Whitney Quesenbery

What You Can Learn From a Usability Test

Date: This event took place live on July 29 2014

Presented by: Whitney Quesenbery

Duration: Approximately 60 minutes.

Cost: Free

Questions? Please send email to


Hosted By: Lou Rosenfeld

Want to get the most out of your usability testing? Start with the question: what are you trying to learn about your design and your audience? Each question suggests the right usability testing method. It's more than just remote vs. in-person. Are you trying to find out what happens or why it happens? Trying to dig into what makes a design work best, or understand what people really need and want. Those usability goals all suggest different ways to run the test.

In this webcast we'll put the goals together with a recipe for planning a usability test, so you can mix your own, by thinking about:

  • Location and context: formal to informal
  • Recruiting: defined to opportunistic
  • Activities: instructed tasks to free tasks
  • Questions: structured to unstructured
  • Data collection: observation to task/data only
  • Results: quantitative to qualitative

You can look beyond a single test, and think about how to use the right tool at the right time, with a balance of methods, and a 'cadence' that fits into your design and development schedule.

In the end, you'll be able to match your questions to the right usability test method to get those answers.

About Whitney Quesenbery

Whitney Quesenbery combines a fascination with people and an obsession to communicate clearly with her goal of bringing user research insights to designing products where people matter. She's written three books - Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design and Global UX: Design and Research in a Connected World - to help practitioners keep users in mind throughout the creative process. Her latest book, A Web for Everyone: Designing accessible user experiences is a collaboration with Sarah Horton.

She's also passionate about civic design and runs the Center for Civic Design with Dana Chisnell, where they aim to improve the usability and design of ballots and everything else. Follow Whitney's practical UX advice anytime on Twitter @whitneyq or find her next event on Lanyrd.

About Lou Rosenfeld

Lou Rosenfeld is founder of Rosenfeld Media, a leading source of user experience books and expertise. He is an author of the best-selling Information Architecture for the World Wide Web (O'Reilly; 3rd edition 2006) and Search Analytics for Your Site (Rosenfeld Media, 2011), co-founder of the annual Information Architecture Summit and the Information Architecture Institute, and a former columnist for Internet World, CIO, and Web Review magazines. As a consultant, he's helped AT&T, Ford, PayPal, Caterpillar, and many other large, highly-political organizations grapple with their information headaches.