Usability Process Blog

Person pictures was not affiliated with usability test.

As we were given a microwave to develop a usability test for, the team had to cement some ideas right from the start. One was to recognize some practical, simple, and everyday ways that the microwave is used. What is the context of the use? And extremely important, who is the target user audience that we are catering the usability test for. By discussing how the team personally uses a microwave, the team settled on the idea the common ways a microwave is used is by inputting a specified time to heat the food, to look through the window of the microwave to check on the food, and also to use preset functions found on the input layout on the microwave.

The most difficult process in developing the usability test was what specific tasks we would ask the participant to partake in. With a seemingly endless list to pick from, we had to cater our tasks to how a user in a real use scenario would practically use the product onn an everyday basis. As the test was delivered to our three particiapants, upon reflection, the team realized that the “think-aloud protocol” could have significantly added more detail and depth to the findings from the test. Furthermore, receiving perhaps a first impression from participants aboutt the product could be helpful in the test findings, as it could help to see how the perception of an item truly translates to a real use scenario.

Throughout the entire process of building the usability test, the most exciting moment of the process was the action of administering the test to the actual user audience. It was interesting that it dd not take many attempts to coerce random male college students in By George to participate in our usability test.

Microwaves- at our current age of technology- are obsolete in this generation in some ways, especially when compared to how other household appliances, such as the oven and dishwasher, even laundry machines, have been updated to a new technological standards, with features such as temperature gauges shown on a display screen, or even a touch screen to change the ice shape from crushed to cubes on the fridge. With the data that has been received from the issued usability test, it can be concluded that although the microwave is still a very functional appliance, it can still be improved in many ways. Some ways can be to calculate the increase in temperature as the food is being heated, and have said temperature be displayed on a screen somewhere on the face of the microwave. Another feature could be to make a setting in which aides the user to perhaps switch from one preset to another.

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