Day 3 - Wednesday 5th October 2011 Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing: The Workshop with Steve Krug


For several years now, I've been spending half of my day-long workshop showing people just how easy — and valuable — usability testing can be.

A lot of people who have taken the workshop have suggested to me that I do a full day just about testing. I've always thought that it was a great idea, and after a lot of pondering I've finally figured out how to structure a day that includes everything I think people need to get started on their own, including some hands-on practice.

I'm very happy with this change, because I'm convinced that usability testing is the single most valuable thing you can do to improve a Web site, a Web application, or a piece of software, and not nearly enough of it gets done. And I also believe that everyone can and should be doing testing; not just the people who can afford to hire usability professionals.

In this day-long session, I'll teach you how to do your own low-cost/no-cost testing that's simple enough to make it a routine part of your design process.

Workshop outline

The day will include...

  • A complete explanation of how I recommend doing testing (Hint: very simple, very fast, and very cheap)
  • A live demo test on an attendee's site, so you can see the whole process in detail
  • A chance to practice conducting a test on your own site
  • Advice on how to interpret your findings and decide what changes to make
  • Plenty of time to answer your questions about testing or any other aspect of usability

What you'll learn

  • What I mean by "discount" user testing, and why it always works
  • How to get buy-in: Ways to deal with bosses, stakeholders, and check-signers
  • What kind of people — and how many — to test (My motto: Recruit loosely, and grade on a curve)
  • What to test, and when to test it
  • How to record tests and use the recordings to your advantage
  • The art of specifying test tasks
  • How to facilitate — when to listen and when to probe
  • Why I don't use exit and entrance questions
  • How to decide what to fix
  • No more big honkin' reports: Why you should avoid writing test reports, and what to do instead
  • Remote testing methods and tools
  • ...and much more.

Who should attend?

The short answer is "anyone involved in publishing a Web site." Graphic designers, programmers, writers, editors, project managers, sole proprietors, and VPs can all benefit from this session.

Whether you already do testing and want to know more, or have never done testing and want to start, or even if you don't ever intend to do your own testing but are responsible for hiring, managing, or paying other people to do it, this session will prove valuable.


The approximate schedule for day 3 is as follows.

Time Activity
8.30-9.00 Arrive at the ICA for Registration
9.00-10.30 Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing: The Workshop (Part I)
10.30-11.00 Coffee and Biscuits
11.00-12.30 Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing: The Workshop (Part II)
12.30-1.30 Lunch (Catered)
1.00-2.30 Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing: The Workshop (Part III)
2.30-3.00 Coffee and Biscuits
3.00-4.30 Break-out sessions (practice tests)
4.30-5.00 Q&A
5.00 Home

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