Is it really convenient to use a microwave?

Usability Test

Pan Li


Purpose and process of usability test of microwave.

In this usability test, we tested an microwave (make/model: Panasonic NN-H765BF) located in Lander Hall. We collected three types of data: the level of difficulty on a scale of 1 to 7, time for completion, and the number of buttons pressed in order to test the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction of this microwave. Three tests were conducted. The first test is open the door with one hand while holding a dish with the other because opening door with one hand is difficult. The second task is to heat a dish for 21:51 and then cancel as it is hard to set a exact time without convenient buttons. The third task is to defrost a frozen steak, which is a uncommon feature that users might not frequently use.

Problem appears in executing test

As we design this test, some problems appears in the accuracy of difficulties and time. First, we found it is hard to calculate the exact time to detect the start and end of the test. Next time i will should set a certain movement, like open to door to close the door, as a complete test cycle. Second, people may react differently in level of difficulty under different situation, thus leading to unstable or unreliable test results.

What i found most interesting

Conducting this usability test allows me evaluate a design in a different perspective; more specifically, how it interacts with users and vice versa. This test results in lots of information that enable us to make improvement of the product and help me to recognize some problem that i ignored.

Future perspective

Usability test is an useful and helpful way to identify usability problems, to collect qualitative and quantitative data and to obtain users’ satisfaction. It can be applied in future use of testing products of various fields, like camera, smartphone, chair or so on… After the test, many interesting problems occurs and i will report this to the company. Therefore they can improve the design of this product to increase users’ satisfaction and benefit their daily living.

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