Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video Planning your study schedule, part of UX Foundations: Usability Testing.
- Before you start calling people to recruit for your study you need to know what times you want them to show up. You're going to need to spread the usability sessions out during the day with enough time between each one for you to put the room and system back into its initial state ready for the next person. You need to work that out beforehand so that you can give each participant a firm timeslot to show up for their study session. It's theoretically possible to run five participant sessions of one and half hours in one day, but you'll be completely drained by the end of it.
Instead of cramming all the sessions into one day split them over two days. Use the morning of the first day to set up the study environment and do a run-through to check that everything's working. Then, run two sessions in the afternoon. The next day run three sessions with time between them to tidy up, put things back to their default settings and discuss observations with the rest of the team. Leave enough time that afternoon to run an additional session if you had a no-show participant.
You'll also need to schedule time for the team to get together and discuss what they saw and what they plan to do about it. This debrief time should be as close as possible to the sessions because otherwise people will forget what they saw and they may be tempted to go off and make changes without discussing them first. Being focused and responsive in front of participants takes a lot of energy. Make sure you give yourself sufficient time to recover between each one. Even after many years of doing this work I still feel worn out by the end of a day of usability sessions.
- What is usability testing?
- Finding the right participants
- Making a screener
- Asking the right questions
- Avoiding bias
- Making a task list
- Creating the test environment
- Running a pilot study
- Moderating sessions
- Capturing real-time observations
- Analyzing and reporting your results