Archive for November 2010
When deciding all the details about carrying out usability research, it can be difficult to work out exactly where you want to do the testing. The benefit of doing usability testing is that the equipment needed is quite portable so you are therefore not restricted to geographical locations, but there are a few considerations to take into account when planning.
Things to consider if hosting usability testing at your company’s premises.
- By telling the person where they have to turn up to take part in the usability testing, you are giving them an indication of what the subject matter of the testing will be. This gives them time to conjure up a pre-determined opinion about the company which they will then bring with them to the testing.
- Users want to please and be able to perform well within the session so they will do their homework. This means that they will learn all about your services and how to use your website and can be especially detrimental if you want to test users’ natural behaviour on the existing website.
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The participants who took part in the research for the new gap.eu website were asked to go shopping to replace their favourite pair of jeans.
From the new homepage we were able to observe that users were drawn to the strong colours on the right hand side of the page (graphic outlined by union jack). Users ignored the main photographic element with the ‘New and now’ messaging, and decided to go straight to the top navigation options. From here there were no drop-down menus available so users could not quickly get into the category that they were looking for.
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Real world eye tracking is finally getting the attention it deserves. Recent innovations in wearable eye trackers means research participants no longer have to carry heavy laptops in rucksacks as the walk around in the real world – they just pop on some glasses and just carry an ipod sized data recorder. We were the first agency in the world trusted to use the latest eye tracking glasses for commercial research from Tobii.
Here’s a great video of how Mercedes are using eye tracking glasses in their design process and market research. Unsure about the value of eye tracking? Why not read our article about using eye tracking in market research.
we observe them, what’s looked at first, how long does the glance linger on certain features or in what order do they look at things.
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Users always surprise because their behaviour changes with their environment. The online experience, and more specifically the tools that users have available to them when searching, is evolving with the introduction of Google Instant and Google Instant Preview and behaviour will be changing again.
Google Instant Previews allows users to see what a website looks like before committing to click through to the website. Next to each listing on the results page a magnifying glass icon appears. After users click on this once, a preview appears of that page to the right hand side. Subsequent hovering over other search results listings also previews pages.
There is much consternation about the consequences of this and how it will affect users and also affect future website design. It has the potential to support websites that adopt a greater user centred design approach based on the fact that users quickly make decisions on suitability from the first glance of a website.
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On the 22nd November SimpleUsability is due to host the Northern User Experience Meet Up from 7pm until 9pm. Throughout the year the event is held in either Manchester or over in Leeds respectively, but we are proud to announce that we will sponsor the November edition and hope to follow this with many more.
The event will be held at the SimpleUsability offices in the Round Foundry Media Centre, a short walk from Leeds train station. In the past the event has been a great way for user experience practitioners to meet up, network and learn from each other. The evening normally includes a few short presentations, followed by an open session where ideas are bounced around and then future planning for next events.
For this edition there is still one speaker to be confirmed, but we can promise that Fiona Harwood (Senior User Experience Consultant at SimpleUsability) will be talking about ‘How we ask why?’ a key question when moderating usability testing. Once we have any more speakers confirmed we will let you know. If this is something that you are interested in then please go to LinkedIn and register.
The event has reached many in the Manchester area and been a huge success, but yet to reach its full potential in Yorkshire. SimpleUsability hopes to help sponsor future events so that user experience practitioners can meet up, share ideas, network and hopefully generating more local business partnerships.