Thursday, May 27, 2004

Getting users to perform tests

Typically when we carry out usability tests, we ask our colleagues to check the user interface, perform a few tasks and try to learn from it the UI pain points. But, in course of time, the people we know, start understanding the product so well that they may know more workarounds than we do!! In such times, one has to scout for people who can perform the tests.

And, if the organisation is small, then it becomes difficult to get people from within the organisation. How do those of you usability experts get people to perform the usability tests?

One thought I had was to put an online form asking people to register with us and so when there are opportunities to carry out these tests, we can call them. Another is to invite final-year engineering students from colleges to carry out the tests.

Are there more tried, tested and trusted ways?