Does usability testing work for documents? Our answer is a resounding yes.
In this column, we’ll give you three techniques for having people try out documents or any other stand-alone content. These techniques apply whether your document is on paper or online—for example, as a Web page or a PDF. They apply for both in-person and remote usability testing—especially with moderated remote testing.
What Is a Document?
We’re talking about functional documents that provide information to people—not fiction or poetry. Functional documents include informative banners—such as the ones on many Web sites about how an organization is dealing with COVID-19—legal documents, manuals, notices, official letters, press releases, privacy policies, terms and conditions, and more. Read More
Conducting traditional synchronous, or moderated, usability testing requires a moderator to communicate with test participants and observe them during a study—either in person or remotely. Unmoderated, automated, or asynchronous usability testing, as the name implies, occurs remotely, without a moderator. The use of a usability testing tool that automatically gathers the participants’ feedback and records their behavior makes this possible. Such tools typically let participants view a Web site they are testing in a browser, with test tasks and related questions in a separate panel on the screen.
Recently, there has been a surge in the number of tools that are available for conducting unmoderated, remote usability testing—and this surge is changing the usability industry. Whether we want to or not, it forces us to take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of unmoderated testing and decide whether we should incorporate it into our usability toolbox. Read More
UX researchers have always had the option of conducting research remotely, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become necessary to use remote methods for all UX research. As I discussed in my last column, “Remote User Research: The Time Is Now,” remote research is not new. We’ve always known that remote research has both advantages and disadvantages to in-person research. However, now that in-person research is no longer an option and we’ve had to convert all of our UX research to remote methods, we’ve discovered some additional advantages and disadvantages.
In Part 1 of this two-part column, I’ll focus on the many advantages of remote UX research. Then, in Part 2, I’ll focus on the disadvantages and provide advice on how to overcome or mitigate them. Read More