How we do usability testing of the EdWeb development

Yesterday at the Web Publishers Community, I gave a presentation in which I ran through how we manage to squeeze usability testing of the new CMS into each 3 week development burst. It was a preview of an event I’m running later in December which is now open for booking.

The presentation is pretty much the same as what I will run through at the forthcoming event (no doubt I’ll make a few tweaks!) but at the event, we’ll actually do the usability testing observation too.

As you probably know, our CMS development is broken down into 3 week blocks of pretty intense activity (‘iterations’). What you possibly don’t know is that into each of these, I squeeze a 3 hour window in which the team sit together and watch 3 CMS users interact with part of the system. We make our own notes, consolodate using a very simple process and out of the issues we observe agree actions for future iterations.

There’s nothing particularly clever going on here – all based on the work of usability experts Steve Krug and David Travis – just a disciplined process that gets results.

You can find out more detail from my presentation, or better yet come along to the session I’m running on 17 December and take part.

Download my slides from the 4 December Web Publishers Community agenda page 

This session won’t be a demo – it will be the real thing, with our development team in attendance. The only difference being that instead of 6-8 of us taking part, about 20 colleagues from around the University will contribute too.

So by coming along you will:

  • Find out how we’re doing usability testing and why it’s so valuable
  • See how easy it is to do it yourself on your project
  • Get a preview of how homepage management works in EdWeb (as that’s the area of functionality we’ll be looking at)

UPDATE: Booking link removed as event has now happened.

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