Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

Usability Testing on Microwaves

A team planning and designing their usability test in studio. (Photo by Course Assistant of Studio AE)

In order to practice Usability Testing, we were to create a usability test for a microwave. After brainstorming, we decided on 3 specific tasks for users to do to test my team’s product, a Panasonic microwave.

The Panasonic microwave that we used as our product. (Photo by Claire Lynch)

We chose somewhat foreign, yet useful tasks to get more variation of data and to better test the microwave’s usability. We chose to collect time, steps taken in comparison to steps required, and difficulty rating to measure different aspects of usability. We chose women, age 19, who lived in a sorority house as our users. We found that the microwave had good usability through our data that exhibited efficiency, effectiveness, and overall user satisfaction.

Below is a link to a video which summarizes our test design & results:

Reflecting Back

Some questions I had during this experience were:

  • What tests are harder to do than others?
  • Do people use usability testing to remodel products and innovate as well?

Some issues we had during this experience were:

  • communicating the tasks to the users
  • staying composed during the testing while trying not to make the users feel uncomfortable

The Good Stuff

I thought the actual testing was fun and exciting because we didn’t know what to expect. The users also seemed to have fun during the tests since it was low pressure for both parties involved.

I also liked working with a small group of people because it felt great to collaborate with others.