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Archive for the 'Usability' Category

In order to celebrate the last episode (posting tonight!) of the Usability and Usability Testing 101 series, this week’s tips focus on usability testing. Once you have decided to conduct usability testing on your website, blog, or other digital media, you need to determine who you will be usability testing your media. First, you need […]

Tip of the Day: When choosing usability testing tasks, start easy!

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on August 17th, 2011

Starting your users out with an easy task in usability testing will give them a  chance to get warmed up, ease into the testing, and will give the testing a more positive light. If you start with a hard task, users may become frustrated, which could impact how they do the remaining tasks. It may […]

Users hear usability testing and think tests—maybe the SATs, GREs, grad school qualifying exams, or a math test from high school. I suspect few of us think of good things when we hear the word “test” or “testing.” The term “testing” in “usability testing” is misleading in many ways. We are not conducting tests of […]

Screen Space 19: Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 5— Conducting the Testing

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on August 16th, 2011

 
icon for podpress  Screen Space 19: Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 5— Conducting the Testing [16:17m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
[Podcast Transcript] Welcome to Screen Space, your podcast about creating usable, accessible, effective, and efficient web, blog, and digital media design for the everyday (and non-expert) designer. This is episode 19 of Screen Space “Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 5—Conducting the Testing.” In this episode, I discuss the fourth step of usability testing—what […]

Screen Space 18: Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 4—Preparing the Testing

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on August 8th, 2011

Welcome to Screen Space, your podcast about creating usable, accessible, effective, and efficient web, blog, and digital media design for the everyday (and non-expert) designer. This is episode 18 of Screen Space “Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 4—Preparing the Testing.” In this episode, I discuss the third step of usability testing—preparing the testing. There will be two more parts to this series, where I will discuss conducting the testing and then analyzing and utilizing the results from the testing.

If you have not listened to the previous parts of this series, you may want to go back and listen. In the first part, Screen Space 11: Usability & Usability Testing 101, I discuss usability, provide a definition of usability testing, and outline the steps to conduct a usability test. In Part 2, Screen Space 12: Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 2—Selecting Users, you can find information on selecting your users for usability testing. In Part 3, Screen Space 17: Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 3—Deciding what to Test, I discuss the steps to setting objectives and selecting tasks to test. You may also find Screen Space 10 on User-Centered Design helpful.

I am your host, Dr. Jennifer L. Bowie. I conduct research and have taught in areas related to digital media, web, and blog design. Previously I mentioned being an assistant professor at GSU. However, this is no longer the case and I am currently looking for a job in usability, user-centered design, and/or social media. Stay tuned and I’ll provide details at the end of this podcast.

A warm welcome this week to my new listeners from Liverpool, London, and Manchester in the UK. Welcome to Screen Space and design well! Another warm welcome to my loyal listeners. Welcome to another episodes and thanks for listening!

In this episode, I will present the next step in usability testing: preparing for the testing. This includes choosing the order of tasks, creating written test materials, recruiting participants, defining team members’ roles, creating a written test plan, practicing the testing, and preparing the test environment. I will use the same example I used in episodes 11, 12, and 17—testing a photography blog. We’ll imagine we have a photography blog with a decent sized audience. We want to get more users and see how useable the blog is for your current users.

 
icon for podpress  Screen Space 18: Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 4—Preparing the Testing [17:38m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Google Usability Study–Example call for participants (and decent payment!)

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on August 6th, 2011

In the forthcoming Screen Space 18: Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 4— Preparing the Testing, I discuss recruiting and paying participants in usability testing (I’ll post the episode Monday August 6th at 12:01 am). Google, with its huge popularity, doesn’t even need to do their own recruiting. This blog post on a Google usability […]

The second major step of usability testing[1] is deciding what you will test during the testing. This is where you develop your tasks for the testing, but simply pulling tasks out of a hat will not get you the best possible tasks, and thus your results will not be as effective and helpful. To make […]

Screen Space 17: Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 3—Deciding what to Test

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on August 1st, 2011

[Podcast Transcript] Welcome to Screen Space, your podcast about creating usable, accessible, effective, and efficient web, blog, and digital media design for the everyday (and non-expert) designer. This is episode 17 of Screen Space “Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 3—Deciding what to Test.” In this episode, I discuss the second major step of usability […]

 
icon for podpress  Screen Space 17: Usability & Usability Testing 101 Part 3—Deciding what to Test [17:18m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

From my interview with Shaun Slattery in Screen Space 16, Shaun suggests we should be aware of typical locations for digital items and put them where people (including ourselves) expect them. People pay a lot of attention to where things are. We have habits of putting things in certain places and looking for things in […]

How is user-centered design like making cat food?

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on July 15th, 2011

Can you satisfy the cat? The users? Describing usability and user-centered design to almost anyone who doesn’t work near the field is difficult. This includes not only the stranger trying to strike up a conversation on the plane, but also the companies powers that be in companies where user-centered designers are employed. However, in less […]