In August 2010 Delvinia began a project to integrate our current UX testing process with our AskingCanadians™ panel. Part of the project was funded by The National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), a program that helps business increase technical capabilities within the context of their current product offerings. In the past, IRAP projects have helped us build out our AskingCanadians survey tools, expand our data analysis abilities and enhance our AskingMedia modules.
This year we decided to explore ways that our Interactive team can take greater advantage of our AskingCanadians panel during the usability testing phase of projects. Currently we do moderated in-person UX testing either one-on-one or in small groups. We felt there was an opportunity to do unmoderated testing with our AskingCanadians panel. By using remote unmoderated testing we can quickly get tests into the field gathering data from a more statistically significant group of targeted & geographically dispersed users.
When we surveyed the market for remote testing products we noticed a glut of tools and a lack of diverse users to test with. We decided that rather than reinvent the wheel we would work with the existing UX testing tools and enhance the process with our existing infrastructure. As AskingCanadians provides us with our own panel of potential users we felt this was a good match. Rather than focusing on specific UX testing tools we designed a process that would allow us to work with as many vendors as possible. The result is an enhancement to our already existing UX toolset that allows us to target the testing of specific problems with a specific testing group. While this type of testing is not required for all UX work we do feel it provides our team with another tool to work with.
Sara Durning, Delvinia’s Director, Strategy & Experience Design feels the new tool will afford us more opportunities to validate that what we’re designing meets the needs of real people using the product. “I can see a couple of scenarios where the tool will be particularly helpful. The first is when we encounter a specific design problem where we’re unsure of the direction or need to validate our thinking. I’ll call this “quick-hit” testing as in a matter of hours we can gain design direction insights from a large group of target people. Another scenario where this tool is advantageous over traditional in-person, moderated testing is when the target audience is remotely located or hard-to-find.”
In the process of doing this project we have also identified ways which our AskingCanadians panel can work with a number of third party tools and applications, so stay tuned for more innovation from Delvinia in 2011.