Reflection #6 – Analyze and Report

This, the final week of class, was all about analyzing data and reporting out findings to the team of stakeholders. To me, this is the most arduous and complicated part of the usability process. If I had the choice, I’d pull a Steve Krug and not write a report. Instead, I’d make sure all of the important business owners were involved in the research process from the beginning watching all of the sessions to see the insights for themselves. Then, I’d walk these people through the site and mention the major findings and suggestions for improvements, followed up with an email highlighting these talking points. Alas, this does not work unless you’ve written a book.

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Reflection #5 – Moderation

This week, I was given a script and told to moderate a usability study. This is my favorite part of the whole research process: actually getting to talk to a user and watch them use the product. It’s the culmination of all of the prework and meetings, and because of that I make sure usability is a true event for me, my team, and the team I am working with. The assignment didn’t require that I write a script, but I did need to moderate and record a sessions with an actual user investigating the Papa John’s website and ordering experience.

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Reflection #4 – Qual. and Quant. Metrics

This week’s assignment was all about the difference between qualitative and quantitative usability metrics. When do you use one over the other? What works better? What about subjective vs. objective measurements? And what are the benefits and limitations of each of the different methods for a given scenario? In Jakob Nielsen’s article on usability metrics, he mentions that qualitative measures provide more bang for the buck at understanding the low hanging usability fruit. But the investment in quantitative metrics can be beneficial in its use to track progress across iterations.

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Reflection #3 – “Thank & Terminate”

This week our assignment was to create a screener script with qualification questions, and a moderator’s guide with tasks and scenarios. It was perfect for me, because I was working on the same sort of things for a project I am doing at work. The interesting thing about this assignment was we worked in groups to source our questions and tasks.

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Reflection #2 – Formative vs. Summative Testing

This week our assignment was to, using the medium of our choice, convince the CEO and CTO of a fictional pizza delivery company what type of usability method they should use as they build a new website before Super Bowl Sunday. Basically, should Papa John and Dom Inos decide to do multiple tests as they develop their site and before they release it to the public? Or, should they opt to do a study at the end of development/after the site has been released to the world? Any testing is better than no testing, but… I would prefer the formative approach.

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Reflection #1 – “Why are we testing with only 5 users?”

This week, the first module of Usability I focused on what usability is at it’s core. This included sussing out what makes it different from other types of research, and why research of this type can be done quickly and with fewer people. As soon as I logged in to Blackboard to start working on the assignment of writing a business proposal justifying the number of usability participants, I saw my favorite graph and had to laugh.

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Clearing my throat…

::slides into the site::

Ahem. Hello there. It’s uh… been a while. But hey, new year. So maybe it’s time to take this a bit more seriously eh? I mean, I’ve always been tweeting at @mdigirolUX but this hub of all things me and UX has gone severely under-utilized. But now, thanks to a little prompting from my graduate program (read: it’s a required part of a class I am taking), I will be blogging a lot more. The blog will mostly be focused on what I’ve been working on for the class, but I will certainly try to pepper in my own experience, thoughts, and opinions into the discussion. All of those posts will be categorized appropriately and tagged with #Kent.

Enjoy the journey with me?