Moderating Usability Tests Principles and Practices for Interacting

ISBN-10: 0123739330

ISBN-13: 9780123739339

Edition: 2008

Authors: Joseph Dumas, Beth Loring

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To a large extent, successful usability testing depends on the skills of the person facilitating the test. However, most usability specialist skills still learn how to conduct tests through an apprentice system--if they are lucky to get even that!--with little formal training. Whether you are an experienced usability professional or a developer who knows you need to test, this book will provide insight and guidance. This book collects the principles and guidelines the authors have learned in many years of practice, teaching, and research, and provides them in book form. But that's not all! To help the user grasp both the art and the craft of usability testing, we include 10 videos, each tied to principles related in the text. In video, the reader will be able to observe many behavioral and interaction factors that have a direct impact on test results. In addition to the test scenarios, a panel of recognized usability experts, also on video, provide commentary and discussion about the video scenes. * usability testing principles and guidelines, as well as a terrific collection of golden rules and tips that the authors follow in their practice. * Examples of good and poor interaction comprise more than an hour of video, with expert professional commentary and discussion of the scenarios. * Based on the course the authors have taught at Bentley College as well as the Usability Professionals Association conferences.
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Book details

List price: $49.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Elsevier Science & Technology Books
Publication date: 2/29/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 6.00" wide x 7.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 1.188

About the Authors
Why This Book?
What Is Usability Testing?
The Importance of Moderating Skills
The Golden Rules of Moderating
Cultural Points of View
About the Sidebars in This Book
About the Videos that Accompany This Book
About the Companion Web Site
Getting started as a test moderator
What Makes a Great Moderator?
Understanding usability testing
The basics of interacting
The ability to establish and maintain a rapport
Lots of practice
Roles of a Moderator
The Gracious Host
The Leader
The Neutral Observer
Other possible roles
When roles change
When roles conflict
Testing Locations
Test Preparation
Planning ahead
Planning for many tasks
Understanding the domain and product
Jump-Starting Your Moderating Skills
Six things you can do first
The big challenges
Golden rules 1 through 5
Rule 1: Decide How to Interact Based on the Purpose of the Test
The type of test
The product's stage of development
Relationship with developers
Rule 2: Protect Participants' Rights
Informed consent
Balance of purpose and risk
Rule 3: Remember Your Responsibility to Future Users
Letting participants struggle
Conflicting responsibilities
Rule 4: Respect the Participants as Experts, but Remain in Charge
Controlling logistics and pacing
Stopping unacceptable behavior
Dealing with uncertainty
Projecting authority
Dispelling negativity
Managing visitors
Rule 5: Be Professional, Which Includes Being Genuine
Dos for making and maintaining a connection
Don'ts for making and maintaining a connection
When you're not in the room
Golden rules 6 through 10
Rule 6: Let the Participants Speak!
Appropriate interruptions
Judicious speaking
Silent communication
Rule 7: Remember That Your Intuition Can Hurt and Help You
Your intuition can hurt you
Your intuition can help you
Rule 8: Be Unbiased
Use an unbiased test script
Use unbiased questions
Keep answers unbiased
Watch nonverbal cues
Rule 9: Don't Give Away Information Inadvertently
Giving an assist
Explaining the designer's intent or being defensive
Recording all suggestions
Rule 10: Watch Yourself to Keep Sharp
Initial contacts
Contacting participants
Explaining the test
Screening candidates
Confirming appointments
When Participants Arrive
Greeting participants
Creating comfort
Obtaining informed consent
The Pretest Briefing
Preparing yourself
Preparing participants
Using a script or checklist
Practicing the think-aloud technique
Confirming that participants are ready
Transitioning to the Tasks
Starting the tasks
conducting a pretest interview
Interacting during the session
Interacting for a Reason
Keeping Them Talking
Prompting as a reminder
Prompting the silent ones
When and How to Probe
Probing questions
Planned versus spontaneous probes
Probes to avoid
Common probes
Providing Encouragement
Encouraging statements to avoid
Common encouraging statements
Dealing with Failure
Participants' self-blame
The moderator's distress
The participant's distress
Responses to participants' distress
Stopping a test
What you shouldn't do when a participant fails
Providing Assistance
An assist
Giving assistance
Interventions versus assists
Not giving assistance
Levels of assistance
Completing a task for a participant
Measuring assists
Interacting during post-test activities
Maintaining Your Roles
Determining the Order of Activities
Clarifying Things That Occurred during the Test
Administering Ratings and Questionnaires
Reasons behind the ratings
Accuracy of ratings
Asking Open-Ended Questions
Allowing Others to Interact with Participants
Final Activities
Providing incentives
Ending the session
Interacting in a remote test session
What Is Remote Testing?
Synchronous and asynchronous testing
The technology
Advantages and disadvantages
Preparing for the Session
Obtaining informed consent and confidentiality
Determining the equipment candidates have
Establishing willingness and downloading software
Interacting during the Session
Establishing what participants see on their screen
Providing instructions on thinking aloud
Making the task scenarios available to participants
Avoiding dependencies between tasks
Managing visitors during the session
Dealing with distractions at the participants' end
Making a connection despite the physical distance
Moderator-participant arrangements
A Bit of History
Physical Arrangement
The moderator in the test room
The moderator not in the test room
Beliefs about Arrangements
Physical separation
Physical proximity
Choice of Arrangement
Being physically close to participants
Being physically separated from participants
Considerations for the Practitioner
Interacting with diverse populations
General Guidelines
People with Physical Disabilities
Interacting with the physically disabled
Interacting with blind participants
Interacting with deaf and hard-of-hearing participants
The Elderly
Recruiting elders
Interacting with elders
People Who Have Low Literacy Skills
Functional illiteracy
Interacting with functionally illiterate participants
Testing with low-literacy participants
Children and Teens
Grouping children by age
Recruiting children and teens
Interacting during the session
People From Other Cultures
Interacting with participants from the same and other cultures
Adapting your techniques
Integrating the videos
About the Videos
The test session videos
Use of the videos
Content of the Videos
Video 1: Pretest briefing with a checklist
Video 2: Pretest briefing following a script
Video 3: Interacting during the session, example 1
Video 4: Interacting during the session, example 2
Video 5: Interacting in a remote testing situation
Video 6: Post-test interview
The Future of Usability Testing
Current trends
What's next?
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