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20NTC Session

Usability Testing: Strategy, Discovery, and Implementation


It’s a no-brainer that we all aim for optimal engagement on our websites, right? But when it comes to formatting that content, are we relying too heavily on educated guesses, gut instinct, or just personal preference? To best gauge the effectiveness of their efforts, the MacArthur Foundation elected to engage directly with audience members through user testing interviews. From those feedback sessions, they identified common themes, had a couple surprise discoveries, and subsequently applied relevant edits to their website.

In this session, you’ll hear a start-to-finish perspective from the project/website manager and the customer experience/human-centered design strategist on how they identified audience samples, conducted interviews, and what edits they subsequently applied to their website.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain a clear understanding of how, when, and why to implement user testing.
  • Learn from large and small-scale use cases how testing can more effectively hone messaging and streamline access to content.
  • Understand how to best formulate a strategy for optimizing your user testing efforts - especially when on a budget!

Target Audience

Project manager, website admin, developer, content manager,


Case StudyProcessProject ManagementWebsites


James Kinser

Senior Associate, Digital Communications

MacArthur Foundation

While studying Interdisciplinary Art in graduate school, James happened into the nerdy world of data management and communications. (Never since has he underestimated the power of curiosity and synchronicity.) Since 2011, he has managed MacArthur’s website and email communications. He recently served as lead project manager for the redesign of the Foundation’s website, user testing, upgrades to address accessibility, and manages ongoing development of the website. He has presented at conferences on accessibility as well as integrated communications systems and strategies.

Nicole Rubin


Customer Sense

Nicole Rubin is an expert in understanding audiences and delivering excellent experiences based on that understanding. For more than 20 years, Nicole has led customer experience strategy and product/service development and innovation projects based heavily on understanding customer needs. She started Customer Sense Consulting in 2001 after 4 years as an Engagement Director at Creative Good, the first consulting firm focused solely on digital customer experience. Nicole’s work has measurably improved the strategy, product design and core metrics for hundreds of organizations. Nicole began her career in research and customer insight at Forrester Research.





March 24, 2020


10:30am – 11:45am



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