Yesterday I started my usability testing on 5 blogs.
These blogs were chosen because they are the highest Technorati ranked personal/ lifestyle blogs (not an official corporate business blog) written by individuals, created using one of the five most used Blogging Tools – Blogger, WordPress.com, Typepad, Livejournal and Xanga.
The usability testing method being used is summative testing with follow-up questions to gather qualitative and quantitative data into what users actually do on the blogs, plus a SUMI questionnaire on each one to get quantitative data on users’ perceptions about the usability of each blog. Yesterday my testing involved three users out of the six I will be testing. All users fit my Hobbyist Blogger persona who blog for self-expression and read blogs to be informed or entertained.
I don’t want to presume any results at this early point, but things are definitely looking interesting and even if this research project doesn’t prove any relationship between the usability of blogging tools and the blogs they create, it will generate guidelines for improving blog usability which we bloggers can all apply to stop our poor readers from suffering the level of frustration I saw happening yesterday.