Virtual Seminar

The Quick, the Cheap, and the Insightful: Conducting Usability Tests in the Wild

October 2008

90 minutes


It's not clear when "quick and dirty" became a dirty phrase in the usability world. There are those that believe that testing must be scientific, and that takes time and money — luxuries not often available to many development projects.

However, it doesn't have to be that way. Useful insights can come just by having the chance to talk with and observe participants in the most informal of settings, such as cafés, trade shows, and the company cafeteria. You can get value from a quick test, even if you only have 2 days to pull it off, or don’t have a working design yet. Traditional by-the-book testing has its merits, but you can still get valid, useful results by cutting out the time-consuming and budget-busting expenses.

Usability testing expert Dana Chisnell knows what it means to work by-the-book – she co-wrote “the book” (The Handbook of Usability Testing) with Jeff Rubin. In this seminar, Dana will break down the process of collecting user research data, exploring the must-haves, the nice-to-haves, and the certainly-can-do-withouts. You'll learn how you can answer your essential design questions using methods that would make MacGyver proud.

This presentation is perfect if you have yet to conduct your first usability test. If you’re experienced with testing, Dana will show you some new ways to inject user research into those tight-on-resources projects that keep cropping up.