Hyre App — Usability Testing (My Experience and Thoughts)
It’s great to be able to design a visually beautiful app or website; however, if the user encounters difficulty when performing a simple task or many errors arise when continuing to use the app, the ultimate goal of the app or website fails and visual aspects cannot help this fact. I thoroughly enjoyed the usability testing phase of creating Hyre and it was very interesting to see how different users learned, used and reacted to the app. I had individuals who were not well versed with technology and apps use the app and I had people who are app gurus test out Hyre. What I found was different users have different needs, goals and wants and each user interacts with the app a bit differently.
Example 1: The Younger Generation
I found that younger users (ages 20–29) had a fairly easy time navigating the app, finding events and jobs, applying for jobs, accessing their profile, messaging contacts and more. Certain symbols and icons made sense to them because they use several apps that contain similar symbols (i.e. navigation icons and understanding where links occur in the app). What I noticed was that they enjoyed the chat feature of the app but wanted more options within the chat section itself. For example, the chat feature is strictly for the employer and the individual who applied to communicate quick and efficiently. There is a voice/video function available, though it does not have all of the bells and whistles some chat apps contain. This can be introduced in future updates of the app if necessary.
Example 2: The Baby Boomers
While Hyre is primarily for recent college/university graduates who are looking for work, I specifically asked several individuals in their 50s to test out the app. As mentioned before, different users approach and interact with the app differently and I gained valuable insight when looking how this group of users used Hyre. Unlike younger users, they wanted everything to be extremely clear. Many were not very welcoming (at first) of “fancy features” like interactive pins and being able to attend events and chat with people within the app. They prefer an app where you just apply to a job or see what events are taking place in their city and that is pretty much it. It was not so much about completely eliminating these features from the app, though they did require simplification and I introduced alternative methods of achieving the same goal(s). This provides the user with choice and they are able to use the app in a way that best suits them while not feeling like they are at a disadvantage when compared to other users.