Usability Testing

October 10, 2013

The Five-Second Test: A Wealth of UX Data


The Five-Second test — also known as “timeout test,” “exposure test” and/or “memory test” — is one of the easiest and most convenient rapid testing methods available.  Displaying a visual or informational design for five seconds and asking what aspect(s) were recalled most easily or vividly can help pinpoint (a) what stands out most about a design or product, and (b) how the viewer’s perception of the overall design is impacted.

However, the method’s value can be compromised by ignoring its restrictions, and by designing the tests to encourage empty or unhelpful responses.  After participating in dozens of such tests using widely available unmoderated testing tools, I found myself giving far too many responses like “I have no way of knowing this” or “I cannot answer this after only 5 seconds of exposure” — and getting far too many similar responses to my own tests.

Convinced there was a better way, I set out to examine the method more closely — how it become an established UX method, how it has evolved in light of new technologies, and whether users are using the tools effectively. – Read More –

July 23, 2009

Interview: Amy Buckner on Mobile Usability


With mobile devices being used to perform an ever increasing number of functions and tasks, mobile usability has never before been as critical as it is today. Jakob Nielson recently posted an article about mobile usability and concluded that there is a lot of room for improvement.

Enter Amy Buckner, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of AnswerLab, a user experience research company based out of San Francisco.  I’ve worked closely with Amy on a couple of usability tests and wanted to see how AnswerLab is approaching mobile usability. – Read More –

July 15, 2009

Caution: 5 Common Usability Testing Mistakes to Avoid

Usability testing is not an easy thing to perfect. However, a good starting point is to identify where most mistakes are made throughout the process. And through this awareness, you should fine-tune your approaches to planning, moderation and analysis, in order to attain truly insightful findings. – Read More –