Usability Testing

In order to perform usability testing, we were given specific instructions on how to do so, because we have never done it before. Each class section was assigned to different piece of technology and our class was assigned to a microwave. Then, we were broken up into groups depending on the time we would be able to perform the usability test. In groups, we were supposed to discuss the test based on “The Three Rule”, meaning that we will give three different tasks to three different volunteers and collect three different sets of data. As a group, we first brainstormed some task that we could assign to our users.

Then we decided on what kind of data to collect out of the three tasks, but we soon found that we could collect the same set of data because those are really good data.

We found a microwave on my partner’s dorm floor, and we asked three of his floor-mates to help us. Everything went pretty smooth, and we recorded a result video, summarizing our results and observations.

As something to explore in the future, I would like to investigate on how useful the microwave can be based on the food it cooks. We can try cooking different kinds of food, and compare them to observe what kind of food is most convenient when cooked with microwave.
One thing that was very concerning is that, maybe we should consider more on the safety of the microwave. For example, many people tend to leave the microwave or look somewhere else during cooking. However, last time, when someone was cooking popcorn the popcorn actually caught on fire, sending a fire alarm.
One thing that I liked about this project was that we get to interact with different people, and see how they do things. It is very interesting seeing different people have their own ways of using microwaves. Sometimes, we can really learn from other people, and they will have some surviving tips that we could use in our designs.
I think that the work we done will be very useful in underdeveloped places, because they do not have the time and money to actually build something that is suitable for themselves, usually they will just buy the cheapest thing that they could find. For example, in Africa, in some poor places, it is so hard to find a clean restroom, and most of the times, people will just find a “toilet” in the woods. However, though this is really cheap, this is usually how diseases are being spread. For this kind of situation, it will be essential for us to design something that is both cheap and useful.

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