When you’re doing usability testing for government websites, having more than nine participants can create a problem. Specifically, you will have to be in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). But don’t worry! It’s not as complicated as you think.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), seeing a need to streamline the PRA process for the purpose of collecting customer service information, created the PRA Fast Track Process.
Qualified agencies collecting certain kinds of data can submit their questions to OMB and get approval in just five days. And, as luck would have it, usability testing is one of the data types eligible for Fast Track approval.
You should check with your agency’s PRA officer to make sure that you can take advantage of Fast Track. And you can read HowTo.gov for an easy-to-understand PRA summary for both the Fast Track and traditional OMB approval processes. Don’t miss:
- Fast-Track PRA Frequently-Asked Questions (PDF, 370 KB, 8 pages, February 2012)
- Fast-Track PRA Submission Short Form (MS Word, 53 KB, 3 pages, February 2012)
If your agency does testing through First Fridays, you don’t need PRA clearance — we use fewer than nine participants. Learn more about usability and read our previous post Celebrating Two Years of Usability Testing.
First Fridays is an innovative website usability testing program that has introduced hundreds of people to the world of usability.