Usability testing is fun

Last week, a colleague and I ran an eight-person usability study with a big customer. We started at 6:30, so it was a super-early, super-long day.

Iterating on the product AND the process

Yes, it was exhausting, but I love this stuff. You take your best guess at a design then you put it in front of a bunch of people. Then they struggle with it and you make it better. That iteration what research is all about.

I also love how we’re iterating on the process itself. November was the first time I’ve traveled for usability testing. Yesterday was the first time I’ve done remote usability testing with clients. It was also the first time we’ve hosted a viewing party where people from all over the company could tune in and see what usability testing all about. Oh, and it was the first time we had a client representative observe all of the tests we ran. So many leaps forward!

What’s next?

When it comes to process, I wonder what is next for us. Maybe a focus on quality? For instance, we could start to critique each other on body language, tone of voice, note taking, and more. Or maybe more logistic stuff, like making scheduling better. Or smoothing out the participant recruitment pipeline.

But for now it’s good to keep enjoying it, keep learning, and keep iterating!

P.S. It was fun last time, too!

I just checked my notes from the November usability testing trip, and I had a similar rush of enthusiasm:

I’m exhausted.

Man is it draining to do this much research. It is not easy to sit in a little meeting room for a full eight hours, actively listening while thinking ahead and trying to be self aware enough not to be biased. Then summarizing findings and prepping for the next day’s tests with customized prototypes and doing it all again. That’s hard too.

But I love it.

-My own notes after a full week of usability testing


Feature photo stolen from @jdorn. Thanks, friend 😈!

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