Designing A Usability Test

A Bagel In The Oven We Used

This week, we had a group sprint where we had to design and execute a usability test for college dorm oven as practice for a real life usability test to understand the underpinnings of designing a usability test. The usability test had to cover the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction of the oven. First, we brainstormed for a target audience, which was fellow classmates, and then we designed different tasks that tested three categories for the oven. For effectiveness, we had the participants toast a bagel slice to test how well the oven performs its intended function. For efficiency, we had the participants preheat the oven to 425 degrees in a timed setting to understand how well a new user could adapt to the oven’s functionality. For satisfaction, we had the participants rearrange the oven racks to determine how smooth the transition from a lower rack to a higher rack would be. We purposefully chose these scenarios to test these categories because of our previous experiences with ovens and how they cause the user to think about these different usability traits.

Image of a Participant in Our Usability Test, Starting from Left to Right: Monina N., Thong L., Phillip D.

If I were to do this project again, I would probably reorganize how the tests were executed because with the order that we did them in this time around, there was an issue with the racks being too hot after preheating the oven. Though it may seem obvious from hindsight, it was not something that we had considered would be a problem when initially designing the tasks.

I really enjoyed the group efforts and the user testing where we had to bring in people to use an oven. The best part of the whole experience was going outside of the classroom and collaborating on a project, which is a new experience as a college freshman that was not necessarily available in high school. It was one of the most unique experiences with a project that I have ever had and I hope that there will be more of these implemented into the course as it develops.

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