Saturday, March 29, 2014

My welcome script

When I sit down with each of the usability testers, it's good to have a "script" to go from, to make sure that I provide the same experience to each tester. I don't want to leave anything out. Everyone needs to come into the usability test with the same expectations.

While I may "tweak" the welcome script as I go, this is the base script that I'll use:
Brief context, what my project is about (inform tester about the purpose of the study, and it’s output).

Have you participated in a usability test before? This may be a new experience for you, and that’s okay.

Short explanation for what a “usability test” is. Not testing you, but you are helping us examine software; there are no “wrong” answers

Quick rundown of what the test will cover: Gedit, Nautilus, etc. (This is a good opportunity to share comparisons. For example, Nautilus is a file manager, like Windows Explorer, or Finder on Mac. Having that shared reference can help set the stage, but be careful about drawing too direct a comparison.)

Please “speak aloud” when you are looking for something, etc. I’ll be taking notes, but don’t let that distract you.

For each program, we’ll start by giving you a set of written scenarios: one at a time, one scenario per page. Do your best to complete that scenario. Also, have you used this program before? How would you expect to use the program?

When you complete each task, let me know. Then we’ll move on to the next task. (Each scenario task should be printed on a separate piece of paper. At the end of all scenarios for a program, take a short break before moving to the next program. This is where I do some basic Q & A by asking follow-up questions.)
Typical usability follow-up questions include:

  • “What were you thinking when you tried to do X?”
  • “You seemed lost when you were working on Y - what would have made it easier?”
  • “What were you expecting to see when you were doing Z?”

Also, a quick plus/delta: what worked well, and what needs to be improved?

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