So What About Synchronous Remote Usability Testing?
The previous week, I posted part One of this article.
In order to integrate the user into the design process at the earliest possible date, it is customary to develop a low-fi prototype which will allow initial evaluation of the overall design. We are however faced with a problem if we want to combine the qualitative feedback of synchronous usability testing with the advantages of non-biased remote testing. How can both approaches be combined?
Yet again, technology should hold the answer to this question:
Requirements for Synchronous Usability Testing:
- test-user and moderator need to be connected via the Internet
- a shared screen needs to be in place for both to view the prototype
- a live audio connection should be in place for synchronous communication
- the data of the test-session needs to be recorded (audio, video recording of all mouse movements)
- recorded data needs to be stored for instant retrieval
Optional requirements which may increase the quality of the session:
- information and tasks should be visible to the test-user
- moderator’s ability to integrate questionnaires which the user can fill in his own time
- the moderator can change parts of the prototype whilst conducting the test
- comments and annotations can be included on-the-fly
- test-user and moderator can be connected via a live video-feed
Usability Test: Methodologies
The overall test should allow the following methodologies:
- Thinking Aloud (test-user must think aloud and express what he thinks or misses in the prototype)
- Wizard of Oz Prototyping (the prototype can be changed on-the-fly for instant ratifications)
- Team Observation: (the rest of the production team follows the usability test, make notes and come up with alternatives)
- Formal and Informal Tests
- Click-path Analysis
- Use of Questionnaires