#UAD1: Guerrilla Usability: Implementing user experience testing with little (no)budget

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Jonathan Davis
102 C, Frontier Airlines Center

User-centered design can be the catch 22 for higher education. How can you show a result without an investment? How can you get investment without proven results? Before we receive additional resources from administrators, we have to prove concepts on the cheap first.  At Illinois State University our official Usability Department consists of 1/2 of a person but, unofficially, we’ve tapped faculty members, students and other staff to expand our capabilities and form mutually beneficial relationships at little to no cost. In this session, we’ll discuss how to do without the resources you won’t get easily (money) by utilizing those that are unique to a University: extra-credit hungry students, faculty looking for learning experiences and graduate assistants looking for hands-on research work. With one test at a time, you can win over more supporters, gain more resources and, finally, build something that resembles a usability program.


Jonathan Davis, no not that one.

  • Tiny table had to steal internet.
  • Currently 1 full time employee dedicated to UX.
  • Network of 25-50 people to test each term
  • Observation area with 2 way mirror

You can’t come in expecting people to understand that UX is important. No body cares about process. People just care about the end results.

Created his on mobile testing rigs with duct tape and trash.

Find someone else who has tried it already (and possibly failed).

Think outside the Org chart.

Bad math makes gorillas cry.

  • Benchmark similar universities
  • Check your peers
  • When in doubt, google

Plan. Do. Check. Act.


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