Usability Test — Coffee Maker

In this project, Victoria, Emily, and I worked as a group to test a usability on coffee maker. Our three participants had to complete three tasks, which were replacing a filter paper of coffee maker, preparing one cup of coffee, and pouring coffee into a provided cup, and three data we collected from each task were time in seconds, an error rate, and satisfaction in scale of 1 (very easy) to 5 (very hard). After three participants completed the test, we compared the data collected and also their background, such as their knowledge of coffee maker.

Discussing what kind of usability is required to use coffee maker

For the last task, pouring coffee into a cup, I expected the participants to scale at least 3 or higher because of the highest error rate among the three tasks. Yet, they rated as either 1 or 2 and suggested to improve the design of the pot to lessen the spillage. Looking at the ironic result, one question came up to my mind: what made them to distinguish between the efficiency and satisfaction? In my psychological aspect, the rate of error is directly related to the satisfaction of using any product. Even though the efficiency of the final task is very successful, our insufficient explanation about the word ‘satisfaction’ to the participants brought the unexpected data. Thus, I will address the instructions thoroughly to collect more critical data in the future.

Telling the instruction to one of the participant in the beginning of the test.

Throughout the project, I enjoyed to share ideas with my group and collect data by observing the participants directly. In another word, I took an advantage to understand what HCDE is more closely and why human-centered design is important in our lives. While processing the test, participant 1 and 3 had experienced coffee maker and could successfully replace the filter without any mistake whereas participant 2 hesitated to complete the task because he had never used the machine before. If I was a designer of coffee maker, I would have to think in perspective of a consumer, but it would be more accurate and helpful by running a test to observe the consumers using the product in a real sense. Hence, I learned how their background can affect the efficiency of a product and the importance of the usability test.

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