User Testing

7 Videos
Introduction to User Testing 02:46 Getting Started 02:29 Building a Plan - Tasks 02:12 Building a Plan - Questions 02:09 Common Testing Errors 02:20 Compile and Analyze 02:06 Conclusion 01:02
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User Testing Part 5: Common Testing Errors

14 views • March 12, 2020

User Testing
Part 5: Common Testing Errors

 

There are many mistakes to be made when conducting user testing. Here's how to avoid the most common of them.
Transcript In this video, we're going to look at the four most common error types that crop up during usability testing--because you're bound to make some of them. When you do, just remind yourself that failure is a much better teacher than success.
The first type of error is sampling error. This is usually the result of selecting inappropriate testers for your study. So who are the wrong testers? In one sense, there's no such thing as a wrong tester. But there probably isn't a lot to be learned from a tester who has little to no chance of visiting your website or using your app. The best defense against this type of error is judicious use of screening questions during the recruitment phase.
Also, remember,
you can often recruit testers directly from your website using a platform like usertesting.com. Comprehension error is a failure of study participants to understand the task or question. Most often, this is the result of industry or technical jargon.
Second nature to you, but gibberish to many users. But, sometimes, it's because the questions or instructions just aren't clearly worded. The solution is to frame tasks and ask questions using plain English.
Reading your questions aloud can be a big help with this. And get a reader, preferably not an industry insider, to look them over. Faulty participant recall occurs when test subjects can't recall an event or information. It's usually the result of being asked about something that has happened too long ago. The solution to this is to ask questions about tasks or procedures immediately after the test has been done.
Acquiescence bias occurs when testers answer more to conform to social norms than to say what they actually believe. This can occur for all kinds of reasons: embarrassment, reluctant to disappoint one's testers or designers, or politeness. The cure for this kind of error is to assure participants that their responses will remain anonymous. Remind them that no one is going to be offended by anything that they say or write. You just want the truth. Really.
Any of these errors can invalidate your results, so you want to guard against them. Once they've occurred. . . sorry! That's the only way to correct them is to re-frame the questions or tasks and repeat the test. But that's why you do a dry run, as we talked about a couple of videos back. And it's why you watch these videos, where you get to learn from everyone else's mistakes.
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