Usability Testing

Watching how users navigate our websites and applications is only a small piece of usability testing. Discover how to learn from users’ behaviors, conduct effective tests, and analyze user data for trends your teams can use to change what you have -- or build something new.

Headshot of Whitney Quesenbery
Whitney Quesenbery

Getting from Barrier-free to Delightful

Why can’t we make it easier to be accessible?

Why can’t we aim for great user experiences that are also accessible? Creating accessible technology has to go beyond minimal compliance with standards that meets the law but may not be usable.

We need a bigger goal: creating delight for everyone. We’ll start by exploring what makes a delightful experience and how a good balance small pleasures and anticipated needs supports accessible UX in both big and small ways. Like any UX, this concern for users has to be part of every design decision.

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Headshot of Melissa Perri
Melissa Perri

Designing To Learn: Testing Your Minimum Viable Product

You’ll learn…

  • Approach your MVP as an Experiment to test your product hypothesis and learn more about your customers
  • Design the most effective product experimentations and MVPs
  • Gain support within your organization for using MVPs as a testing method
  • Incorporate MVPs into your overall product strategy
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Headshot of Leah Buley
Leah Buley

The Right Research Method for Any Problem (and Budget)

The mighty user research toolkit is packed with techniques. It can do everything from blue sky innovation research, to need-finding and requirements gathering, to product validation and testing. But many teams don't exploit the full toolkit, sticking instead to one side or the other of the quant versus qual divide, or returning again and again to that tired old workhorse—usability testing. In this session, Leah Buley will share a primer on the range of research methods available, and guide you in determining which is the best technique for what you’re trying to learn now (and for your budget).

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Headshot of Dana Chisnell
Dana Chisnell

Recruiting for Usability Testing: Getting the Right People in the Room for User Research and Usability Tests 

You’ll learn…

  • Understand where to source your participants and how to use selection criteria to screen them
  • Improve the show rate of participants, learn how to compensate them, and deal with no-shows
  • Do the recruiting yourself, but also know how you can work effectively with a recruiting agency
  • Do this process the right way, improve your results and get beneficial user research
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Headshot of Dana Chisnell
Dana Chisnell

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

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.

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Headshot of Larry Constantine
Larry Constantine

Don't Panic: Design and Usability Under Impossible Pressure

You’ll learn…

  • Leverage Sample-of-One Testing to increase valuable information from just one user
  • Improve your time-boxed project management techniques to conduct design activities faster and push your design team to the limits of agility and ingenuity
  • Take advantage of the decision triage, identify your design's most important features and focus resources on those areas
  • Pare down your field research efforts while still learning everything you need to create a successful design
  • Use tactical modeling techniques to quickly capture insights about users and their needs
  • Identify key information about your users and learn not to waste time on unproductive design activities
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Headshot of Christine Perfetti
Christine Perfetti

Demystifying Usability Tests: Learning the Basics

You’ll learn…

  • Set up your usability testing lab, including an overview of User Interface Engineering's typical test set-up
  • Recruit the right users to get the most accurate test results
  • Know how many users are really necessary for a usability test
  • The basics of task design, and different types of tasks
  • Become a better facilitator and communicate with users and test observers
  • Collect test results and evaluate what makes an effective report
  • Fundamentals of remote usability testing
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