Coffee Maker Usability Test, 10/12/16 Studio

Testing the Coffee Maker

Here, our group is planning our usability test for the coffee maker. We needed to plan the three tasks that we would test the coffee maker for and the three data points that we would collect from each task.

Ethan, Jeeyoung, and I ran a usability test on a coffee maker because we wanted to see how usable its functions really were. Our goal was to test the coffee maker for three actions that one may need to perform on it in order to use it to its complete potential. We had three different levels of users test the coffee maker to see if the device could be used by everyone, not just experienced coffee makers (we were not testing the users on their skills). We tested one person who was an experienced coffee maker. We tested one person who had some exposure to making coffee. We also tested one user who did not have much experience making coffee at all. With our users, we tested the coffee maker’s usability in three ways: how quick, easy, and annoying it was to find the model number, change the time of day on the clock, and pour water in the water tank. The link to our presentation can be found here.

This is the Black Decker coffee maker that we tested for usability. This device does not have units labeled on the marks on the water tank or the coffee pot. This led to confusion among the users. The users had to press the “min” button multiple times in order to set the clock to the right time. This was found by the users to be very annoying.

Looking Back

I thought the test we did was very meaningful. We now know that the coffee maker that we tested should probably only be used by those who have made coffee before, not beginners. Our group ran into a little bit of trouble because none of us had ever made coffee before. Because of our inexperience with coffee making, we didn’t really know if the data points we were looking to collect (how long the task took, how easy the task was, and how annoying the task was) would be meaningful or not. In the end, the points did accurately represent the coffee maker and the tasks. For the future, our group should consult an expert on the device for tips on what is useful to know about the device before it is bought or used.

Enjoyment Throughout the Process

I really enjoyed running this usability test on the coffee maker because we were able to see how usable this every-day device really was. Ideally, for a standard coffee maker like the one we used, an inexperienced user who has a general idea of how to make coffee should be able to use it with minimal issues. We were able to test if this coffee maker lived up to this usability expectation and I think that is pretty cool.

Cameron Trader

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