MinneWebCon: Improve User Experience with Informal User Testing

  • Used Google SketchUp
  • Design, Test, Repeat
  • Collaboration Tools - morning status meetings; Basecamp by 37 Signals
  • Designers and developers were part of the test - they wrote it and observed it.
  • Do frequent, informal testing. Don't wait until the end.
  • Discuss. What did we learn? What do we need to solve for? Do many, many cycles.
  • Don't get attached to an idea because it will change.
  • Your prototype = your deliverable

Conducting a test

  • Ask the user to think out loud
  • Don't help the tester
  • Emulate the real world
  • Make sure they understand failure is not their fault
  • Keep a list of what users complain about
  • Observe how you interact with the system
  • Not all user feedback should be incorporated
  • User testing does not stop at launch
  • Beware of test bias. Once a user becomes acquainted, they will repeat it
  • Make sure scenarios tease out pitfalls
  • Don't always listen to the solution the user is proposing but the problem they're identifying.