First Fridays Usability Testing Program (a.k.a. GSA First Fridays) is a usability education, demonstration and awareness program that focuses exclusively on federal digital services (websites, mobile sites, etc.). The program educates government web teams and program managers about usability via collaborative testing experiences and training opportunities. Its ultimate goal is that agencies will either begin their own usability testing programs, or hire professionals who can help them.
First Fridays provides no cost hands-on user experience workshops and training for federal employees, provided through partnership with DigitalGov University. For example, you can join the First Fridays team for a hands-on seminar where you’ll get practical instructions on how to facilitate your own usability tests. You’ll facilitate a 15-minute test and get feedback for your agency website in this three-hour workshop.
You'll learn how to:
Visit DigitalGov University’s training page to learn when the next workshop is offered.
Sometimes, the best way to learn about something is to see it firsthand. First Fridays provides various services that demonstrate the practice of usability – and many of them are open to observers.
First Fridays is based on "discount" usability testing supported by industry leaders, including Steve Krug in his book, Rocket Surgery Made Easy. During a four-hour session, the First Fridays team:
Then, the First Fridays team sends site stakeholders a short report and test recordings, and follows up with them 2-3 weeks after the test.
There are First Fridays tests every month, so there are lots of opportunities for you to check out one of the tests and see all that you can learn. To offer your site, or to volunteer as a test participant or observer, contact First Fridays.
The First Fridays Usability Program is available for presentations at federal agencies about usability testing and other subjects related to user experience. To find out more, contact First Fridays.