Freeze Out the Flaws

In this project we did a usability test on a refrigerator. The project entailed a 3x3x3x3 approach meaning we had three partners, three participants, three task for the participant, and three types of data collected. We came up with the three task of opening the door to the refrigerator, placing three items into the refrigerator, and finding a specific item in the refrigerator (tangerine). The data we could collect would be time duration of task, rated scale of difficulty, and lastly observation. We also wrote a script for consistency for the usability test. Once the usability test was completed we compared the data collected across the board as well as our users background.

The experiment itself was fairly easy to compile. The manufacturing of the script for consistency was somewhat difficult. The part that I found interesting/challenging is the psychological aspect of the person giving the experiment. In your mind you know exactly what is about to happen and you expect the users to approach it the way you would and when they don’t you want to step in but you can’t. Then you have to analyze why they didn’t approach it the way it was intended. The question I was wondering is what is the next step after the data is collected?

I liked that the experiment gave incite into a big part of Human Center Design. The process of usability testing is an important in manufacturing because if a person can’t use the product why would they buy it and I was able to see that in our participants. I was able to see how a person thinks and how different people approach things. As they were doing the tasks, I was personally thinking of further ways it could have been engineered which is excites me to learn more.

Usability testing could be used in almost any work force. It can range from apple all the way to seat belts in an airplane. The feedback from an individual using an ipad could change the design of the product if they struggle to complete things because its difficult to use. The same goes for the seat belts in an airplane. The user at boeing in someway may have conducted a usability test to see how fast individual can exit there seats in case of an emergency. Usability testing could therefore promote safety and production. Its important to know how the users approach a product because the product is made for them.

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