Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Interacting

Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Interacting

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by Joseph S. Dumas, Beth A. Loring
     
 

Many aspects of usability testing have been thoroughly studied and documented. This isn’t true, however, of the details of interacting with the test participants who provide the critical usability data. This omission has meant that there have been no training materials and no principles from which new moderators can learn how to interact.

Moderating Usability

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Overview

Many aspects of usability testing have been thoroughly studied and documented. This isn’t true, however, of the details of interacting with the test participants who provide the critical usability data. This omission has meant that there have been no training materials and no principles from which new moderators can learn how to interact.

Moderating Usability Tests is the place for new and experienced moderators to learn about the rules and practices for interacting that have never been described in one place before. Authors Dumas and Loring draw on their combined 40 years of usability testing experience to develop and present the most effective principles and practices - both practical and ethical --for moderating successful usability tests.

To help usability professionals, students, and novices understand these principles, the authors provide videos from their lab that demonstrate good and poor interaction as well as commentary from a panel of testing experts on why certain techniques succeed or fail. The videos are accessible from the publisher’s companion web site.

• Presents the ten “golden rules” that maximize every session’s value
• Offers targeted advice on how to maintain objectivity
• Discusses the ethical considerations that apply in all usability testing
• Explains how to reduce the stress that participants often feel
• Considers the special requirements of remote usability testing
• Demonstrates good and bad moderating techniques with laboratory videos accessible from the publisher’s companion web site

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780123739339
Publisher:
Elsevier Science
Publication date:
02/29/2008
Series:
Interactive Technologies Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,131,842
Product dimensions:
7.55(w) x 9.15(h) x 0.51(d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Introduction to the problem
Goals of the book and videos
A brief history of usability testing practice

Part I: The rules of interaction

Chapter 2: Your roles as administrator
The gracious host
The objective observer
The tradeoffs between them

Chapter 3: The Golden Rules -

Part 1: the Five Core Rules
1. The goals of the test and your relationship with developers determine why and when to interact
2. Respect the participants? rights
3. You have a responsibility to future users
4. The participants are the experts; you are in charge
5. Being ?real? is being professional

Chapter 4: The Golden Rules -

Part 2: Five Additional Rules
6. Let the participants speak
7. Your intuition can hurt and help you
8. Be unbiased
9. Don't give away information inadvertently
10. Watch yourself to keep sharp

Part II: Moderating the test session

Chapter 5: First contact ? Setting the tone
Pre-test instructions
Informed consent

Chapter 6: Interacting During the Session
Keeping the participant talking
How much to interact
Providing encouragement
Dealing with stress
Deciding when to give assistance
How to move the participant along

Chapter 7: Post-task activities
What to do first
Taking advantage of their knowledge
Presenting ratings and questionnaires
Making a good last impression

Part III: Special topics
Chapter 8: Interacting in a remote testing session
Preparing for the session
Getting the session started
Interacting when you can't see the participant

Chapter 9: In the Room vs. Out of the Room
Advantages and disadvantages of being in the room
Advantages and disadvantages of being out of the room

Chapter 10: Summing Up
Where do we go from here?
Advice for novice administrators

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