I had an epiphany on a recent client project, and thought I’d share in case it helps others. Maybe you figured this out years ago, but I was pretty pleased with myself…
During the usability testing round, my natural inclination has been to either record the session as I moderate and take detailed notes later, or involve a second person to take live notes as I moderate. Either way, there are easily three or more phases: moderate, take / review the notes, then go through some version of affinity mapping to identify the main themes.
But thanks to a really tight timeline, I found a better way for this recent project. I made up a new template for taking live notes that forced me to think in terms of implementation. And it was simple enough that I could take the notes myself, and then immediately start aggregating when the sessions were finished.
So instead of writing down what users said and then categorizing it later, I took notes for each user on a four-column sheet: 1) what worked well; 2) what needed improvement; 3) any key features / functions that were missing; and 4) other useful comments that were worth remembering.
That’s it. A simple tweak to my notes template that probably saved a half day of work (or more!).
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