The purpose of a usability test is to reflect on the ability of the object to do its work, and the interaction of the object and the user. This sprint was conducted to expose us to a typical process of brainstorming and organizing a usability test. This exposure has influenced me to think about every day items and how they become a finished product after being tested.
Process and Introduction
Our very next sprint involved organizing a usability test for a microwave. Since most usability tests require a moderator, a facilitator, and a note-taker, I joined two other people in conducting the test. To start off, we ideated tasks where we can collect information regarding the microwaves usability. We decided on three tasks: setting the clock on the microwave to a certain time, using the microwave, and cleaning the turning plate. These three tasks were part of the 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 template; three tasks, three types of data, three users, and to wrap up the testing a three-minute presentation. The three data we decided to collect were: time it took to complete the task, the difficulty of the task, and the satisfaction of the user on the completion of the task.
To begin our usability test, we gathered a general electric microwave and three users which whom were all college students that varied in microwaving experience. The result of this usability test was to identify the accessibility of the product (the microwave) to the user in a specific context of use. Our results showed that the users were overall satisfied with the microwaves intended use and the time in which they took to complete the tasks.
Since this sprint was specifically central around the concept of usability testing, it was a new and useful experience for me. I learned the significance of usability testing and how a successful test can be done. Without prior knowledge of usability testing, this sprint has definitely given me a hands-on experience on the concept.
Usability testing is an important process on testing a specific products and its use. This type of testing is not only used on completed products (such as our testing on a furnished microwave), but also unfinished products. Similar to the previous sprint where I designed a paper app prototype, a usability test can be used to a similar function as beta-testing products. After completing a prototype and developing the product, the product will need to be beta tested, which can be carried out in the form of usability testing. Although beta tests are done on completed products, whereas usability test are done in an earlier period, they both test the usability of the product in order to receive feedback. For example, a usability test can be conducted for a gaming app that is not completely finished yet. The test is done on multiple users where they are given instructions to navigate through the app, the test is finished when they either successfully or unsuccessfully complete the task. If the users can successfully navigate the app, then the conductors can conclude the app is usable.
Link to our video: https://youtu.be/Qz0aYXxWGGI