Mary Cook shared this at September’s Show and Tell:
Guerrilla Usability Testing at UVa
Find out if students see or use a part of your web page design and iterate change/test.
At a table or chairs along the Newcomb Hallway across from the Pavillion (no AFC, Libraries not as busy.)
In one hour you can talk to five users for five minutes each and make changes/make notes in between.
What to Bring:
- A computer
- 6+ Candy bars – Hershey’s Dark and Milk Chocolate
- Name tag (so you look official)
- Clip board and note pad to jot notes
Ask a co-worker to test your work and vice-versa so you don’t get defensive.
In this example (its.virginia.edu/software), I wanted to (1) confirm that users aren’t using the filters, (2) ask if they would use the filters if they noticed them, and (3) get ideas for more noticeable filters:
- “Excuse me. Do you have five minutes to help improve a UVa web site? I’ve got candy bars….”
- The user sits at the computer and you sit nearby so you can see the screen.
- “Hi I’m <name> and I work for <organization>. We want to make this website about software that’s available to UVa students easier to use. I’m going to ask you to do a few things and then ask some questions. There are no right or wrong answers. Just do what you would normally do. Also please say out loud what are thinking or reading as you work so I can follow your thoughts.”
- Browser is open to the page. Task: “Find software that will prevent this computer from getting viruses.” Then be quiet, listen, and say “uh huh”, “that makes sense” or “hmm, I’m not sure.”
- Stop the user after he/she has clicked a link to get software. “It was helpful to watch you work.”
- “There are some filters at the top of this page. Would filters be helpful to you on a page like this? What would make them stand out more? Show me how you would use them. ” DON’T SAY THINGS THAT MAKE THE USER FEEL THEY DID SOMETHING WRONG (e.g. “Why didn’t you click here?” “Didn’t you see this icon?” “Let me show you how you should have done it, etc.)”
- Give the user a candy bar. Make notes or changes and repeat.
*Based on Nielson/Norman Group Usability Testing (http://www.nngroup.com/courses/usability-testing/)