Guerilla usability testing

Something I mentioned in a previous post is this idea of simplified, or “guerilla”, usability testing. It is the approach that I am very keen to take when considering the user experience design and usability issues of a number of EBI tools and sites.

I think I am right in saying that the term was first coined in the mid-nineties, but someone who is very well qualified to talk about it in this day and age is Andy Budd.

Andy Budd’s slides for this talk

He covers key concepts like “think aloud” testing, lo-fi and hi-fi prototyping (i.e. the range between concepts on paper, and a fully working website or application); a great list of benefits of usability testing; some great pros and cons of formalised, paid-for usability testing; pros and cons of guerilla testing are also very useful; he briefly looks at task analysis and development methodology; some good tips for moderating a guerilla testing session; suggested tools and software.

Great stuff.

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2 thoughts on “Guerilla usability testing

  1. Paula says:

    Nice slides. Guerilla testing sounds like a practical approach. I particularly like the “Beer and Pizza” remuneration :). I guess you repeat guerilla testing at each major iteration step of development. The only problem would be trying to find enough unbiased users. I guess it wouldn’t be advisable to use the same subjects as they would be biased from previous tests?

  2. @Paula – yes, like any usability testing, we would like to see it embedded within a project cycle, and iterated along the way. As for re-testing with the same participants, that’s a good question. Generally, I have had no choice but to do this in the past (frequently a small pool of suitable users/volunteers), but I would like to find out about other peoples’ experiences of that…

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