Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

6742Re: [agile-usability] Re: Remote Usability Testing

Expand Messages
  • William Pietri
    Jan 20, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      If you're struggling with 4-week iterations like that, your iterations
      may be too long.

      One of the transitions people go through when adopting iterations is
      that they first do mini-waterfall within the iteration: The first few
      days go to activity X, the next few to Y, etc.

      The stage I see after that is staggered phases. The developers work in
      iteration N. Other groups work in iterations N-1, N-2, N+1, etc.

      I'm sure both of these work better than 6-18 month waterfall cycles, but
      they still are stages I get my clients to move beyond.

      William

      On 01/20/2010 07:37 AM, schntar wrote:
      > Andrew,
      > You know - it's fantastically interesting that you bring up Agile usability/UX testing every other iteration. When my organization migrated to Agile for projects we struggled to fit formal usability and QA into our 2-to-4 week iterations. The formal process currently indicates that we do staggered usability testing (aka, we test the previous iteration's developed code during the end/beginning of the adjacent iteration, then we have use a few days at the end of the iteration to resolve issues in developed code). It's graceless, to be honest, and difficult to bring a team back in time to the work they're no longer focused on. It's do-able, but it doesn't work well and you have to strongly consider which battles you'll fight because short of adding additional iterations to your schedule you simply don't have the time to re-develop for issues.
      >
      > We are currently looking a lot harder at prototype/mock-up testing in the planning phase of the iteration (aka, before it begins) as a way to try and address UI issues upfront. I've come to think that this is one of the only ways formal usability testing can really benefit an Agile project because you have more time. Another possibility I've considered is doing much more ad-hoc testing while the code is in development (however this is tricky for my group - we're all distributed and developers don't really share their code well until it's done). Have any good suggestions/modifications on these trials?
      > Tara
      >
      > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew Maier"<andrew.maier@...> wrote:
      >
      >> Hey Tara,
      >>
      >> I don't have much experience in the way of user testing in general, but I'm also interested in the answer to this question.
      >>
      >> Before the agile development projects I've worked on, I've conducted research to solidify what mental models users groups of our website have and where inside of those our solution will live. That's just done by asking clients about their target audience, doing competitive analysis, etc, and then conducting non-directed user interviews.
      >>
      >> However, during the application development process, I've looked into (but haven't tried) interviewing users on every other iteration, so as to test new features/functionality throughout the development process. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has done bi-weekly (twice a month) remote usability tests on products being developed; how they handled that and how valuable it was.
      >>
      >> Thanks,
      >> Andrew Maier
      >> UX Booth, Editor in Chief
      >>
      >> --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "schntar"<tschnaible@> wrote:
      >>
      >>> Happy New Year!
      >>>
      >>> I recently heard of a book (to be published in 2010) that deals with remote usability testing:
      >>> http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/remote-research/
      >>>
      >>> I am especially curious if anyone knows of studies that highlight the tangible differences in usability test findings between remote usability tests and lab tests (maybe something from SURL, etc?).
      >>>
      >>> I work in an environment where most of my testers are long-distance and 95% of my testing occurs through phone/web conf./skype/etc. We gather a lot of good data with these methods (and I have rarely seen wildly different usability results come out in-person tests vs. remote tests). However this seems to be an area of testing that doesn't have much literature/discussion - and I wonder if it's turf that's already been covered (and possibly rejected)? Maybe this is a revolution that would put too many testing labs out of business (hah)?
      >>>
      >>> Have others had good/bad experiences with this form of testing - and might this also be an effective way to handle the sort of lightweight testing that could be incorporated into Agile projects? I've worked with this very idea a bit (with some mixed results) but it involves adding Agile iterations on to handle post-Dev. issue fixing. (inefficient, but it works for those in projects that don't do mock-ups or mock-up testing)
      >>>
      >>> I would love to hear your remote-testing experiences!
      >>>
      >>> Tara Schnaible
      >>> Usability Analyst
      >>> The Nature Conservancy
      >>>
      >>> tschnaible@
      >>>
      >>> "If you know a thing only qualitatively, you know it no more than vaguely. If you know it quantitatively -- grasping some numerical measure that distinguishes it from an infinite number of other possibilities -- you are beginning to know it deeply. You comprehend some of its beauty and you gain access to its power and the understanding it provides." -- Carl Sagan
      >>>
      >>>
      >>
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Show all 14 messages in this topic