12 Less Obvious Usability Issues to Look For

I often compare usability testing to juggling in the middle of a 3-ring circus—there’s a lot happening all at once and it’s easy to miss (or misinterpret) what you’re seeing. During a recent usability study, I noticed that a few participants stopped scrolling about halfway down the page. At first, I assumed it was because … Continue reading “12 Less Obvious Usability Issues to Look For”

3 Tips for More Successful Prototype Testing

One of the best uses of limited development dollars is to usability test a prototype as early as possible. Test too early in the design process — and participants may not fully understand what they’re looking at. Test too late — and you likely will trash quite a bit of work (and money).

Your (Super Important) Role as a Usability Study Observer

You may not be the usability test facilitator, designer, developer, or business analyst, but as a business stakeholder, your participation is critical to the success of the usability study. Yes, you. As a subject matter expert in your area, you know things NO ONE ELSE on the team knows. Your unique perspective and knowledge allows the facilitator … Continue reading “Your (Super Important) Role as a Usability Study Observer”

What to Usability Test First

If the idea of usability testing your website is intriguing to you, but you’re not sure where to begin—there are at least 6 good places to start.

Inside My Usability Toolkit: Participant Scheduling

When scheduling participants for a phone study, in-person interview, or moderated usability study, I ALWAYS call them to set up the appointment. I do this for several reasons:

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Conducting a Usability Study

Facilitating a usability study is a lot like juggling. Not only do you need to pay attention to what’s happening on the screen in front of you, but also:

Are 5 Usability Testers Really Enough?

After I read Jakob Nielsen’s findings in 2000 that usability professionals only need to test 5 users, I’ve often wondered… can that really be right? After looking at data from my own usability studies, I was amazed to find that yes, 5 testers is enough.

How I Find Usability Participants

I see the question “How do you find usability participants?” a lot on Quora and Slack. The simple truth is, there is no secret place to find participants. But, there are many places to find willing volunteers.

Usability in a Box (My Usability Toolkit)

Having a baby changed everything about the way I conduct usability studies. In the first 6 weeks after returning to work from my second maternity leave, I conducted 4 concurrent usability studies. Four sets of everything: Four sets of participants to recruit. Four sets of test materials. Four sets of client stakeholders. Before that, I … Continue reading “Usability in a Box (My Usability Toolkit)”

How I Remote Mobile Usability Test

Until a better mousetrap is invented, my preferred method for conducting a remote mobile usability study is using Zoom and the “laptop hug” method. Almost everyone has a laptop these days (it seems like it anyway) — which handily includes a built-in webcam.