What is A/B Testing?
A/B testing is an empirical method of testing design variations. It is useful for seeing which version of a design is more effective.
Imagine you have two versions of a website homepage. You want to discover which one is more effective.
- Define a goal — e.g. click “sign-up” button
- Show Homepage A to 50% of your visitors (chosen randomly)
- Show Homepage Version B to the other 50%.
- Use statistical analysis to see which version is more effective.
What are the benefits of A/B testing?
- Can be cheaper than usability testing
- Provides proof rather than opinions
- Tests are invisible to live users
- Allows you to trial new designs before roll-out
What Should You Test?
- Choice of images
- Layout of pages
- Choice of words in headings
- Size, colour and placement of headings
- Amount of text on the page
- Design of forms
What are Wireframes?
- Wireframes are low fidelity sketches of screens
- They help illustrate the interactions and layout
- Graphic design is carried out only when the wireframes are agreed
What are Prototypes?
- Prototypes are clickable
- Prototypes mimic the interactivity of the application
- Prototypes may be low fidelity (look like sketches) or high fidelity (look like the real application)
What are the Benefits of Wireframing/Prototyping?
- A wireframe/prototype helps to communicate the design to the customer and other stakeholders
- It’s quicker and easier to make changes to a wireframe or prototype than to a working site or application
- You can conduct an expert usability review, or usability testing, using a wireframe or a prototype
What is a Storyboard?
A storyboard is a visual document that describes a typical user scenario.
What are the Benefits of Storyboarding?
- Helps stakeholders to visualize a user experience
- Easier to understand than text documents or flowcharts
- Provides an end-to-end overview of the experience
- Can incorporate other design artefacts, e.g. wireframes,artwork, personas
- Especially useful for scenarios involving
- multiple technologies
- multiple individuals
- temporally fragmented user experiences
What is a Usability Expert Review?
A usability expert review is an audit of your software, carried out by an experienced usability practitioner who uses ‘heuristic’ principles.
- I analyse the user experience of your website, product or system by:
- Checking for common usability issues
- Measuring against international best practices, e.g. the Neilsen-Norman heuristic guidelines
- Drawing upon my real-world usability experience to uncover any additional UX issues
- I describe each issue, with screenshots
- I group issues according to severity
- I recommend pragmatic solutions
- Easy to understand –My reports are straightforward
- Solutions – I tell you what’s broken and how to fix it
- Speed – I typically deliver our reports within five working days of commencement.
Field research, or contextual enquiry, is a method of researching users and their needs in their own environment.
What are the Advantages of Field Research?
- Users are better at explaining issues in context, rather than recalling
- You see where the usability pain occurs for everyday users
- You view the order of tasks
- You see opportunities, e.g. where users have to rely on external software tools to complete tasks
- You hear the language of users, so that it can be reflected in the system
- You learn system short cuts that users have discovered
What is Usability Testing?
Usability testing is a method of evaluating the way users experience your system, product or web site.
What are the Benefits of Usability Testing?
People who are involved in the design of a service, product or application, or involved in the business associated with it, are too close to it to see any potential problems.
Advantages of Usability Testing
- Testing is cost effective – testing on just five users typically uncovers 85% of issues
- You don’t need fancy equipment or a lab
- You can test remotely, so people can use their own computers or mobiles
- You can test on wireframes or early stage designs
- Testing with just one user is likely to reveal something that you need to fix urgently