User Testing

Summary

Users can’t tell you what’s wrong, but they can show you. Watch representative users working on specific tasks to find out where the issues lie. We provide findings and recommendations on how to improve.

  • Gather real requirements for change rather than a wish list
  • Actionable findings, categorized by severity of usability impact
  • We tell you why as well as what, so you can apply each finding to the whole site

Details

User tests allow you to observe how individuals interact with your product or site. Even good Web metrics or instrumentation can only tell you where the problems lie, they don’t show you why the problem exists. Augmenting your metrics with observation allows you to see the cause and then come up with fast and accurate solutions.

Focus groups and surveys ask for users opinions. The problem is, opinions aren’t the same as actions. What somebody says they want and what they are actually satisfied to use can be two different things. Get the real requirements by watching users work with the system.

User testing can be performed early in the development process. In fact, the earlier you test, the cheaper the fixes because they will be less likely to require code re-work. We can test with paper prototypes, dynamic mockups in DHTML or Flash, or with alpha code.

If you are planning design changes we can also benchmark your existing site or product. This gives you both an understanding of how users truly perform today and a head start on knowing which elements will need the most design work.

We can also perform competitive testing to compare your system with others in your market. Here, we collect information about how users perform the same task across different products to see which provides the best experience. This way, you can learn from others’ strengths and weaknesses.

Deliverables

After working with you to define user characteristics and appropriate tasks, we invite you to watch your users working with your product. We find that this is almost always an incredibly enlightening process. If you have usability non-believers on the team, please bring them along.

Of course, anyone can schedule time with users but the advantage of using us is that we have a clear study protocol (how to interact without introducing bias) and years of experience from observing literally thousands of users working with diverse systems.

This allows us to estimate the severity of issues and give you recommendations for improvement after watching only a small number of users. We observe less participants than the typical focus group study and we can give you more actionable feedback for less money.

The feedback is contained in a written report listing findings with supporting evidence from the study, explanations as to why users may be experiencing the issue, and recommendations for how to fix each problem. We also tell you what worked well so you don’t try fixing things that aren’t broken.

We follow up the written report with a conference call where you and your colleagues can ask questions for clarification and share your plans for making design changes. If certain recommendations aren’t achievable because of architectural or time constraints we’ll work with you in this call to find other solutions.

Price: From US$ 30,000 – see our Pricing page for more information
Duration: typically 3 weeks after initial planning

Next steps

To find out more and to discuss how user testing can improve your site or application, talk to us by
e-mail: info AT nodder DOT com
phone: +1.712 266 3337
or use our contact form.