Usability Testing – the Theory

Recently I’ve just come through some thorough usability testing for my degree’s major project. Here I’ll cover the theory and tomorrow I’ll talk about some of the specific problems I encountered with Content Management Systems.

How do people think?

It’s interesting to see how people actually use a system as opposed to how I imagine they’d use it, which is how I usually evaluate a system for a university project.

People tend to think differently, not only from me but, from each other. This may seem obvious but, what it means is that you have to cater to different types of thinker which means literally mean littering a system with hints and tips on how to do things and at the same time trying not to piss off the experienced-users of the system.

Some people like to look around all over the place but, not really read anything and some people like to locate their experimentation within one specific area and thoroughly read that particular section and some people do a little bit of both.

Making Changes based upon User’s Mistakes

By using an iterative design system, where the system is edited after an evaluation of each stage of the testing, it can be really pleasing when the mistakes made in previous testing, with different people, aren’t repeated.

This is a hard task but, a necessary one. When I’ve made websites in the past and juts pretended to perform user testing I’ve obviously been creating less usable systems.

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