[A20] - Usability testing for project managers
Frederic Fuchs, France
Giles Colborne, Euro RSCG Circle, United Kingdom

Workshop: [A20] - Usability testing for project managers

Do you really know whether your software or web site is easy to use? What users do in front of their computer screens is often different to what the designers expect, and different again to what the users say when asked in questionnaires or interviews.

The only proven way to ensure your software or web site is easy to use, is to test it with real users.

This workshop will introduce you to the basics of usability testing. It will show you how testing can help you assess the usability of your web site or application, and eventually give you insights about how you can design a better interface.

In this workshop, you will learn:

- What is a usability test? We'll outline the different types of testing on offer and their pros and cons.

- How can usability testing improve your project? We'll explain its benefits and limitations.

- Myths and misconceptions: how to overcome common objections to usability testing.

- The politics of usability. Usability tests threaten traditional project roles and this can lead to tension. We'll explain how to keep your project team happy.

- When in the software development life-cycle should you test in order to make the most of your limited budget?

- How to choose a usability expert to run your test. How much does a usability test cost? How much time does it take?

- How to plan a test to suit your needs. How can you define goals to a series of tests? What the users will be asked to perform? How can you recruit users, on which criteria? How many of them do you need?

Interactive sessions will include:

- A chance to watch and take part in a usability test

- Try to add user testing to a traditional project plan - and still deliver on time

- A chance to re-design an interface and see if it works

This workshop will focus on web sites, but most of the insights will be valid for other media or applications.

Published: 09/01/03
Last updated:

This conference is one of the International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meetings (ICHIMs) held every two years since 1991. See for further details, and past Proceedings.


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