I am a usability researcher. I conduct tests on websites and find out what is confusing for people and then I make recomendations to improve them. I don’t put any effort whatsoever into the usability of this website because I am lazy, short on time, and no one is paying me. I don’t write about usability because there are plenty of people out there already doing it, and the majority of my readers would get so bored they would punch themselves in the groin repeatedly.
Today I make an exception. Let the groin-punching begin.
When I do usability testing I sit next-to, and a little behind the person I am observing. A video camera records the screen and the audio. I broadcast this video feed out to anyone in the company who wants to watch. Some people watch and some of those watching Instant Message me during the test. It is important to note that today my pants smelled like Reese vomit. The vomit smell is not usually part of the testing, and it made it hard for me to concentrate. I will probably not wear vomit-pants in the future.
During todays test I was dared to say certain words to the user and make it sound like they were part of the test. I got an instant message, “I bet you lunch that you can’t use the word moisture during testing today”. I had earned that lunch withing 30 seconds of the dare. The next message bet me a soda that I couldn’t use the words “Airline Mechanic”. In spite of the distracting smell of my pants, that dare only took about 20 seconds.
I can’t give the details of what i said without revealing more than I care to about where I work, but I promise our site has nothing to do with moisture or airline mechanics, and it took some conversational gymnastics to slip those words in w/o freaking out the testee. They didn’t even notice it was wierd. If you could only read my clever comments you would stop punching yourselves in the groin.
C’mon stop it.
Sorry groins, I promise to never write about this again.