Honing Your Usability Testing Skills: An Interview with Ginny Redish (09 Sep 2004)
My philosophy of usability testing has always been that it is the best way to find out how well a draft or prototype or product is doing for its users. I've always believed that usability is about helping designers and developers create products where users can quickly and easily find what they need and understand what they find. I've always believed that usability specialists should be part of the product team from the beginning and should do testing with the team – not as the "usability police."
But my philosophy of how to do usability testing has also expanded over the last 20 years. When I started out, almost all usability testing was done in a formal lab with a very "hands off" approach to interactions between participant and facilitator. Today, the line between usability testing and field studies has blurred quite a bit. Typically, today, I sit with the participant. Depending on the stage the product is in, I may engage in much more dialogue than I did when I started out. I've done usability testing in conference rooms and cubicles; I even did one this summer in an airport hangar.
Article URL: http://www.uie.com/articles/redish_interview/
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