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Usability Testing for Responsive Drupal Sites on a Shoestring, Tom Woolley

I’m in Leeds for the Drupal Camp Yorkshire conference, blogging and tweeting about the event.

While usability testing is great, it’s not always cheap. (Industry screen recording software Morae costs *a lot*). Tom Woolley spoke about how his agency had managed to figure out how to do responsive usability testing without a huge investment.

Woolley admitted that many of his suggestions came straight from the books of usability guru Steve Krug. Rocket Surgery Made Easy is a useful how-to, and Don’t Make Me Think is “a book that’s 15 years old but has held up”. Ironically a new edition of Don’t Make Me Think has recently been released, but still, Krug approved:

After investigating options for how to record mobile devices, his team settled on making a testing sled (£50 to make and a bit more for a webcam), Camtasia and Skype. He also used good old fashioned use-the-networks-of-people-in-the-building for recruiting and £20 cash or vouchers. They aim for 3 mobile and 3 desktop as that is enough to reveal serious issues per each type. For writing scenarios and scripts he recommends…yep, the script created by Steve Krug.

Where they managed to save a lot of time and therefore money was getting the clients to actually watch remotely as they did testing with participants over the three or so days that they’re testing the site. They found that is was useful for winning over clients (the client could even ask questions to the participant at the end of the test, which sometimes was helpful for learning about an audience if their recruit was the appropriate age for a real user). From my experience, the major time sink with usability testing results is after, when you have to analyse and present the results. Woolley’s approach does require a client who can make time to be at the tests (admittedly one example was a charity, who may be more likely to choose time over money) but also requires less documentation.

Woolley had detailed on the Curve Agency blog the details of doing the user testing, and the video of his talk is below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFV46YDHmb8&w=700 ]