Doing usability testing, an excerpt of a piece by Leah Buley. We’ll be talking about this in section on Friday.
1. Find someone, anyone
As you’re working on a design, when you want to see if it makes sense to others, print out the design or grab your laptop and wander over to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. This could be someone who sits in the desk next to yours, someone you encounter walking down the hall or in the cafeteria, or if you truly work alone, a friend or family member.
2. Ask them what they’re seeing and how they think it works
Think about the purpose of the page, screen, or section of the design that you’re working on. What are the main things people should be able to use it for? With this list of primary tasks in mind, show your design to your volunteer. Ask her how she thinks she could interact with this design to accomplish a particular task. If there are multiple screens or steps that you’re designing, proceed through each screen, asking her to explain what she’s seeing and what she would do to advance to the next step. That may only take 5 minutes, or it might take 20.
3. Find a few more volunteers
Once you’ve shown your design to one person, try to find a few more people to run through the same process. Your colleagues may enjoy getting involved, since it’s a break from their normal routine and shows that you value their perspective.
4. Iterate the designs
If you identify anything that’s especially confusing to people or that they interpreted differently than you had intended, go back and revise the design.