Usability Testing

What we did?

In this week’s studio we took the time to understand the concept behind usability testing and how to apply it to this week’s assignment. We were to conduct a presentation within groups of 2–3 to plan and execute a usability test on microwaves in which three participants complete three tasks, and we record three different types of data per task. We were then assigned to prepare and record a three-minute presentation summarizing the plan and results of the usability test. As we usually do, we first began by brainstorming what we imagined for user populations, tasks, and types of data that we will select for your usability test plan.

Jay putting the plate back into the microwave

We as a group thought the user population should be something relatable to the group so we chose UW students. The tasks included heating up cup of noodles for 3 minutes, putting the tray back in the microwave, and setting the clock to 1:20. The type of data we collected were the length it took for the users to complete the task, the ease of the task rated on a scale of 1–5, the steps it took to complete the

objective, and lastly the amount of frustrated comments done per task. Jay, who is pictured to the left, was the user who took the most time to complete the tasks of putting the tray back into the microwave, and to heat the cup noodles. I believe this is because he is not a roommate of Arsh, who’s microwave we used. But what was interesting was the fact that he did not have any frustrated comments.

What would I change?

Something I would change about the test is to maybe be able to find the specific model of the microwave. I also would like to diversify the ethnicity of the user group. I also would want to be able to have something more interesting to measure for the data, microwaves are not really the most thrilling devices to test so it was challenging.

Parth setting the time on the microwave

What did I enjoy?

What I enjoyed about conducting and performing this experiment is the ability to gather a group and work with a peer outside of the classroom. I really like working with another personality, and being able to learn about someone’s preference in terms of testing. It helps me with my communication skills, and hone my ability of adapting to others. Even though the data was not the most thrilling, I believe that the experiment was a success because of our end data.