Sessions at UX Lx: User Experience Lisbon 2011 about Usability Testing and User Research on Thursday 12th May

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  • Usability Testing Boot Camp: How to Plan and Moderate a Usability Test

    by David Travis

    Here's a paradox for you. Good design is simple. It happens when designers get accurate feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their design so that they can iteratively improve it.

    Yet most technology is overly complex and poorly designed. What went wrong?

    The problem is with the accuracy of the feedback. It often comes from the 'HIPPO' — the highest paid person's opinion. Or from fellow designers who are pressuring you to add 'cool' functions that users don't want and can't use. Or from market research teams who have lots of data from focus groups and surveys but no insight into the day-to-day problems experienced during actual use of the system.

    We can fix this problem with usability testing. Usability testing is an ideal method to resolve the kind of disputes design teams face every day. In contrast to market research methods, usability testing delivers strong predictive value, demonstrating how real people will use the system in the real world. It also provides actionable solutions to design problems so you can fix problems quickly.

    But there are lots of pitfalls awaiting people who are new to usability testing. This hands-on workshop will show you how to avoid these mistakes and give you the confidence to run your own test.

    Arrive promptly for this workshop because we're going to run a usability test in the first 30 minutes. We'll then deconstruct the usability test to reveal the separate, distinct components that all good usability tests comprise. We'll examine each of these components in depth, and you'll then get hands on practice mastering each one. Finally, you'll plan and moderate your own usability test.


    This workshop is aimed at user experience designers who want to practice techniques for testing and evaluating their designs with end users. The focus of the workshop is on preparing and moderating a usability test.


    You'll learn how to:

    • Design and plan usability tests.
    • Recruit the right test participants.
    • Apply usability testing checklists to make sure your test runs without a hitch.
    • Develop test tasks that are relevant to your customers and your business.
    • Organise and prepare usability testing sessions.
    • Moderate 'thinking aloud' usability tests in an unbiased and balanced manner.
    • Code, collect and interpret behavioural data.

    At 3:00pm to 6:30pm, Thursday 12th May

    Coverage slide deck