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March 19, 2002 Internet Librarian International Darlene Fichter Data Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan Libraries

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Presentation on theme: "March 19, 2002 Internet Librarian International Darlene Fichter Data Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan Libraries"— Presentation transcript:

1 March 19, 2002 Internet Librarian International Darlene Fichter Data Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan Libraries Usability Testing What You Need to Get Started

2 Outline  What is usability?  Why does it matter?  Simple techniques and tests  Demonstration of task based testing? Overview

3 What is usability? Ease of use Ease of learning Fitness for purpose An effective product

4 Why usability matters Bad design  Examples?  Do you ever use them again?  Do you feel loyal? Overview

5 Good design  Invisible  Usability has been called the “science of the obvious” Overview

6 Books, articles and research  Don’t need to invent the wheel  Read, learn, look it up!  Many great sites: –www.usability.govwww.usability.gov Overview

7 Where should you start?  Focus on the user User Needs

8 Determining visitor needs  Focus groups  User surveys  Formal needs assessment  Observation –Usage reports –Questions –Web log analysis –Search log analysis User Needs

9 Understanding visitor needs  Know their mental model  Methods –User scenarios –Content clustering –Category prediction –Preference testing –Cognitive walkthrough User Needs

10 User scenarios  Describe in detail “typical user’s” journey through the “ideal” library site User Needs

11 Content clustering  Index cards –Cluster, list all topics User Needs

12 Category prediction  Predictive - what goes under each heading? User Needs

13 Preference testing  What label works? Admissions Prospective Students Enroll Registration User Needs

14 Cognitive walkthrough  Simulate a user’s problem-solving process as they step through the site  Can the user make the next correct action? User Needs

15 Measurement scale  FATAL User can’t complete the task  SERIOUS User is slowed down  SUPERFICIAL User is annoyed or irritated slightly User Needs

16 Heuristic evaluation*  Find evaluators - experience helps  Brief them on 10 usability heuristics  Test to see if site follows established usability principles *Heuristic Evaluation by Jakob Neilson *Usability Heuristics for the Web by Keith Instone Heuristic Evaluation

17 Heuristic evaluation  Evaluators try to identify as many problems as possible  Rate the problems by their severity (1-5) and indicate which heuristic has been violated Heuristic Evaluation

18 Task testing with users  Users are given specific tasks  Verbalize their thoughts  Only AFTER they have failed, can you provide direction  Observe, record, and debrief Testing

19 Task: typical measures  Time - how many seconds?  Errors - incorrect answers?  Site structure - can they draw a map  User satisfaction (subjective) Other measures: What the user can recall about the site or if they can manoeuvre easily on the screen space. Testing

20 Guerilla Testing  Idea popularized by Jakob Nielsen  Showed that simple “low tech” testing of five users could yield excellent results 5 users will typically uncover 80% of the site-level usability problems Testing

21 When to test  Before redesign  Paper mockups  Wire frames  Beta testing  Live site  “Peer” site Testing Wire frame

22 Field Studies  Ethnographic study – observing users in real world  Find out what kind of mental model the users have  Useful for intranet designs and extranet designs that are intended to support employees' or business partners' work practice Field Studies

23 Wrap up: Why Test  You can’t believe what users say  Self referential design  ROI - save everyone time and money.  Avoid web team “battles”  Convince your manager  Do it for the users. Conclusion

24 Questions  Darlene Fichter Data Library Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan  Resources library.usask.ca/~fichter/usability/ Conclusion


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