Simeon Poulin

IBM Studio Informal user testing group

As part of an overall effort to integrate testing more tightly into the overall culture of the studio, I formed an informal group with experience and visual designers as well as developers, strategists and digital content experts from various teams within the lab. The primary goal of the group was to get objective regular feedback from users that are not on the core design team.

The secondary goal of the group was more personal – to get people from the various groups to talk, share best practices, techniques and generally get to know one another.

Sessions are 1 hour long every 2 weeks and take place in the studio. Each session consists of 4-5 teams that are testing material such as design, UX, copy or any element that could benefit from external feedback. Each team also includes at least one tester who volunteers to test another team’s material.

The sessions are informal but the format that has been successful so far is:

  • Each testing team will have a relatively small amount of material to test.
  • They will have one facilitator who runs the test and asks questions and one observer to take notes (video or photo).
  • Teams will have test their products/designs for approximately 15 minutes with one user from another team.
  • Teams will then swap users to test again. The goal is to be able to be able to run 3 tests in the 1 hour time period.
  • The final 15 minutes is for teams to share their experiences and insights with the groups.

testing1 from Simeon Poulin on Vimeo.

testing2 from Simeon Poulin on Vimeo.

testing3 from Simeon Poulin on Vimeo.