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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 11. Analyze Data and Observations

Finally. You have completed the testing and are now ready to dive in and transform a wealth of data into recommendations for improvement. Typically, the analysis of data falls into two distinct processes with two different deliverables:

  • The first is a preliminary analysis and is intended to quickly ascertain the hot spots (i.e., worst problems), so that the designers can work on these immediately without having to wait for the final test report. This preliminary analysis takes place as soon as feasible after testing is complete. Its deliverable is either a small written report (which you could deliver by email, as a short slide deck, on a blog, or to a groupware site) or a verbal presentation of findings and recommendations. The steps for performing this preliminary analysis are covered in this chapter:

    • Compile data.

    • Summarize data.

    • Analyze data.

    Generally, the point is to get out the weeds to be able to see the larger trends and patterns.

  • The second is a comprehensive analysis, which takes place during a 2- to 4-week period after the test. Its deliverable is a final, more exhaustive report. This final report should include all the findings in the preliminary report, updated if necessary, plus all the other analyses and findings that were not previously covered. The steps for generating the final report are covered in Chapter 12.

A word of caution is in order regarding preliminary findings and recommendations. Developing and reporting preliminary ...

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