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Hacker's guide to user testing.

Hacker's guide to user testing.

We all know how valuable it is to get feedback from real users on the websites and apps we build. We can often waste days if not weeks of development time when we don't know what our users really care about.

Unfortunately we tend to not do it because it's hard to do, takes time and can be really expensive. Isn't it also someone else's job?

From my experience going from a big agency to small startup, I'll show you how to do it quickly, cheaply and also explain why it will make you a better developer.


Tom Alterman

January 29, 2015

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  1. Hacker’s guide to user testing Tom Alterman @tomalterman

  2. Who am I? UX & Front-end Lead at TrialReach

  3. Who am I? Currently doing two people’s jobs* *please come

    take one off me www.trialreach.com
  4. User testing Makes sure we are working on the next

    most important task
  5. Why people don’t do it • “Takes too long” •

    “Too expensive” • “Too difficult”
  6. Why people don’t do it “That’s not my job”

  7. Hard lesson learnt Business requirement: “Must be able to tweet

    every piece of content on the site”
  8. Hard lesson learnt Functional requirement: SOCIAL BUTTONS EVERYWHERE!!!!

  9. Hard lesson learnt • Took a week to build •

    Horrible hacky code • Added ~1 sec to page load
  10. Hard lesson learnt Did user testing at the end of

  11. Hard lesson learnt No one used this feature

  12. Hard lesson learnt Example URL: http://www.***.com/articles/ada_178354/silversky- acquisition-complete?from=homepage- rzz&_afrLoop=550888908964000&_afrWindowMode=0&_afr WindowId=cc87g22wh_1#!%40%40%3F_afrWindowId %3Dcc87g22wh_1%26_afrLoop

    %3D550888908964000%26from%3Dhomepage-rzz %26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state %3Dcc87g22wh_61
  13. Hard lesson learnt Clean URLs was not considered an essential

  14. Hard lesson learnt • Horrible code • Didn’t solve user

    need • We felt like idiots
  15. The process 1. Recruit participants 2. Plan & run the

    sessions 3. Analyse the findings
  16. Finding people Most time consuming & daunting part of the

  17. Test with real users Other people on your team don’t

  18. Reach out to the target audience • Your site •

    Emails • Social media / forums • Gumtree / Craigslist
  19. Offer to pay them Everyone wants a £20 Amazon voucher

  20. Test users remotely Easier to recruit and run sessions

  21. Use a short survey Helps you ensure they are relevant

  22. Ethnio will do this all for you Helps you ensure

    they are relevant users
  23. Call those you think eligible Allows you to check they

    are not weirdos or scammers
  24. 3-5 users per test 5 users will help you find

    over 80% of the usability issues* *http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-many-test-users/
  25. Go buy this book!

  26. Prepare a test script See an example: http://bit.ly/testingscript

  27. Use GoToMeeting for testing Grudgingly its easiest for anyone to

    install and share their screen
  28. Act like a therapist • Observe • Don’t interrupt •

    No leading questions
  29. Ask questions like: What are you thinking?

  30. Ask questions like: What would you do next?

  31. Ask questions like: What do you think just happened?

  32. At the end of each session Write a quick list

    of the most important things you noticed
  33. Look for the patterns 3 users - URGENT!

  34. Look for the patterns 2 users - Important

  35. Look for the patterns 1 user - Interesting

  36. Share findings with your team • Urgent issues • Quick

    wins • Future considerations
  37. Share video highlights Makes it clear what most urgent to

  38. Share video highlights Creates empathy with your users

  39. Test frequently At least every month, whatever you have ready

  40. Costs are tiny Ethnio = £33 GoToMeeting = £29 Partipants

    = £60
  41. Benefits are huge Will minimise wasted effort

  42. Benefits are huge Keep your users happy

  43. Benefits are huge Make you a better developer

  44. Thank you! Come help me cure cancer http://trialreach.com/about/jobs