Usage testing

ServiceTeaserBlankI use Usage testing to ensure that an interactive solution works as expected. It there is any problems with the interface all information needed to correct it is usually in the test results.

Usage tests are in essence just monitoring users using your solution witnessing what turns up. The most simple form of usage testing is just letting a friend or colleague have a try at fulfilling some major task with the help of your solution. This you can do with a minimum of effort and no cost.There are times however when this kind of simplistic approach is not satisfactory. If you need a more reliable and confirmed result the tests needs to be conducted a more scientifically.

A small group of users are as effective as a large one

In order to find problems in an interface a vast number of users are not needed. In most cases a smaller group of users does an astonishing accuate job of finding problems and showing by their actions what they are not comfortable with in the interface. in order to get reliable results to base design decisions on a group of as few as 5-8 users is often enogh. It is often better to save some budget in order to be able to conduct more usage testing then get statisktically poven data on one test.

Confident users with a clear scenario

The test session itself is best conducted in an environment were the user feels comfortable. To be placed in a test session is stressfull for most users and getting the user to feel confident is the key to relevant test results. In my experience to conduct the test at the test person’s home or office, so called contextual study, gives rise to better results than using a professional test lab. Some times it is not practically feasible to visit the users. In these cases you have to invite the user to you. In these caes a less formal test environment  is preferable.

The test it self needs to be started with a test scenario. This scenario need to be the same for all users in order to give reliable the test results, but minor personal variables way be used to make the user more comfortable. The scenario have to include a little story about why and how the user ended up using the solution as well as defining the task the user should be working with during the test. Choosing a broad scenario with will give less comparable results and risk that the user will wonder of and a to narrow scenario will make the user uncomfortable and the experience will not be genuine.

Analyzing test data

All the usability tests I do is video documented and all mouse movements and key strokes are recorded. I even use eye tracking in order to pic up on exactly what the user see and does not see during the test sessions. When I analyze the test data I go through the recorded video second for second and analyze the users behavior in detail.

The most important factor is to review if the user found it natural to use the solution in the intended manor. Analyzing the users mood is also very important. If the user is confused or discouraged by the experience they are likely to exit and try something ells.

Presenting the results

The results of the analysis will gathered in a list of issues found and suggestions for how to solve them. The results is mostly published on line together with the test full length video recorded during the test session. This will enable the team to use the sessions as future reference.

The best way of presenting the results is in a workshop format were all important stake holders and other key individuals are present. Often times the results concerning more than only the interface and issues in the technology and even the business strategy behind the solution. Being able to get the result presented by the test leader and instantly discuss any issue has shown to be very appreciated by my clients.

Related pages

  • More
 

Will front page carousels improve your conversion rate?

Top Carusel, front page slider, the thing on the top of web sites has many names. It is also deeply loved by designers and clients. Having content slide across the page feels like both good investment of screen estate and manages to show multiple offers to the site visitor. It seems like a match made in heaven. But does it really perform well to boost conversion?

Learn more

My contribution

 

How to set up an eye tracking study – frequently given answers

A well-executed eye tracking study can help web based businesses improve considerably. I have developed ways to make this sophisticated technology quick and convenient for the client to adopt in their continuous improvement efforts. My methodology makes clients directly involved in the process. People often ask me how I set up and execute an eye-tracking study from a practical point of view. Here are my answers.

Learn more

My contribution

 

Mårten’s eye tracking study became a how-to-guide for creating a successful site

We at Box Experience’s wanted to improve our web site. Our web agency called in interaction designer and usability expert Mårten Angner to conduct an eye tracking study on our site. The study fully confirmed our suspicions about usability problems and provided valuable insight into how our customer’s think. Mårten presented clear directions on how to take our site to the next level. Almost like a how-to-guide, created exclusively for us!

Learn more

My contribution

 

True or false: Does confusion online set men and women apart?

ManAndWomanI discovered that women were more reluctant than men to continue when faced with confusion on an online e-commerse application in a study for Holiday autos. Among the respondence women failed to follow through renting a car while the men succeeded. Based on this test it seems to be a major difference in how men and women solve problems online. i want your input in this. Are men and women really this different?

Learn more

My contribution

 

Rebtel engaged to conduct an eye tracking study of their site

Rebtel, the exciting international telecom operator, asked me to make a full scale usage test using eye tracking on their public web site, sign up, and their customer self service area. The eye tracking test immediately brought some totally unexpected errors in the service to Rebtel’s attention as well as provided a solid ground for the strategic design and development decisions in the future.

Learn more

My contribution

 

Ginza engaged me to conduct an eye tracking study of the web shop

Ginza is one of Sweden’s foremost media mail-order and e-commerce companies.  As a part of the effort to improve their user experience, I was asked to conduct an Eye tracking study on their current site. Although the results were somewhat shocking to Ginza, they were very pleased that their weak points could be addressed immediately. In this post I explain more about how the test was conducted and will also share with you some of the results.

Learn more

My contribution

 

Hear me talk about eye tracking and e-commerce at the Nordic E-commerce summit 2010

NordicEcommerceSummit2010I have been invited to present my work with eye tracking and usability testing in e-commerce sites, at the Nordic e-commerce summit in Stockholm. There, I will focus on eye tracking as a way of diving deep into the mind of the users. And how eye tracking gives us a unique ability to optimize any web shop. They can only buy the things they see!

It is hard to create a relationship with users on an e-commerce site. Sites with a few percentage of conversion rate will only get to meet the tiny fraction of all users. The vast majority of the users, however, will leave very little information of their experience.
Amazingly, few e-commerce sites have actually been subjected to thorough usage testing, with or without eye tracking, before release. Using a really good e-commerce platform will not guarantee that the users in your particular target group will be able to effortlessly use it. Clever features and cool design will not always lead to desired results, but might equally as well leave the users confused unable to figure out how to become customers, even if they want to.
By inviting real users from your target group, and observing them when they try to use it, is a brilliant way of easily identifying usability problems on your site. Preferably before you even release the site. With the use of eye tracking you might also get a clear picture of what segments of your offer are acknowledged by users.
In my presentation you will get to meet some people, that could have been your customers, struggling with some of the most common problems in e-commerce sites. You will also get insights into how to solve them.
If you involved or interested in e-commerce in any way, The Nordic e-commerce summit in Stockholm is the place to be 19th and 20th may. If you would like to meet me please send me an e-mail!

Learn more

My contribution

 

Engaged as an in house usability expert at Rebtel

RebtelHeartI have wanted to work with a telecommunication operator for a long time. International calling is filled with exciting challenges for a user experience designer. Through signing of a contract with Rebtel this dream will finally come true!

Learn more

My contribution

 

Usability is not a task, phase or profession. It is all or nothing!

Mårten AngnerMillions of sites and systems in the world are exhausting to use, very ugly and filled with features that are not needed by anybody. But there are glimmering exceptions where everything just seems to be working smoothly together. What makes the difference? Is there a secret formula? In this post I will let you in on some of those secrets. Creating usable applications is within your reach, but only if you are willing to make usability your number one priority!

Learn more

My contribution

 

Improving usability for the worlds largest rental car broker

StartPageI was asked by Holiday Autos to help them improve their the web based ordering system for rental cars. I worked closely with the internal development team evaluating the existing solution, and designing a new one. The end result turned out to be a great success when tested on users. The time needed to complete the order was reduced to as little as one third.

Learn more

My contribution

 

Words from my clients

Mårten helped us find new ways of doing business!
Pontus Rosin, Partner, Adeptic Technologies AB
 
It’s genius in its simplicity!
 
Mårten’s eye tracking study became a how-to-guide for creating a successful site
Jonas Persson, CEO, Box Experience
 
Mårten is full of energy and great ideas, I would recommend him in a heartbeat!
Jonas Björkman, Art Of Job
 
Cool sketching session with Mårten
Martin Bystedt, Cloud Nine
 
Mårten’s sketching seminar was like creativity-in-a-box
Mikael Palmér, NetRelations AB
 
Mårten’s sketching techniques helped us improve our design process
Niclas Giertz, Creuna AB
 
Mårtens eye tracking study made us know our users a thousand times better!
Maja Lindström, Rebtel
 
Mårten helps us to focus on the right things at the right time!
Maja Lindström, Rebtel
 
Working with Mårten was very rewarding
Anna Madsen Holiday Autos
 

View all

 
Mårten Angner | Interaction Design Technology | Fredsborgsgatan 25 117 58 Stockholm | marten@angner.se | +46707770579