.

10:40 – 11:20am (40 minutes) Test Plan Development Speakers outline the importance of a carefully crafted test plan and walk participants through creating a discussion guide and scenarios.

11:20 – 11:40pm (20 minutes) Small Group Exercise: Draft Scenarios Working in small groups, attendees create 2-3 testing scenarios, using the discussion guide framework provided by the presenters.

11:40 – 12:00pm (20 minutes) Small Group Exercise: Present Scenarios Representatives from select groups present their scenarios for group discussion and critique.

12:00 – 1:30pm (90 minutes) Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:00pm (30 minutes) Session Facilitation Speakers will review the basics of effective usability session facilitation, stressing observation paired with probing and follow-up questions to diagnose issues encountered during the testing.

2:00 – 3:00pm (60 minutes) Large Group Exercise: Facilitate a Mini-Session After learning the basics of session facilitation, volunteers will be asked to run 10-minute mini-sessions for group discussion and critique.

3:00 – 3:30pm (30 minutes) Afternoon Break

3:30 – 4:30pm (60 minutes) Data Analysis & Reporting Speakers will discuss how to distill patterns across participants to identify key usability issues in the design. This section of the tutorial will also include suggestions on how to best present the content for client consumption.

4:30 – 4:50pm (20 minutes) Large Group Discussion: Identify Issues, Isolate Findings & Report Recommendations As a large group, attendees will discuss issues they observed from the mini sessions, leading to group discussion of key findings and recommendations.

4:50 – 5:00pm (10 minutes) Closing Remarks & Questions Speakers will close the session and reserve time at the end for questions.