usability techniques for startups

Download Usability Techniques for Startups

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Are you looking to gather insights from your potential customers? When it comes to your prospects, do you really know what they want? Many startup teams tell us they are missing the key information they need to get into their users' mind. Without this information, the products often fall short of delighting users. There are those that believe that user research and usability testing must be a complex and scientific process that takes lots of time, money, and resources. However, in the real world, most startups don't have the luxury to spend weeks or months on their user research. That's where guerrilla research techniques come into play.


  • 1. Quick and Dirty Usability Techniques for Startups @cperfetti

2. Reserving a hotel room 3. Choosing check-in and checkout dates 4. Click and view the room 5. Fill out reservation form 6. Did Broadmoor help users achieve their goals?In usability tests, many users booked the wrong number ofnights at the hotel 7. Usability Testing Putting someone (usually a member of your target audience) in front of something (usually your product or web site) and watching them work 8. The benets of usability testing for startups Helps startups make informed decisions about the product or the products design Provides information about your customers needs and goals Gets the right members of your team involved in the design process Makes your product better! Results from user research and usability studies often lead to small breakthroughs 9. Quick and Dirty Research TechniquesUser research and usability testing dont have to be timeintensiveThe best teams start conducting quick and dirty techniques andtricks right awayThey avoid making excuses about constraintsThey start testing with customers in the rst two weeks ofdevelopment 10. The Excuses Testing is too scientic Not enough timeLittle moneyUnsure where to startNo resources and staff 11. A usability testThe Quick and Dirty VersionBring in user, sit beside them, and watch what they doGreet the userExplain how the test will workGive users tasks to complete and observe the problems theyexperienceGeneral Q&ADebrief with observers 12. Start testinganywhere 13. Start testinganyone 14. A usability test 15. Exploration: Usability TestOne person is the userThink aloud as you work One person is the observerObserve silently and take notes 16. As the user...Were evaluating the design, not you The answer is somewhere on the siteIf you experience problems, its not your faultYoure helping the observers learn more about the designproblemsYou can stop the task at any time 17. As the observer...Take notes as the user worksWas the user successful?How did the user go about performing the task?Did they go to the search engine, what links did they click on?What obstacles did the user encounter?What confusion did they experience?Note things that worked well When you complete a task, say, Got it! 18. ScenarioYour 5-year-old niece has always wanted to go to Disney World.You have decided to take her there for a vacation. Task Assignment You are looking for a hotel within the park.You want it to bethe cheapest hotel with access to the monorail. Which Disneyhotel would you choose to stay in? 19. DiscussionHow many users found the answer? What helped users succeed? What obstacles prevented them from nding what theywanted? What do you expect will happen when you test yourproduct? 20. Tests can take 10 minutes 5 Second Page test A simple technique Can be done in less than 10 minutes Tells designer if page is clear and concise 21. Buying A Notebook Computer Youre ready to buy a new notebook computer You consider a computer a big purchase How much technical support will you get if you experience problems? 22. Exercise QuestionsWrite down everything you remember about the pageFrom this page, do you feel the site would give you reliabletechnical support?If not, why? 23. Exercise QuestionsWrite down everything you remember about thepageFrom this page, do you feel the site would giveyou reliable technical support?If not, why?Do you feel this page was better or worse thanthe previous page? 24. Exercise QuestionsWrite down everything you remember about thepageFrom this page, do you feel the site would giveyou reliable technical support?If not, why?Do you feel this page was better or worse thanthe previous pages? 25. Five-Second Page TestsDesigners often intend pages to have a single purposeWe use when users complain that pages are toocluttered or confusingIdenties if pages quickly communicate their purpose 26. Comprehension Tests Pages contain complex content Such as policies or procedures User comprehension is imperative to their success Questions determine if users understand content 27. What causes most design problems? Weve conducted hundreds of usability studies Each test identies dozens of problems The underlying cause is the same for every problem: Someone on the team didnt communicate everything they knew about the product or users 28. The best studies...Usability tests are only successful if the right people areinvolved in the design processDesigners, developers, engineers, marketing, usabilityprofessionals, content strategists can all involvedThis is possible even with quick and dirty testing 29. Tests should happen earlyThe most common usability technique for startupsPaper prototype tests typically happen during the rsttwo weeks of development and involves all teammembersDesign is in uxDevelopment team needs to try ideas and get feedbackquicklyAll team members can participate in the studyAllows design teams to go through multiple designiterations in a week 30. Were building a what with what?Heather ONeill, Above the Fold 31. Building a paper prototypeThe paper prototype consists of:A screen (large cardboard or paper rectangle)Separate pieces of paper for each screen state, drop-down menu, or pop-up1-2 team members silently simulate the behavior of thecomputer by placing pieces of paper in front of theuser 32. Paper Prototyping by Carolyn Snyder 33. Testing the Home Page: First Click TestsUseful method to assess where users rst click on yoursites home or entry pageProvide users with a specic task to complete when theyarrive at the siteBy observing where users rst click, its a clear indicatorwhether theyll eventually be successful 34. What do customers nd valuable? Inherent value testing Variant of usability test Identies why loyal users love the site/service Determines if new users see the same value 35. Inherent Value TestingTrying to attract new usersLoyal user base already existsPhase I: Identies the value of the site for loyalusersPhase II: Do new users see the same value? 36. Competitive TestingCompares designs to competitorsLooks for innovationsPrevents copying features that dont really workTasks are identical across competitors 37. Quick and Dirty TechniquesWe use these techniques when were unsure of who areusers are and what they want to accomplishInterview-based TasksUser Interviews 38. Interview-based tasksCombine interviewing before and during test to identifyusers goalsAs part of the test, users talk about their specic goals andperform tasks based on these goals Realistically assess usability given users own goals 39. 40. The user interviewIf you are short on time and moneyBring in one user per monthAsk them about their goals, motivations, and needs 41. General questionsWhat activities waste your time or drive you crazy?How did you learn about the product?Who do you provide information to? What information do youcollect?What information do you need to make a decision? 42. Questions about the productWhat are your most important and frequent activities with theproduct?What are the two things you like best about the product?What are the two things you would like to see improved?Are there any activities you currently perform that youd like tosee automated?What changes to the product would make your life easier? 43. Thank You! Email: Twitter: @cperfetti Free Newsletter: www. 44. Perfetti Media Workshops October 25: Paper Prototyping Essentials October 26: Designing for the Social Web January 27-28: Usability Bootcamp Sign up with promotion code MASSCHALLENGE for $100 off each workshop 45. Quick and Dirty Usability Techniques for Startups @cperfetti