IXD301-Week 9-Usability Testing

in Todays class we covered the importance of user testability when deciding a product.

Don’t Make Me Think

*Dont make me Think -revisited* A must-read book

The overriding principle on if a design does or doesn’t work. The Simpler the design the better. EG


Words are associated with sights and smells. EG a certain smell can instantly remind you of a memory or place.

Which Words to use?

Humans have an average vocabulary of 15,000 words. this means brains remember these words, allowing them to read these words faster. More complicated words that are not used frequently take longer for the brain to register. EG the harder the vocabulary use, the longer and more complicated your product/site will be to read, therefore making it less popular as it is not enjoyable .

Beginners Guide to Usability Testing

In a usability test, one user at a time is shown something (whether its a website, a site prototype, or sketches) and asked to either

(A)Figure out what it is, or

(B)Try to use it for a typical task.


  1. If you want a great product you have to test
  2. testing one user is better than testing none
  3. Test people as early one as possible so you have more time to grow and develop
  4. Testing is an iterative process

How many users should I test?

studies have shown that by testing just 5 Users, 80% of issues can be found and therefore fixed. The best use of these 5 people should be a wide range of lifestyle or ages.


  1. If your site is going to be used almost exclusively by one type of user and its no harder to recruit from that group
  2. if your product needs specific domain knowledge
  3. If your product is split between clearly defined groups with very urgent interests and needs

How to I user test?

  1. Screenflow
  2. Quickflow

it is so important to record people doing the screen test to see how they use it and any problems that could occur.

What do you test and how do you test it ?

what you need

  1. partner
  2. pen and paper
  3. voice recording (optional)

Standard Usability Test

Usability Metrics

  1. efficiency
  2. effectiveness
  3. satisfaction

what you need

  1. Partner
  2. Pen and paper
  3. Voice and Screen recording.

Test run-through

identify 3 or more tasks

prepare pre-tests and post test


give the participant written instructions for first task and record the start/end time and observe

ask the post-test questions

prepare the report


Two Types of Testing

  1. “Get it” testing
  2. key-task testing (the better method) – get users to use your product like they would go top normally use it.

Write your tasks like scenarios

step back and make sense of the initial screen (think aloud)

find an accommodation hotel deal in belfast

you want to stay derry-the roe park resort has a special offer on, can you find it?

you are meeting your friend for coffee in carrickfergus. Find a discount deal for a coffee shop in Carrick.

Pre and Post-Test question


  1. Name
  2. Age
  3. Current Education
  4. Do you find things easy or difficult to learn



What is a good score?

anything above 68 is seen to be a good score.

How do I calculate the score?


Enter the SUS scale position for each statement and participent in the corresponding fields. The spreadsheet will automatically calculate the system usability score for each system.

During the Review

  1. Efficiency- time taken on task
  2. Effectiveness- completed tasks
  3. Satisfaction
  4. Triage
  5. Problem solving

Resevoir of Goodwill

The Resevoir of Goodwill starts full, however empties as the problems of your product starts to show.

Image from “Don’t Make me Think” book by Steve Krug

How to Diminish Goodwill (from user)

  1. Hiding info that I want
  2. Punish me for not doing it your way
  3. asking for info you don’t really need
  4. putting things in my way
  5. amateur sites

How to Increase Goodwill (from user)

  1. Know the main things people want to do on your site and make them obvious and easy
  2. tell me what I want to know
  3. save steps when you can
  4. Put effort into it
  5. know the questions people are likely to have and try to answer them
  6. make it easy to recover from errors
  7. when in doubt, apologise

Online Usability Testing

EG Maze (user testing website) *mission*

Can set up a usability test online for people to take part in instead of one online. Create prototypes on sigma and they can be uploaded online for people to test out your app


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