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Elsevier Science
Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Interacting

Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Interacting

by Joseph S. Dumas


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900123739338
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Publication date: 02/29/2008
Series: Interactive Technologies Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Joe Dumas is a recognized expert in usability evaluation. He has 25 years experience as a usability professional. He as moderated or observed others moderate thousands of usability testing sessions and taught numerous students and usability professionals how to moderate. He is the author of A practical guide to usability testing (with Ginny Redish), Designing user interfaces for software, and numerous articles, both for researchers and practitioners. He is currently a Usability Consultant for Oracle Corporation. He was a Senior Human Factors Specialist at Bentley College’s Design and Usability Center and taught graduate courses in the college’s Human Factors in Information Design Master’s Degree program. He has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology.

Table of Contents

Preface     xiii
Acknowledgments     xv
About the Authors     xvii
Introduction     1
Why This Book?     1
What Is Usability Testing?     2
The Importance of Moderating Skills     3
The Golden Rules of Moderating     3
Cultural Points of View     4
About the Sidebars in This Book     4
About the Videos that Accompany This Book     4
About the Companion Web Site     5
Getting started as a test moderator     7
What Makes a Great Moderator?     7
Understanding usability testing     7
The basics of interacting     8
The ability to establish and maintain a rapport     8
Lots of practice     9
Roles of a Moderator     9
The Gracious Host     9
The Leader     10
The Neutral Observer     10
Other possible roles     11
When roles change     11
When roles conflict     11
Testing Locations     12
Test Preparation     12
Planning ahead     12
Planning for many tasks     14
Understanding the domain andproduct     15
Jump-Starting Your Moderating Skills     15
Six things you can do first     15
The big challenges     16
Golden rules 1 through 5     19
Rule 1: Decide How to Interact Based on the Purpose of the Test     20
The type of test     20
The product's stage of development     21
Relationship with developers     22
Rule 2: Protect Participants' Rights     23
Compensation     23
Informed consent     23
Confidentiality     24
Balance of purpose and risk     26
Priorities     26
Rule 3: Remember Your Responsibility to Future Users     26
Letting participants struggle     27
Conflicting responsibilities     28
Rule 4: Respect the Participants as Experts, but Remain in Charge     28
Controlling logistics and pacing     28
Stopping unacceptable behavior     29
Dealing with uncertainty     29
Projecting authority     30
Dispelling negativity     31
Managing visitors     32
Rule 5: Be Professional, Which Includes Being Genuine     33
Dos for making and maintaining a connection      33
Don'ts for making and maintaining a connection     35
When you're not in the room     37
Golden rules 6 through 10     39
Rule 6: Let the Participants Speak!     39
Speakership     40
Appropriate interruptions     40
Judicious speaking     41
Silent communication     41
Rule 7: Remember That Your Intuition Can Hurt and Help You     42
Your intuition can hurt you     42
Your intuition can help you     42
Rule 8: Be Unbiased     43
Use an unbiased test script     43
Use unbiased questions     44
Keep answers unbiased     45
Watch nonverbal cues     45
Rule 9: Don't Give Away Information Inadvertently     46
Giving an assist     46
Explaining the designer's intent or being defensive     47
Recording all suggestions     48
Rule 10: Watch Yourself to Keep Sharp     48
Initial contacts     51
Recruiting     51
Contacting participants     52
Advertising     53
Explaining the test     54
Screening candidates     57
Confirming appointments     59
When Participants Arrive     59
Greeting participants     60
Creating comfort     60
Obtaining informed consent     61
The Pretest Briefing     64
Preparing yourself     64
Preparing participants     64
Using a script or checklist     65
Practicing the think-aloud technique     66
Confirming that participants are ready     67
Transitioning to the Tasks     68
Starting the tasks     68
conducting a pretest interview     68
Interacting during the session     71
Interacting for a Reason     71
Keeping Them Talking     72
Prompting as a reminder     72
Prompting the silent ones     73
When and How to Probe     73
Probing questions     74
Planned versus spontaneous probes     74
Probes to avoid     75
Common probes     75
Providing Encouragement     76
Encouraging statements to avoid     76
Common encouraging statements     77
Dealing with Failure     77
Participants' self-blame      78
The moderator's distress     78
The participant's distress     79
Responses to participants' distress     80
Stopping a test     81
What you shouldn't do when a participant fails     82
Providing Assistance     83
An assist     83
Giving assistance     84
Interventions versus assists     85
Not giving assistance     85
Levels of assistance     86
Completing a task for a participant     87
Measuring assists     88
Interacting during post-test activities     91
Maintaining Your Roles     91
Determining the Order of Activities     92
Clarifying Things That Occurred during the Test     93
Administering Ratings and Questionnaires     94
Questionnaires     94
Reasons behind the ratings     95
Accuracy of ratings     96
Asking Open-Ended Questions     97
Allowing Others to Interact with Participants     98
Final Activities     100
Providing incentives     100
Ending the session     101
Interacting in a remote test session     105
What Is Remote Testing?      105
Synchronous and asynchronous testing     105
The technology     106
Advantages and disadvantages     107
Preparing for the Session     109
Recruiting     109
Obtaining informed consent and confidentiality     110
Determining the equipment candidates have     110
Establishing willingness and downloading software     113
Interacting during the Session     114
Establishing what participants see on their screen     116
Providing instructions on thinking aloud     116
Making the task scenarios available to participants     117
Avoiding dependencies between tasks     118
Managing visitors during the session     118
Dealing with distractions at the participants' end     119
Making a connection despite the physical distance     121
Moderator-participant arrangements     123
A Bit of History     124
Physical Arrangement     125
The moderator in the test room     125
The moderator not in the test room     126
Beliefs about Arrangements     126
Physical separation     126
Physical proximity     127
Choice of Arrangement     128
Being physically close to participants     128
Being physically separated from participants     129
Considerations for the Practitioner     130
Interacting with diverse populations     133
General Guidelines     134
People with Physical Disabilities     138
Interacting with the physically disabled     139
Interacting with blind participants     140
Interacting with deaf and hard-of-hearing participants     143
The Elderly     145
Recruiting elders     145
Interacting with elders     146
People Who Have Low Literacy Skills     147
Functional illiteracy     147
Interacting with functionally illiterate participants     148
Testing with low-literacy participants     149
Children and Teens     149
Grouping children by age     150
Recruiting children and teens     150
Interacting during the session     152
People From Other Cultures     152
Interacting with participants from the same and other cultures     153
Adapting your techniques     155
Integrating the videos     157
About the Videos      157
The test session videos     157
Use of the videos     158
Content of the Videos     159
Video 1: Pretest briefing with a checklist     159
Video 2: Pretest briefing following a script     159
Video 3: Interacting during the session, example 1     162
Video 4: Interacting during the session, example 2     162
Video 5: Interacting in a remote testing situation     162
Video 6: Post-test interview     162
The Future of Usability Testing     162
Current trends     164
What's next?     167
References     169
Index     175

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Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Interacting 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
alspray on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Refreshing! This latest book by an old master (Joe Dumas ...with Beth Loring) wastes little time in the big picture before getting down to the business of providing practical guidance for conducting usability labs. It¿s a small book that reaches beyond the `old standards¿ to the heretofore nebulous ¿art¿ of facilitation. And those old standards have here been modernized to incorporate the latest technology impacting the field - such as the emergence of remote testing - and the issues that can often result.And while I¿m a little hesitant to concede that the ¿art¿ of conducting usability labs is something that can be learned from a book, Dumas and Loring do provide a plethora of examples to illustrate their techniques as well as ¿ something I¿ve never seen before ¿ quotes from new and experienced practitioners highlighting their perspective. In addition to the resources in the book, there is also an online website with videos illustrating the techniques described.So while Moderating Usability Tests may well be a good resource for newbies, I believe that this book¿s real value is for experienced practitioners with a few years under their belt. Despite a slight tendency towards tiresome repetition, it¿s a real gem and I¿ll be adding it to my personal list of recommended reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago