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Archive for February, 2012


Increase your revenue with usability testing

Posted by Kirstin on February 28th, 2012

Creating a new revenue stream using IntuitionHQ is easy. Offering quick and easy usability tests for your clients adds credibility to your business. We often add usability tests during the early design phase. Not only does this ensure that you catch any problems early, it shows the client that you are professional and proactive, adding to your credibility.

By running tests on your design work with real users as it’s in progress, you get instant feedback on where they’re succeeding and where they’re failing – information you can use to guide the next stage of design. Making usability testing a part of the project process means you can find out whether the design works or not before launch.

Usability results from testing an established website can ensure your design is continuing to serve the needs of users or can highlight the need for any site enhancements.  Results can also be very useful at the outset of a redesign in order to help inform requirements.

We suggest you take the following steps to provide 10 hours of usability testing to your client:

  • Show your clients the value of usability testing
  • Create a usability test with IntuitionHQ
  • Report on test results

Step 1: Showing clients the value of usability testing

The results of usability testing can provide valuable insights into the user experience on your client’s site at various stages, from the inception of a new website to post launch and beyond. Here are some suggestions for when and how usability testing can provide valuable feedback:

As a part of the design process
Usability testing before the design is finalised and passed over to the developer can help spot potentially expensive oversights and mistakes before they’re built. It’s also an easy way for your clients to engage with the design process. They can share tests with stakeholders and key audiences just by sending out a link, and understand the results at a glance. It’s cost and time efficient for them and for you.

When a client is considering a redesign/refresh
Usability consultancy based on your client’s current design will help to inform design decisions and concepts for a redesign/refresh prior to the start of design work. This a great starting point for the requirements gathering phase of a project using real life user feedback.

Site tracking statistics analysis
Analysis of site tracking statistics can highlight issues in navigation and general usability. For example analysis of top searches may reveal that some navigation items need to be more prominent on the site. Usability testing results can inform the nature of the changes and testing of proposed changes can confirm the effectiveness of changes prior to any work taking place.

Website feedback surveys
Incorporation of an IntuitionHQ usability test during a period of user consultation such as a feedback survey provides feedback on site structure and design, highlighting any potential issues.

Step 2: Creating a test

Assess site aims 
Sit down with your client and establish both their aims and their user’s aims for the website. These may have changed since the last time your client considered them. Check ‘What to test‘ for ideas on what you should focus on during this discussion. The conclusions from this meeting will help inform the areas of the site to focus on while writing tasks in IntuitionHQ.

Write your usability test using IntuitionHQ
Here’s a quick guide to setting up a test in IntuitionHQ.

Using the conclusions drawn from meeting your client, gather your screenshots and write tasks that correlate to your client and user’s aims for the website. For some really useful insight on how to get started check out these 7 great tips for writing usability questions.

IntuitionHQ add a task and upload a screenshot

Step 3: Report on test results

Produce a usability report
Produce a usability/user experience report for your client using test result screenshots and drawing conclusions from the tester interactions shown in test results. Make recommendations based on your conclusions. Recommendations can include changes in navigation, design changes and possibly new functionality. Here’s a Usability results example report, produced using IntuitionHQ test results, to get you started.

In terms of value to your client the usability testing you provide will pay for itself by increasing user productivity on their site. The easier a site is to use, the faster a visitor can complete the task they came to do, and the happier they’ll be. Happy customers are repeat customers.

Using IntuitionHQ to carry out usability testing is simple and provides great value to your client, so why not get started!

 

Recruiting usability test participants

Posted by Kirstin on February 27th, 2012

So you’ve set up your usability test in IntuitionHQ, what now?  The next step is to release your test into the wild and recruit people to take the test.

We use the following ways to recruit users for usability testing:

  • social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • emailing internal networks and client’s email subscriber lists
  • linking from existing websites
  • using a web based recruiting tool

Ideally you’ll want testers to include:

  • potential site users
  • project stakeholders
  • project team members

You’ll want as many testers as you can muster in order to gather useful results.

Finding testers

Chances are you already have access to a wide range of users and potential users through various web based networks, it’s just a matter of identifying your networks and publicising your IntuitionHQ test url through them.

Social media channels
If you are part of an internal project team, utilise your company’s social network streams. Your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn followers will probably already be familiar with your company/website and it’s a great chance to involve them directly in testing a site they either already use or will use in the future.

Likewise if you’re a designer or user experience expert you’ve probably developed some substantial networks either on your personal social media streams or through your company’s streams. Usability testing is a great opportunity to utilise this access to a wide network of people to test your website design and structure.

IntuitionHQ gives you the opportunity to publicise your finished test and encourage users in the wider world outside your organisation to participate in testing by including an option to publish on Facebook and Twitter when you publish your test. Your Facebook and Twitter accounts can be linked to your account via the account billing tab in IntuitionHQ, under ‘Connect to Social networks’.

We’ve included the ability to post directly to the more popular social networking sites within IntuitionHQ. Don’t forget to use any other networks you have access to, for example you could publish the test as a link on your LinkedIn profile or perhaps within an industry forum you participate in.

By email
Copy and paste the url for your test from IntuitionHQ and send an email to your project stakeholders, project team members and your other colleagues inviting them to participate in the usability test. Use you or your client’s email subscriber lists to make the test available to a wider audience of users. You won’t need to include instructions, other than ‘click here’, IntuitionHQ takes care of all that.

Linking from your own sites
You could also link to your test url from your website, intranet or blog. By linking from your existing website you can keep your users involved with a redesign process by allowing them to test designs and navigation changes prior to implementation.

Web based tools
There are a number of sites that provide tools to help you recruit users. Ethnio allows you to create a ‘screener’ to help you recruit users via your website or blog.

The screener will appear on your site when users hit the homepage.  In the example below the screener has been edited to include a link to an IntuitionHQ test.

Participation in a usability test is a great way of familiarising your users with a proposed new design prior to it’s launch, helping ensure that your design works for real life users.  It’s also a good way to engage your project stakeholders in the design process.

We hope you’ve found our tips for recruiting users helpful, good luck with your testing!

 

 

A quick guide to IntuitionHQ

Posted by Kirstin on February 22nd, 2012

We’ve talked a lot about why you should undertake usability and user experience testing and what to consider when doing so, but we thought it was about time we gave you a quick guide to getting started with IntuitionHQ and how to set up a website usability test using IntuitionHQ .

One of our aims when we built IntuitionHQ was ensuring that the tool itself made it straightforward to set up a usability test, we hope you agree that we’ve made it as simple and intuitive as we can.

Step 1: Log into your account on IntuitionHQ

Sign into your account by clicking on the right top corner ‘Login here’.

Complete your signup details and click  ’Login’.

IntuitionHQ login form

Step 2: Setting up your test

Once you’ve logged in to IntuitionHQ you’ll be directed to the dashboard. The dashboard displays 3 tables; Published projects, Draft projects and Finished projects. Tests are referred to as projects throughout the site. You can revisit the dashboard at any time via the navigation if you need to reference any of these categories.  Now though, we’re going to set up a new project.  Click the New project button:

IntuitionHQ dashboard

You’ll be presented with a screen showing a form to complete with information about your project:

IntuitionHQ adding a new project

 

Enter a name for the project (the name will display on the resulting published test). The name will auto populate the completion of the test url in the next box, you can change this if you wish, this will form the unique url for your test and will be the web address you send to testers. The introduction field is already populated with generic text that can be edited using the WYSIWG editor. Similarly the Thank you message is also pre populated and editable.

Step 3: Entering questions and screenshots

Once you’ve set up your project you’ll be directed to the Project overview screen.You can add screenshots and tasks in any order you wish. For example you may want to enter all your screenshots first then write the associated tasks. However if you already have a good idea of the text for your tasks you can add a question and a screenshot at the same time.

Click Add task, write your task in the Question for task box and then either choose an existing screenshot (if you have already uploaded screenshots these will show in a dropdown) or upload one from your computer by clicking Choose file.  Then either save and return to the project overview screen or click Save & new task to go directly to a new task screen.

IntuitionHQ add a task and upload a screenshot
 

Save your task or add another task to your project by clicking Save & New Task:

IntuitionHQ add the task by clicking on 'save' OR 'save & new task'

 

If you choose to Save and & new task a blank Question for task screen will display. If you select Save you will be directed to the Project overview> Tasks screen.

IntuitionHQ project overview

 

You can edit both tasks and screenshots from the project overview screen by clicking the Edit button beside the item you want to change. Similarly you can also delete a task or screenshot by clicking the delete button beside the item in the Project overview.

Step 4: Preview and publish

Preview and publish options are on the top right of the Project overview screen:

 

 

Previewing your project will allow you to see the test as your testers will see it.  You can then go back and edit any questions that you feel need amendments.

Once you are happy that the test is ready to go live – click Publish, a screen giving you the option to promote the test via Facebook will appear. If you choose to promote the test via Facebook you will be directed to log into Facebook.



If you don’t want to promote via Facebook at this stage uncheck the Publish on facebook box, you will be directed back to the Project overview screen where you will see a success message. Your test is now live and anyone who has the URL can now see it.

Copy the project link into an email, a tweet and post a link to it on Facebook in order to direct users/testers to where to take the test.

You also have the option to publish the results of the test in order to distribute a link to the results if you wish.  Click the Publish link beside ‘Results are private to show’ a live url for results:

We hope you’ve found this quick guide useful and we’d be grateful for any feedback you have on the process to create a project and publish a test in IntuitionHQ. Our next quick guide in a couple of weeks will focus on looking at test results.