IV. User testing Macromedia Flash
Guidelines for user testing of Macromedia Flash contentSet up the observation
- Create a few objectives based on the user goal and the client goal for the Macromedia Flash content. The testing should include a video recording of the computer monitor for later evaluation of the user's behavior with the Macromedia Flash content. Any developers involved in the user testing should understand that they are only observers. Developers are not to give help or pass judgement on the users.
- Find end-users that have similar experience levels to users of the Macromedia Flash content. Avoid recruiting users who have seen the Macromedia Flash content while in development (not the office manager).
- Explain to the users that it is the Macromedia Flash content that is being evaluated, not their performance or ability to finish the tasks. If a user does have a problem, they are in fact helping by identifying poor usability.
- If a video camera is being used, explain to the user what is being taped and how the tape will be used. The goal is to have users who are comfortable while participating in the test.
- Ask users to verbalize their thought process as they use the Macromedia Flash content. Remind them also that they will be reminded to think aloud if they forget.
- There are no mistakes in user testing. The goal is to observe users interacting with the content. If a tester were to offer help it would invalidate the testing results.
- Each of the objectives for the test should be explained to the user as clearly as possible. An introduction to the Macromedia Flash content should include the overall goals of the content but no information on the interface or architecture.
- Make sure that users understand all that is being asked of them. Make sure they are comfortable and ready to begin.
- Start the camera and begin the user testing. Any observers involved in the testing should take notes as to their observations.
- To evaluate the data collected, you must set the testing parameters. Decide how many users are going to be tested and what the time frame will be.
Once the user testing is finished, compile all the data collected and identify usability problems to be corrected. Follow through on the testing and correct the errors, then begin the testing process again.
Join the discussion, add your comments about the white paper.