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Usability Test Coaching

Usability testing is about checking other people’s work.

But who checks the checker? Most usability professionals learned their skills by reading books on usability testing or by watching someone else prepare and conduct tests. So how do we know that the particular way we learned to do usability testing is still the best? Until the Comparative Usability Evaluation (CUE) project, there was little opportunity for usability professionals to objectively compare their various approaches. As it turns out, there are some striking differences in effectiveness.

Let DialogDesign coach and advise your usability professionals, to make sure that they use the latest techniques in the field and that they apply these techniques correctly. We’ll send a usability expert to your facility and coach your usability professionals by conducting a usability test right there with your own design as the case study. Together with your usability professionals, we’ll help your staff

·       define proper test requirements,

·       review your usability plan,

·       define good user tasks,

·       supervise your usability test sessions,

·       comment on the results and suggestions for redesign,

·       discuss proper result communication techniques (other than traditional reporting), and

·       review your usability report.

Coaching usually takes 10 to 30 hours at our current standard hourly rate.

Why choose DialogDesign for this critical task?

·       Our unique and extensive CUE research has given us a considerable insight into the approaches of more than 60 professional usability teams from around the world. We know what works in usability testing and what doesn’t!

·       Our coaching is based on real data - not on opinions.

·       We have more than 20 years of experience in usability testing and in finding professional and truly usable solutions to usability problems.

We’ve been chosen by world leaders like
- the Nielsen Norman Group (www.nngroup.com),
- User Interface Engineering (www.uie.com), and
- ACM’s CHI conferences
to run their advanced seminars on usability testing. More than 2,000 satisfied usability professionals have attended our one-day seminars.

Read More

·      How DialogDesign tests

·      Usability test coaching

·      Sample test report from DialogDesign


Bad Usability Test Practices

To give you an idea of what DialogDesign looks for during coaching, here’s a list of the most critical bad practices that we’ve observed:

1.  Insufficient screening of test participants.

2.  The facilitator or the task description provides hidden clues for how to solve the task.

3.  The facilitator talks too much. The test session turns into an interview.

4.  Test tasks aren’t core tasks.

5.  The data in the database doesn’t match the scenario.

6.  The facilitator helps too soon. The test session turns into a demonstration, not an evaluation.

7.  The facilitator doesn’t help, even though the problem is evident and the test participant is clearly stuck.

8.  The test facilitator is prejudiced and defends the product.

9.  No debriefing of the test participant.

10. No consensus building; the facilitator dictates what the problems are.

11. Unprofessional test report (spelling errors, inconsistent formatting, etc.).

12. Unusable test report. For example, it’s too long, has no executive summary, focuses on micro-usability, doesn’t classify problems, doesn’t offer positive findings.


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