Our company is rolling out a program so the UX team can quickly conduct usabiliy test on easy features, instead of having to farm these quick usabilty test to expensive agencies. we are looking for advice and best practices as far as a large organization set up a system to conduct quick usability test on non-complex features etc. Has anyone done this before? Is there a proven system or process in place that anyone can reccommend? If not proven process, any advice?
Depending on how large your organization is and whether or not your building has a central gathering area, like a cafeteria, there is one method I've found very valuable in gathering quick and cheap usability data.
In a half-hour we could get up to 15-20 valuable responses.
Your biggest challenge will likely be finding a steady stream of participants.
If you are testing for internal products, you can try this:
1) Talk to HR, and make usability testing be part of onboarding for new hires. This will give you a fresh unbiased view
2) If you are testing minor functionality, grab anyone nearby for 5-10 minutes who isn't on your product team
3) Offer free food as a lure when you are ready to bring in participants
If you are testing product that faces the outside world:
1) Consider usertesting.com, by far the easiest way to source participants and run tests. Draw back of course is that it is a canned test, and you can't easily ask follow up questions. The pros far outweigh the cons. It is relatively cheap too.
2) Use craigslist to bring people on board. Really time consuming. If you go this route, make sure it is defined as someone's job responsibility to do recruitment for testing.
3) In a pinch, you can bring internal people/friends/family or other folks. Some feedback is better than none. I wouldn't consider bringing anyone on board however who is working on the project with you.
At a recent UX conference I came across a talk dealing with User Research in Agile environment. Two methodologies are discussed in the talk: RITE and Krug. Some highlights: