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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm working with a group that has had great results from their 'Rocket Surgery' regular usability tests with a meeting immediately afterwards to decide what to do about the problems we find. But this group really wants reports to circulate to a wider group of stakeholders - and there are lot of them, far too many to have them all come to watch.

Any tips from anyone about what to do in this situation? How do you solve this problem?

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Steve Krug

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Reply with quote  #2 
Good question (as always, Caroline). It's not that I don't believe in reports; it's just BIG HONKING REPORTS that bug me.

For people who don't have the book, here's the relevant section from the debriefing chapter:

The small, non-honkin’ report

After the debriefing, it’s a good idea to summarize this month’s testing in a short email. By short, I mean it should take no more than two minutes to read—and no more than 30 minutes to write. Think bullet points, not paragraphs. It should cover

  • What you tested
  • The list of tasks the participants did
  • The list of problems you’re going to fix in the next month as a result of what you observed

Let people know how they can watch the recordings or clips if they’re interested and when the next tests will be.



Granted, that's really minimal, and may not be viable where you live. I'll be very interested to hear what people are doing about this, though, and what works (and what they can get away with).


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Reply with quote  #3 
I agree that brevity is ideal. 

I've typically followed a similar approach with video. Most of the user testing I've done has been for presentations to wider audiences. Few of them would watch an entire video. However, my words are rarely as convincing as watching a real person try to use their design.

So I edit my lengthy videos into short clips of parts that I consider particularly poignant... times when the end user was sad, frustrated, confused, or said something especially funny or memorable. Almost everyone is curious enough to watch a few seconds of video, and many will watch up to 30 seconds, especially if it's specified before the link "5 seconds of Sam's experience" or something like that. 


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Reply with quote  #4 
In the most successful report I gave, we distributed a one-page report and prepared a slide presentation (because we had to).

The report was pretty much as Steve described -- only one page long.

The slide presentation followed the report but presented the planned changes in the assertion-evidence model. In other words, we presented the change and then told about the points that backed it up.

One to three slides followed each proposed change. These slides either presented a compelling statistic or showed an image of the page with animations that represented a participant's behavior. In one case, this animation represented the typical result. In another, the animation represented an extreme behavior that emphasized the general trend.

In other words, I went into the meeting with a story to tell -- the story of our participants' experience of our website -- and we built the slide show to complement that story. It was scary to try, but turned out to engage the managers quite well. It was a lot of fun to present, too -- once I got going, that is.

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