163

Use a rubber duck. No, seriously! Put a little rubber duck near the user. Tell the user the rubber duck's name - the more non-fitting, the better. Mine is called Frank The Duck. You see, Frank The Duck is a bit dumb. I tell the user that Frank doesn't know how to use the system, and so I need to teach it. The problem, however, is that since I'm a ...


90

These are very popular quotes from Steve Jobs and are frequently pointed to as reasons why we shouldn't test. If Steve did it, so can we! The trouble is that most people miss several key points. The first is that they are not Apple: A Forbes article, Five Dangerous Lessons to Learn from Steve Jobs, lists these quotes as #1. Chunka Mui, the author of the ...


70

Yes, it's known as the Hawthorne Effect and it's one of many cognitive bias' to be aware of when running usability testing sessions. From Wikipedia The Hawthorne effect (also referred to as the observer effect) is a type of reactivity in which individuals modify an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed. Does it make ...


44

This is something worth paying attention to. Aside from the highschool/college exam flashback anxiety you talk about, the Hawthorne Effect suggests that "individuals modify or improve an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed", and some might argue that it's practically impossible to "observe" a natural use of a product or ...


35

We're mixing two phases of the product development lifecycle. Jobs' quotes were focused on Focus Groups--where you are essentially asking the consumers what they want. This happens at the beginning of the development lifecycle (or even before that in discovery). Often, if you rely heavily on focus groups to drive product design, you tend to end up with ...


26

Short version: Do Formative Usability Testing at the start of the design phase, testing with paper-prototypes and similar. Do this to discover insights and shape the design direction. Do Summative Usability Testing during latter half of the development phase, testing with actual working prototypes. Do this to determine metrics (time on task, success rates),...


23

Jakob Nielsen suggests making and showing participants a 1 minute video of a think-aloud session. In summary, his criteria for such a video are: Use your own staff to act as the participant Don't include picture-in-picture of the participant Show a different UI from the one you are testing Don't focus on any UI issues in the video that you also want to ...


22

Asking someone why he didn't notice something isn't likely to provide useful information. People will confabulate a response for the sake of their own mental consistency without even realizing they've done so. We can only focus on a few things at once; if we don't notice something, it's because we were paying attention to something else. He didn't notice ...


22

I could be wrong but I think here the smiley faces are the only rating system. The stars are a filter for 3 star hotels, 4 star hotels, etc.... Which....yes. Isn't immediately obvious at all and is quite confusing. It looks like they are using two separate rating systems. The user experience flaw here I would say is in using pictures and the simple word ...


22

You asked if there is any statistics that can be used to essentially determine if the 10 people you are testing with are especially dumb. Essentially what you're asking is: What is the likelihood that my sample deviates significantly from the population? Looking at it simply you could assume all your users (let's say 500,000) are drawn from a normal ...


21

Try to distinguish between what users want and how they want it done. Taking your example above, users wanting one vs. two input boxes is all about the how. The what is being able to paste comma-separated coordinate pairs vs. not having to press comma. (Or, for some users, being able to simply press comma rather than having to click a second input box.) In ...


20

Apparently the team behind Bump brought their app into bars and tested it on drunk people. A bar is more representative of the environment in which a mass market app operates [...] Drunk people are maybe a good approximation of distracted people Source: Fast Company, Why You Should Test Your App On Drunk People I would say that considering people who ...


20

How can this discrepancy be reconciled? You have divergent results because the number of participants is small and not representative. There is no randomization or blinding to prevent bias. You're also not calculating the relevant stats. (What are the standard deviation, margin of error, confidence intervals, odds ratios, p values, etc?) Further, you ...


18

The biggest difference is User Acceptance Testing generally verifies that the deliverable meets the agreed upon requirements whereas UT seeks to verify an implementation's approach works for the user base. For example, a Usability Test might test a screen where a user needs to organize data and go through a simple work flow. The Usability Test will verify ...


18

In one study I discovered "5 out of 5 users couldn't complete the task" in the past, and my stakeholders simply didn't believe the data. So this is a something to consider. While Nielsen advocates 5 people will discover your more serious problems, he also goes on to say that you should address those findings, then retest with a different set of 5 users. He ...


17

You don’t know the weight of this information or how to compare it to other data. From that perspective it is useless for your own research. But don’t throw it away, it is still real feedback so better take it seriously. Once you’ve gathered your own data, don’t mix it up with this low quality feedback but use it to see if there are similarities. The reason ...


17

Quick Answer In your case that color scheme is NOT safe for colorblind people. First of all don't forget that there are different types of color vision deficiency. Let's summarize why your image is not safe (to reproduce this just pick two different on-line color blindness simulators): Achromatopsia: they see only shades of gray then obviously all boxes ...


16

There are several reasons this practice is common: The company wants to know who you are so their salesmen can follow up with you and help you on to a purchase; The company may want to know if you are one of their competitors before showing you the product (the higher the barrier to entry is of the market, the more important this becomes); The company wants ...


16

You can't please everyone Most changes or additions will leave some people behind. They may catch up later, they may hate you forever. Shoot for net gain in the experience. If you avoid negative feedback, you avoid progress. It helps to keep a destination in your sights. Focus on an established list of goals for the long term vision of the product and the ...


16

Most IDEs, Web Browsers, and other TDI software use CtrlTab for switching tabs no matter which UI element currently has focus. References: Chrome keyboard shortcuts Mozilla Keyboard shortcuts PHPStorm Navigating Between Editor Tabs Edit addressing edited question: Unfortunately, web-based GUIs have no conventions. Even the Github interface does not use ...


15

Note: The reason I wrote this answer highlighting the different checkpoints a person must do to ensure his site is accessible to people with limited vision is because I believe an understanding of the faults or design issues in the site will help define what the problems users might face while accessing the site For starters, I strongly recommend ...


15

Notifications choice often depend on what system you are building for. If you are building for an existing platform e.g. an iOS app or Android app, then most platforms have guidelines which are in place to keep the use of these consistant throughout all these platforms applications. Here are a selection of these resources: Microsoft - UX guidelines for ...


14

What you've got there is a null result - there's no real difference between the two. Let's backtrack from the percentages to actual numbers. Control (127): Submitted search 44, booked 6 Variation (123): Submitted search 34, booked 4 Just by eye balling the numbers it's not looking terribly compelling. If just one person less in the control and one more ...


14

In terms of navigation and hierarchy, Open Card Sorting should do the job. Open Card Sorting: Participants are given cards showing site content with no pre-established groupings. They are asked to sort cards into groups that they feel are appropriate and then describe each group. Open card sorting is useful as input to information structures in new or ...


14

There are some differences yes, and I have witnessed them myself. Using high fidelity mock-ups makes users think that the system they are using is fully functioning. That makes them think that system is not working properly and they rate usability to be less good. Rudd, Stern and Isensee wrote on their article Low vs. high-fidelity prototyping debate: ...


14

I think your UI is quite clear, and will not cause any misunderstanding with the user. You may make it more aesthetic, by lowering the number of elements in the UI. This UI may be cleaner and clear enough.With this UI, the number will be seen only when pressing the button or draging the button.


13

Do you have to put 'OK' and 'Cancel' on the buttons? One of the problems with OK/Cancel in dialogs (and similarly, but worse, Yes/No) is that the user has to refer back to the original question to understand what the buttons will actually do. This is probably more of an issue than whether the OK or Cancel is on the left or the right. For example: Are you ...


13

I use running questions like: What are you thinking now? What do you think you need to do next? Why do you want to click that button? What do you expect to happen when you click there? Was that what you expected to happen? Steer them away from 'what the parents might have a problem with' - you're not testing the product with their parents or anyone else. ...


13

As @sclarke has already put it, research is done before testing. You can't cook a meal without knowing what the ingredients are. Same with UX, you can't start to test if you don't know what your tests should be. To know what you should test, you need to know your target audience, to know your target audience you need to research. Credit: UX Process by UX ...


11

Here is what I would do to have A/B Testing done on Existing Customers / People who already have my app: Both the flows of the App you have in mind should be bundled as a part of the same app. You use the code injection to send information to Flurry. Use the same method to check how many users have downloaded the latest version of your App with both ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible