Title:Meeting the Real User: Evaluating the Usability of Tate's Website
Authors:Tijana Tasich, Elena Villaespesa
Publication:MW2013: Museums and the Web 2013

User testing played a key role in the development of the Tate’s website in 2012. While the web analytics can show us how users come onto our websites and how they are using it, the user testing helps us see real users in action, understand why they are using it the way they do and in turn help us identify where the improvements to the usability and performance could be made.

This workshop will be useful to those considering outsourcing user testing as it will give them a head start in planning for user testing, what they can expect and should be demanding from their suppliers.

The workshop comes in two parts. In the first part, the participants will get an overview of the user testing practice in general, what it is and why it is important. They will also hear about the user testing conducted as part of the Tate’s website relaunch in 2012, covering topics such as balancing user needs against business goals, recruiting users and asking the right questions, and putting the findings into action.

In the second part, the participants will get their sleeves up and their hands dirty and get involved in practical tasks of planning for a user testing session. They will try their skills in brief writing, defining user testing objectives and personas, as well as the practicalities of carrying out the user testing and taking actions based on the results.

The aim of this workshop is to learn in a fun and engaging way about user testing and equip participants with the basic knowledge to be able to commission user testing from external agencies or do it themselves.