A Lot to Learn

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I glanced at the 8 Quick Tips for Usability Testing, and read the ones that caught my attention in depth.

Some of them, such as testing fresh people for your website and using tasks instead of telling the user where to go were things that were already explained in class.

Other things intrigued me though.  The one that I thought was most interesting was asking questions in pairs.  It never occurred to me to use a quantitative question to create a statistic, and ask another question so that the user can give a rationale for the statistic.  I think that I was trying to get there in my mock usability test, but I was not sure of the way to go about it.  I asked the questions separately, so my users did not associate the opinion with the reason why they chose to say something.

The other tip that stood out was the idea that you should not lead the witness.  If you ask the user whether the navigation was good, you are limiting the amount of responses you can receive.  The user may have noticed that your homepage was extremely sloppy, but now that you asked him about the navigation he has noticed some problems.  The homepage problem is worse and covers up subtle miscues with the navigation, but you will never know that because you told the user what you wanted fixed, not asked for what he wanted fixed.

Those were the two biggest revelations that I had when reading the text.

Now for a revelation in itself, it is the EL236 website.

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November 2008

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