Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Interacting

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Morgan Kaufmann, Apr 9, 2008 - Computers - 208 pages
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Many aspects of usability testing have been thoroughly studied and documented. This isn’t true, however, of the details of interacting with the test participants who provide the critical usability data. This omission has meant that there have been no training materials and no principles from which new moderators can learn how to interact.

Moderating Usability Tests is the place for new and experienced moderators to learn about the rules and practices for interacting that have never been described in one place before. Authors Dumas and Loring draw on their combined 40 years of usability testing experience to develop and present the most effective principles and practices - both practical and ethical --for moderating successful usability tests.

To help usability professionals, students, and novices understand these principles, the authors provide videos from their lab that demonstrate good and poor interaction as well as commentary from a panel of testing experts on why certain techniques succeed or fail. The videos are accessible from the publisher’s companion web site.

• Presents the ten “golden rules that maximize every session’s value
• Offers targeted advice on how to maintain objectivity
• Discusses the ethical considerations that apply in all usability testing
• Explains how to reduce the stress that participants often feel
• Considers the special requirements of remote usability testing
• Demonstrates good and bad moderating techniques with laboratory videos accessible from the publisher’s companion web site

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - alspray - LibraryThing

Refreshing! This latest book by an old master (Joe Dumas ...with Beth Loring) wastes little time in the big picture before getting down to the business of providing practical guidance for conducting ... Read full review


CHAPTER 1 Introduction
CHAPTER 2 Getting started as a test moderator
CHAPTER 3 Golden rules 1 through 5
CHAPTER 4 Golden rules 6 through 10
CHAPTER 5 Initial contacts
CHAPTER 6 Interacting during the session
CHAPTER 7 Interacting during posttest activities
CHAPTER 8 Interacting in a remote test session
CHAPTER 9 Moderatorparticipant arrangements
CHAPTER 10 Interacting with diverse populations
CHAPTER 11 Integrating the videos

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About the author (2008)

Joe Dumas is a recognized expert in usability evaluation. He has 25 years experience as a usability professional. He as moderated or observed others moderate thousands of usability testing sessions and taught numerous students and usability professionals how to moderate. He is the author of A practical guide to usability testing (with Ginny Redish), Designing user interfaces for software, and numerous articles, both for researchers and practitioners. He is currently a Usability Consultant for Oracle Corporation. He was a Senior Human Factors Specialist at Bentley College’s Design and Usability Center and taught graduate courses in the college’s Human Factors in Information Design Master’s Degree program. He has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology.

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