Saturday, 12 March 2011

4 usability testing don'ts

An excellent article which picks on four common failures of user testing sessions. Good tips to bear in mind, particularly if you're new to running sessions like this to learn more about your website or application.

David Travis reflects on usability testing sessions he's observed where the facilitator forgets the key point of the activity and wanders into market research territory. His "four forgotten principles":
  • Screen for behaviours not demographics.
  • Test the red routes.
  • Focus on what people do, not what they say.
  • Don't ask users to redesign the interface.
The article references a number of other useful related articles including usability testing tasks you should definitely avoid by David Hamill. And one hilarious link to a load of brand marketing tosh.

4 forgotten principles of usability testing - article by David Travis for

Usability test tasks to avoid - article by David Hamill for

And further detail around David's third point - "Focus on what people do, not what they say". This quote from
Acquiring user perspectives on product concepts and designs is an essential part of the product design process. What you do with these user perspectives is just as important as doing the research. Make sure that you do not take user feedback or requests for design changes at face value.
The Dangers of Design by User - article by Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain for

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