User research activities for testing interface content

Here are some tips on different user research techniques to try when you're testing user interface content (crowdsourced from Twitter – thanks everyone!).

  • Highlighter test – Ask people to highlight easy-to-understand words, and confusing words, using different colours (via Helen and many others)
  • Walkthrough – Explain to someone how to use the thing (via Paul Pod)
  • Check search logs – Check the search logs to see if people are looking for features that are right there in the interface (via Mark Hurrell)
  • Task based usability test – Start really minimal, find out what you need to add from research, it's much harder to find out what to remove or change (via Joe Lanman)
  • Cloze test – Remove words from the content and ask people what the missing words should be (via Kieran Forde)
  • Memory test – Show pages that fade to blank after a period of time and ask people what they remember (via Grinchyface)
  • Eye tracking – Measure how many times people's eyes stop on different words as they read (via Fritz von Runte)

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