Usability Test: Coffee Maker

The Process

Our group created a usability test for a Mr. Coffee 12-cup coffee maker. We chose this coffee maker because most coffee makers today are very advanced and do not require a lot of work; however, this coffee maker requires a few more steps to take before you can make yourself a cup of coffee. We came up with three tasks for our three participants to do, and recorded three different kinds of data for each task.

Our group discussing how to design our usability test

Our tasks were to have our participants set up the coffee maker, make two cups of coffee, and pour themselves a cup of coffee. We chose these tasks because they were the simplest steps in order to optimize the full use of this coffee maker. While our participants were performing each task we recorded three sets of data, and encouraged them to talk aloud while they were working and to ask us questions. We gave the participants no knowledge of what they were supposed to do beforehand, to simulate that this was the first time they were using this kind of coffee maker. A link to our presentation video is below:

Our first participant trying to figure out how to start brewing coffee


This experience definitely made me realize how important it is for a product to have clear labels so that it is easy to use. Our group realized it was a bit of a problem for our participants to try and figure out how to start brewing the coffee, which should be an easy task in using a coffee maker. Simply having a “start” or “start brewing” button would have made all the difference. We also would like to test a more diverse group of users in the future, since the three participants we used were all college students who had never used this kind of coffee maker before.

What I Enjoyed

The biggest thing I enjoyed about this project was being able to run an actual usability test. It was my first time doing anything like that, and I really liked the process of having other people test a product based on tasks we gave them. It was a really engaging experience for me, and I was able to see how important it is for companies to run real usability tests on their products to make sure people have an easy time working with it.

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