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Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests, Second Edition by Jeffrey Rubin, Dana Chisnell, Jared Spool

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Chapter 9. Conduct the Test Sessions

Having completed the basic groundwork and preparation for your usability test, you are almost ready to begin testing. While there exists an almost endless variety of sophisticated and esoteric tests one might conduct (from a test comprising a single participant and lasting several days to a fully automated test with hundreds or perhaps thousands of participants), in this chapter we focus on the guidelines and activities for conducting the classic "one-on-one" test. This "typical" test consists of four to ten participants, each of whom is observed and questioned individually by a test moderator seated in the same room. This method will work for any of the four types of tests discussed in Chapter 3: exploratory, assessment, validation, or comparison. The main difference is the types of objectives pursued, that is, more conceptual for an exploratory test, and more behavior oriented for assessment and validation tests. The other major difference is the amount of interaction between participant and test moderator. The early exploratory tests will have much interaction. The later validation test will have much less interaction, because the objective is measurement against a standard.

For "first-time" testers, we recommend beginning with an assessment test as it is probably the most straightforward to conduct. In Chapter 13, we discuss several variations and enhancements to the basic testing technique that you can employ as you gain confidence.

In terms ...

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