Usability Testing : Microwave
The process and result of out usability test
We designed a usability test for microwave and found three participants to complete the tasks. There are three tasks for each participant and each task has three data points that we are going to collect. The three tasks are: set the heating time to 50 seconds, set the power level to 3, and defrost for 30 seconds. And the three data points are error rate, completing time, and satisifaction. The three tasks’ main goal is to test whether it is easy for users to find these common microwave functions and correctly use it. However, based on the result of the usability test, we find out that the users cannot complete the seemingly simple task, since all of them fail the first task.
Here is a video that introduces the specific goal and result of our usability test.
We were struggling with thinking of some meaningful tasks rather than some easier ones that most people would directly know how to do such as opening or closing the door of the microwave. If we have enough time and effort, we can find participants from different age and see whether the function is easy for users in specific age. In our test, we give the users exactly two minutes to complete the tasks. We can give the users unlimited time to see how long the users can figure out how to deal with the tasks and analyze the relationship between the time and usability.
We recorded the whole process of the usability test for all the three users. The result of our test with the recording could help the microwave company better develop the functions in the future. For instance, they might want to improve the function such as setting a specific time for heating. The right button is hard to find and the users might be confused by some other similar buttons such as button clock or kitchen timer. As a result, usability test plays an important role before the real production of microwave. Only when the function are usable could the users want to purchase for it.