Organizing Your First Website Usability Test

Date: Friday, July 15, 2016
Time: 4:15 - 5:00 pm (EDT) (UTC-04:00)
Location: Room B226
Format: General Lecture Session

Session description

You’ve built a shiny, new WordPress site. You asked your co-worker and your boss if they like it and they both do. However, you’re lying awake at night wondering if you’re missing something—because you know you’re not the end user. You yearn for actionable feedback.

In this talk, I’ll distill my background in usability research into a how-to framework for taking your site and conducting your first unmoderated usability test. I’ll cover why and when you should be running usability tests; how to set research goals and draft a script for them; setting up your lab environment and capturing feedback; and best practices for facilitation, minimizing bias, keeping users on task and gleaning the most from each brief test.

Attendees will walk away with enough information to discuss the value of usability testing with decision-makers, as well as a tactical foundation for organizing and running their own usability study.


Anthony D Paul

Headshot of Anthony D Paul
Director of User Experience, idfive

Director of User Experience at idfive in Baltimore, I help large organizations solve some of their most difficult problems — to define and create great digital experiences and software through usability research, sketching studios, IA concept models and prototypes of all fidelities. I’ve concepted business-critical products for Yahoo, US Army, T. Rowe Price and more — unearthing hairy workflow inefficiencies and audience engagement hurdles. Today, I’m helping our higher education clients remain relevant in a digital world where free and cheap training venues are diversifying competition. I’m co-author of an in-progress book on the future of higher education, expected to be published in the summer of 2016.

Complementary to business hours, you’ll find me spread across regional events and conferences — teaching IA/UX graduate students, evangelizing accessibility and promoting my favorite open source projects like WordPress. When I'm not doing responsible adult things, I grow the world's hottest chili peppers and bottle my own hot sauce. I’d divulge something funny from my past, but these days the internet does a better job of surfacing our embarrassing moments; find me anywhere by Googling “anthonydpaul.”


  • General Lecture Session: Organizing Your First Website Usability Test