Usability Testing

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The core idea behind usability testing is having real people trying to accomplish real tasks on software, websites, cell phones or hardware. Identifying what users are trying to do is a key first step. Once you know what tasks you want to test, you'll want to create realistic task scenarios for participants to attempt. A task is made up of the steps a user has

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When conducting a usability test, gathering input on a design, or testing new features, we strongly recommend the 1:1 moderated session over group sessions. However, we usually aren't convincing others to run 1:1 sessions. Instead, we spend more effort convincing others of combining the traditional in-person 1:1 session with other methods. We find we can generate more insights at the same or less cost using

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When we have a good experience with a service or product, we enjoy it, tell our friends, and will probably use that service or product again. But when we have a frustrating or poor experience, such as the occurrence of message boxes relentlessly popping up during sporting events, we hate the product, tell our friends about our bad experience, post it to Twitter, and we

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One of the biggest barriers to conducting usability testing is the cost and time involved in testing. Moderators have to bring users to a dedicated location, test each one (usually one at a time), and only then get results from only a handful of users. Unmoderated usability testing is a technique using software such as our MUIQ tool or Loop11 to administer tasks and questions

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Usability testing is artificial. We do the best we can to simulate a scenario that is as close to what users would actually do with the software while we observe or record them. However, no amount of realism in the tasks, data, software or environment can change the fact that the whole thing is contrived. This doesn't mean it's not worth doing. You still get

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Have you wanted to purchase something online, but couldn't? Were you willing to pay full price just to get a product but the experience got in the way? You're not alone. Just about every week we're running a usability test in our lab or remotely on an ecommerce website. We've watched thousands of users attempt tasks across dozes of websites, small and large. Most ecommerce

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Errors happen and unintended actions are inevitable. They are a common occurrence in usability tests and are the result of problems in an interface and imperfect human actions. It is valuable to have some idea about what these are, how frequently they occur, and how severe their impact is. First, what is an error? Slips and Mistakes: Two Types of Errors It can be helpful

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When it comes to testing websites there are many unmoderated and moderated solutions. But if you've ever tried to evaluate an app or website on a mobile phone or tablet there are fewer options. Usertesting.com offers a new mobile testing service which recruits users and records their mobile devices while they interact with your app or website. Tools like MUIQ and Loop11 also collect some

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Despite the rise in unmoderated usability testing, the bulk of evaluations are still done with a facilitator. Whether you are sitting next to the user in a lab or sharing screens with someone thousands of miles away, here are 20 practical tips for your next moderated usability test. Shut up and listen:  You need to talk to moderate a session but don't let the talking

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Many companies understand the importance of user centered design in theory. Few can track how money invested in improving the user experience translates into profitability. By quantifying design efforts and outcomes all organizations can benefit from understanding how improving the user experience can improve revenue. The Engine of Growth If you can imagine revenue being the final gear in a business machine designed to produce

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