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Montana Banana at the National Park Service – Harpers Ferry Center

What a week! We’ve been making a ton of progress on the UniD project, and last week I went out to Harpers Ferry Center for a “Descript-a-thon” with the National Park Service. We had 8 national parks volunteer to be beta testers and give feedback on the project.

The Descript-a-thon went great, and we have another one planned early next year!

The following are some random takeaways I jotted down for focused user testing like this:

  • Provide an easy way for users to give feedback – we used an issue tracker directly built in to our project management tool. See the Provide Feedback button on the right hand side of the UniD website
  • Be available for instant resolution of any user questions or issues – we kept a conference line and web meeting open for real time feedback
  • Have a structured plan to keep the limited time as useful as possible – we had a full itinerary for each day
  • Set expectations – at the start of each day, we covered the itinerary and made sure the users knew what our goals for the day were
  • Ensure you have a good cross section of your audience – we reached out to many different national parks, and were lucky enough to have enthusiastic volunteers!


Brett, Joe, and Phil posing outside the White House

Brett, Joe, and Phil outside the White House!

Brett giving a presentation at HFC

Brett giving a presentation at HFC.

Brett, Phil, and Michele listening to audio description

Brett, Phil, and Michele (our NPS contact) listening to an audio description about the building we were working from.

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Joe Oppegaard

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