Usability Test

HCDE 210 — 1/29/16

Workin’ hard!

Summary of Events

What did you do, in words, pictures, and video? Aim for around 100 words (i.e., some substance but not too much), and at least 2 pictures (this is always good). Also please include a link to your final submission.
Brainstorming ideas

In groups of 2 – 3, we were tasked with the assignment of devising a usability test where we would be moderating three users on different kinds of kitchen appliances. My section’s appliance was either a stove or oven. My group’s user type was college students, due to them being the most accessible. Our tasks were: 1. Start the oven to a certain temperature, 2. Set a timer, and 3. Clean the oven. Our types of data were time in seconds, difficulty from 1–10, and any verbal feedback the user might have. In the time given during section, we brainstormed these ideas as well as laid out a plan of action to tackle the Sprint Deliverable. A video was to be made recording the actual usability test (shown below) as well as an accompanying powerpoint slide-show that documented it.

Reflection

Reflect a bit on your experience. What questions did it raise (questions that you might want to explore in the future) and/or what problems did you encounter (i.e., problems that you can learn from, address differently in the future)? Aim for around 50 words-100 words.

Overall, this week’s Sprint Deliverable was a great way for us to get familiar with what usability tests are, as well as how to use them effectively and correctly. Furthermore, we were the moderators of these usability tests, a position that many of us likely haven’t been in. One problem we ran into was finding time where every group member was free and available to meet. Because of this, a lot of time was spent not working, but fortunately, we finished in time.

Likes

What did you like about this project, and why? Aim for around 50–100 words.

My favorite part of this project was actually undergoing the usability test and being in the position of the moderator. Seeing the users do the same tasks but in different ways was quite interesting and really goes to show just how important usability tests are. There will always be someone that will use a product in a way that it wasn’t intended, and usability tests are crucial ways to lower that chance as much as possible.

Application

What are some places in our society where the kinds of work you did (i.e., usability testing, thinking about users and tasks) could potentially make a difference? In other words, why is this type of work important? Better “responses” here will include specifics and examples. Aim for around 100–150 words.

Any place where some sort of product, application, interface, etc. is used is a place where usability testing could be very useful. One interesting example, from our section T.A., is Facebook. To test different potential interfaces and features on the site, Facebook has usability tests where three groups of people are tested. One group uses a Facebook with the new features, another uses a Facebook without the new features, and the last uses a Facebook with a mixture of new and already existing features. Obviously, all three tests bring back different results, but all are used to finalize the product in the way that is most efficient for all three groups. Usability testing is important because it is just another way to make a product as perfect as can be before launch. There will undoubtedly be some flaws after launch, but certainly less than if usability tests weren’t used.

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