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Sandy

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I'm curious to know who has implemented the First Friday's user testing program?  I know the GSA group is using it but I'd like to know of other's that are using this approach. 

Steve, you probably know who has adopted this process. yes??  Can you say without breaking non-disclosure agreements?

I'm starting the program within my own division and in order to get buy in from upper management, it would help to have a list of companies using First Friday's.  The GSA helps, because I work for a government contracter.  Any others?


Steve Krug

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Reply with quote  #2 

I'm right on the verge (literally, any day now) of publicizing this forum. Hopefully, people who are doing it will chime in themselves soon.

nicoleburton

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Reply with quote  #3 
AT GSA, we now test twice a month, on the first Friday (the Mothership) and the third Wednesday (the Rocket Team). We alternate between testing GSA sites and other agency sites. We've tested about 18 sites in our first year (the celebration is 4-6 pm, 9/14  at the Courtyard Marriott at NY Avenue metro :). 

I don't know of any other agency that is actually doing Steve's style of discount testing, but lots of them seem to be (I wrote "on the verge" but that's perhaps too optimistic) so we'll say "moving closer" to it. Examples: FTC (now has a certified UX analyst whose site has been tested by FF); GAO (has enrolled a staff member in the FF facilitator-in-training program); IRS (has sent lots of enthusiastic observers and participants); NIH (also has observed a lot) to name a few.

I put in my performance appraisal that we'd have two agencies adopting monthly testing by the end of 2011, so I'm still hopeful we'll get there! That said, changing culture within an organization, i.e., adopting monthly testing, focusing on small changes, actually making changes and not just testing and talking about it, etc., takes time. It ain't over till it's over. 

We welcome observers at the twice monthly FF tests. We offer remote observation opportunities as well. Contact FirstFridays@gsa.gov.
Sandy

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Reply with quote  #4 
Had the opportunity to observe the Rocket Team in action yesterday via a remote connection from my office in Florida.  Good stuff.  They tested several users and what I really thought was great was the opportunity for the observers to ask the participants questions at the end of each sessions.  This isn't something we normally do but we plan to start doing it.  Sometimes a topic will come up during the testing that prompts the observers to ask a question that is not on the initial Task list but may be beneficial to the brainstorming session at the end.  I love the open communication. Too bad they don't have remote chocolate croissants :-(

It was so awesome of them to allow me to observe and learn.  Thanks Rocket Team!

My biggest challenge.  Getting a team to commit to a whole morning... not easy.
jrubin

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Reply with quote  #5 
I believe some of the folks at weather.gov are doing their own testing as well.
Cliff

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Reply with quote  #6 
At the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, we have done sporadic usability testing but are now reviewing site analytics to find the areas that could benefit from this more consistent approach. I think that once we get the usability testing done with these areas, we will essentially be doing First Fridays.

So if it helps your cause, Sandy, you can tell them that we have done testing, we wish we were that consistent, and we intend to be by the end of fiscal 2012.

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