This usability test was done by the man, the myth, the legend himself; Mr. Steve Krug. Throughout the video, I made some key observations in preparation for my first usability test. Up to this point, the concept seemed simple enough. Ask users to do specific tasks and take notes. But continuing research I learned of the different factors to be aware of such as; how do I answer if they have questions? What can I say to keep the test productive? What should I be taking notes of specifically?
Here are some segments and what I took away from this usability test on “ZipCar” with Steve Krug.
“First go ahead and look around, what strikes you about it, give me a little narrative, what kinds of things would you do on this site?” -Before giving his tasks, he asks his tester to observe the homepage. Originally I might’ve jumped straight into the tasks, but this kind of information can be essential to revising the front page. During my test, I made sure I asked these questions and took notes.
“okay. okay. hmm. okay.” – I learned that when communicating you want to be neutral. Simple phrases like “okay” and “hm” may seem redundant in normal conversation, but is a good way to remind yourself to remain neutral.
“figure out how much it costs to rent a Zipcar ___ hours a week and ___ days a month” – The first task was very specific. The scenario was elaborate, with a story that puts the tester right in the shoes of a potential user. This gave me insight on creating an effective scenario, that’s realistic and can lead to productive findings.
“what do you think that means” – This is a great question to ask I’ve learned. Steve gives a list on his website called “Things a Psychiatrist Would Say”. It’s important that as a tester we do as little to interfere with the process. Playing Devil’s Advocate, and asking questions that elaborate versus giving away the answers is key in usability testing.