3-day training course

Usability in Practice: 3-Day Camp

Hands-on instruction for executing user-centered research and processes

Watching users try to complete tasks on your website is the most effective and productive way to uncover usability problems. In 3 days, we teach you how to quickly and inexpensively develop test plans, conduct usability studies, analyze data, and present the findings.

This course is ideal for people who are new to usability testing or have some usability testing experience, but no formal training. Expert usability professionals will learn how to train others in usability methods in their organization.


  • Usability foundations
    • Importance of usability in design projects
    • How to incorporate usability practices into your current project lifecycle
    • Usability testing as a method to achieve buy-in and shared goals 
  • Choosing the right research methods
    • Discount usability testing: Why only five participants?
    • Usability reviews and heuristic evaluation
    • Qualitative vs. quantitative research, and when to conduct them
    • Surveys and other subjective methods, the pros and cons
    • Eyetracking to supplement findings
    • Field studies to discover user needs
  • Strategies for working with multidisciplinary teams and identifying business opportunities
  • Measuring and tracking usability
  • Determining scope of study, what to test and observe
  • Writing effective tasks (scenarios) to avoid bias and get the data you need
    • Exploratory and directed tasks
    • Presenting tasks at the right time and in the right order
    • Deconstructing tasks
  • Recruiting users for the study
    • Developing recruitment screeners
    • Working with recruiting agencies
    • Payment and incentives
  • Usability labs and setup
    • Formal vs. informal labs
    • Diverse user segments in multiple regions
    • Conducting studies onsite, offsite, and remotely
    • Logistics of testing websites, mobile devices, and hardware
  • Recording usability sessions
    • How to take notes while facilitating
    • Topics and Issues to look for and record
    • Tools and techniques for video recording and note taking
  • Facilitating usability studies
    • Techniques for getting participants to think aloud and provide valuable feedback
    • Interviewing tips to set people at ease and minimize bias
  • Analyzing findings
    • Factors affecting analysis
    • Affinity diagramming
    • Common mistakes and ways to avoid them
    • Parameters for prioritizing findings
  • Reporting usability findings
    • Items to include in reports
    • Informal and formal reports
    • Tips for effective reporting
    • Deconstructing a report
  • Presenting findings
    • Effective ways to communicate recommendations
    • Persuasive illustrations and videos
  • Considerations for specific audiences
    • People with disabilities
    • Low literacy users
    • Senior citizens
    • Children
    • International audiences
  • Paper prototyping technique
    • Method for testing ideas early with low-fidelity designs
    • How to conduct studies using paper
  • Promoting and financing usability
    • Evangelizing UX processes to development teams and management
    • Usability budgets
    • Cost-benefit analysis and return-on-investment (ROI) calculations
  • Successful usability programs
    • Skills required of usability professionals
    • Leveraging processes and functional groups
    • Small usability teams in large organizations
  • Ethics of user research

Free Material with Course Attendance


You will practice planning, conducting, and analyzing  your own usability study during this 3-day workshop and receive immediate expert feedback. Lecture segments introduce topics and techniques.

This course also includes:

  • A live demonstration of usability testing
  • Videos depicting what to do and what not to do
  • Hands-on exercises in writing tasks, facilitating, taking notes, and analyzing findings
  • Light homework for the first two days.

Integrated 3-Day Camp

Usability in Practice is a 3-day course where each day builds upon guidelines and principles discussed in previous days. We recommend that you attend all 3 days to get the most out of the training. The benefit of this approach is that you get 4 days' worth of normal seminars in 3 days of classes, because we can integrate the presentation so tightly.

The instructors offer a combined 65 years professional usability experience at your disposal.


Hoa Loranger

Hoa Loranger is Director at Nielsen Norman Group and has worked in user experience for over 15 years. She conducts research worldwide, and presents keynotes and training on best practices for interface design. Hoa has consulted for companies such as Microsoft, HP, Allstate, Samsung, Verizon, and Disney. She authors publications, including a book, Prioritizing Web Usability. Read more about Hoa

Jakob Nielsen

Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., is a User Advocate and principal of the Nielsen Norman Group which he co-founded with Dr. Donald A. Norman (former VP of research at Apple Computer). Dr. Nielsen established the "discount usability engineering" movement for fast and cheap improvements of user interfaces and has invented several usability methods, including heuristic evaluation. He holds 79 United States patents, mainly on ways of making the Internet easier to use. Read more about Jakob

Kara Pernice

Kara Pernice is the Managing Director at Nielsen Norman Group. Pernice uniquely combines her 20-plus years of research knowledge with her design experience and business education to help organizations derive interfaces which are usable, useful, and surpass business goals. Pernice is accomplished at evaluating any design situation to determine or craft the most fitting research method, conduct or lead the research, observe and analyze user behavior, and convert this analysis into outstanding design. Pernice has led hundreds of intercontinental research studies, and is expert in many usability methods. Read more about Kara

Amy Schade

Amy Schade works with clients large and small in a variety of industries such as telecommunications, e-commerce, government, travel, automotive, music, publishing, banking, non-profit and education, including extensive work on corporate intranets. She has conducted worldwide user research, including longitudinal studies, remote studies and eyetracking research, running studies in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. Read more about Amy

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Apply this course toward UX Certification

For multi-day courses each day is counted on its own and is worth a day's credit.

Experiencing Usability Week

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