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Quick and Dirty User Research Techniques

A talk by Christine Perfetti

About the Talk

August 26, 2010 3:00 PM

Microsoft NERD Center, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Microsoft NERD Center, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

There are those that believe that user research must be a complex and scientific process that takes lots of time, money, and resources. However, in the real world, most designers and engineers don't have the luxury to spend weeks and months on their user research. That's where guerrilla research techniques come into play.

It's possible to get useful results without the time-consuming expense of traditional user research methods. In this presentation, Perfetti Media's Christine Perfetti will share quick and dirty techniques for collecting user research data. You'll learn how to answer essential design questions using methods that take only a day - and sometimes only 10 minutes! Christine will discuss user research techniques, including:

  • 5-Second Tests: A popular low-tech method to collect quick feedback on whether a screen or page's purpose is clear to the user
  • Task Cataloging Questionnaire: A quick survey to learn more about the most important and frequent activities users perform with your product
  • Comprehension Tests: A simple user research method to assess whether users understand your content
  • Catalog-based Tests: Perfect for organizations migrating offline content to the web. A catalog-based test will help determine if key messages were lost during the translation
  • The First Click Method: A usability test to help identify how well your design helps navigate users to the information they are looking for
  • Trade Show Tests: An easy method for gathering feedback from dozens of users in a very short time
  • Remote Research: If you can't conduct your user research in person, you'll learn what options you have for remote studies

In this presentation, Christine will share Perfetti Media's experience with these techniques and discuss how you can perform them yourself.

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