Oven Usability Project
How Our Project Began:
For our usability project, the object my team and I tested was an oven. The only person who had an oven that we could test was me at my house, therefore we used my Kenmore oven and the users we decided to have in our study were my roommates. The next thing we had to decide was what data points were going to be testing and what tasks we would ask the user to perform on the oven. We then proceeded to write instructed tasks that we would say to each of the user during the usability test.
Our Final Plan:
My group and I decided that the three tasks we were going to ask the user were: putting a baking pan in the oven, setting a 30 minute timer on the oven and then cancelling it, and lastly to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next, in order to collect data for the tasks and measure the usability of the oven/task, we decided to time each user while they performed the 3 tasks that we instructed them to do, then ask them to rate the task from a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the easiest and 10 the hardest), and finally to rate their satisfaction after completing the task by picking 1 emoticon/emoji (out of 6 facial expressions).
Why Did We Choose This?
We chose those three tasks for the user because we thought those were simple and very common tasks most people who use and own ovens would also need to do. We also thought it would be easy/simple to measure the tasks my timing the user for each task because it would show us how efficient the oven was. We wanted the data points to be simple and straight forward so we decided to have the user rate the task on a scale from 1 to 10 of difficulty (1 being the hardest). This would quickly and simply let us (the testers) see the usability of the oven. Lastly, we wanted to record the users satisfaction after completing each task because we feel like it would help knowing whether or not the users liked/enjoyed using the product or not. If they were not satisfied doing a certain task and picked an angry or frustrated emoji, then it will help designers in the future to modify their product (in this case an oven) in the future to hopefully better suit the user’s needs.
Also, our users were picked specifically as well. My group and I wanted to choose users who were college students ranging between the ages of 18 and 22 and users who had a diverse background in cooking. For example, one of the users in this project cooks very frequently, therefore he had more experience with the oven; whereas the other user never cooked. We thought this would help make it testing the usability of the oven fairly.
Overall, I think this usability project went really well. It was well thought out and organized and the data seemed accurate. The oven we used was an old oven and therefore had some outdated features on it, but it showed how much these types of products have grown in modification. The thing I believe my team and I had most difficulty with was knowing when to talk/step in to help the user if they were confused with the task we instructed them to do. We didn’t want to help them too much, but we also didn’t want them to feel dumb or feel like we were testing them, and not the product. I think as a whole my group and I did a good job making sure we made the users feel comfortable and were able to collect accurate data.
What I Enjoyed:
I enjoyed this project because it is based on material that is realistic and pertains to real world situations. Essentially everyone I know owns and uses an oven therefore it was interesting to see the results on the usability of my own oven. I don’t really use my oven, therefore it was interesting and a little humorous to see the users try and do each task because I wasn’t so sure how to do one of them. Also, I liked the fact that we can apply what we did and learned from this project to any other product.