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How Design Thinking Enabled Us to Develop a More Robust Tool for Planning Studies

The Usability Blueprint

The need for a better tool.

Planning a usability study – especially in medical device development – can be a cumbersome experience. Decisions need to be made on what to study and why, who to involve and why, and how to collect, treat, interpret and present data. Of course, all of this will be collected in a test protocol summing it all up, most often supported by a moderator guide and a data collection sheet.

It is not seldom, that we see the process of planning the study executed in an unstructured manner often leading to elements being missed, neglected or considered a low priority. Unfortunately, this can and will lead to invalid data collection and interpretation and in some cases an entirely discredited study. A waste of time and money. We have spent years designing and refining our process for usability testing. Based on this experience we have developed a tool, that allows us to set up the study easily, effectively and with a high degree of certainty. And today I want to share this tool with you.

 

Going from nothing to a tool that works

As always when developing new concepts, we looked to the proven tools of Design Thinking. But this time the scope of selecting a tool was different. We looked at the tool that had a good process for structuring, displaying and developing a journey instead of looking only at the output of the tool. After thorough exploration and testing (and now after having used our own toolkit in the development of several studies), we settled on Service blueprinting, a visual and operational planning tool that provides guidance on how a service will be provided.

 

Blueprinting a usability study

After numerous iterations, field tests and industry inputs, we have now come to a simple toolkit that enables designers, human factors specialists, ethnographers, and UX professionals to effectively collaborate on planning the study setup and the data collection. We call it the Usability Blueprint.

 

Usability Blueprint full view

This is the Usability Blueprint

 

The Usability Blueprint is a simple matrix that contains all aspects of running a detailed usability study: what to study, which methods to use, and when and how to collect data. Read more about how to use the tool here.

 

To learn more, feel free to reach out to

Kasper Friis

Drop Kasper a line or two

 

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