What did you do, in words and pictures? How and why did you do it?

This week’s sprint was on usability testing. This was one of the sprints I was looking forward to in this class and it was fun to do. This sprint was a group activity and we were paired into groups of three. I was paired with Jana and Eva. The product that we conducted the task was a microwave oven. This, at first, didn’t look a very appealing product to do a usability test on. I would have preferred a laptop or camera because of them having so many functionalities that could be user tested, while the microwave had limited. However, since this was the product given to us, I had to live with it.

Microwave that was tested

To start of the sprint, we decided that the testers of this microwave were going to be residents of the dorm. We did this only for convenience as they are always free and are willing to help. We chose three of the residents in such a way that there was diversity in their age, gender, and expertise level so that the results would be varied. The three tasks that we asked the testers to do were: 1) set the clock timer to 20 seconds and stop it at 15 seconds, 2) reset the clock to 1:15 PM, and 3) heat for 1 minute. We did test 1 to test if Express Settings help or hinder the user, test 2 to test if the clock of the microwave can be easily set to a specific time, and test 3 to test if the Express Settings are easily usable by the user. In each test, we collected data of three types: time taken to complete the task, difficulty between 1–5, with 1 being the easiest, and if the task was completed or not.

Data of one tester

We then used the recorded data to make the presentation and the video, it took just one attempt.


Looking back on this assignment, I feel like we were a little under prepared. We knew what we had to do but were a little lacking on the how part. Also, as a moderator, I could have said the instructions more clearly because I had to repeat some of the instructions as they were not clear enough. If we had more of time to complete the project, we would have chosen testers outside of dorm or maybe even someone not living on the campus. However, I do feel satisfied with what we did in the short amount of time. We worked well and had good team chemistry.

My favorite part of the project was seeing the reaction of people when they could not perform some of the tasks. I had a straight face outside but was dying inside. I also really liked listening back the video that we made together. For some reason, it was just funny.

Why is this necessary?

Looking back on this sprint, I realize how important it is to test the device, so that when it comes out on the market, it doesn’t have any flaws and works exactly as it is intended. It can also show that the needs and wants of the user and it is saves development time. This project taught me how to work in groups that can be helpful in my future projects, or even something distant as in my job. Thus, on any project that I take in the future, usability testing will be high up the priority test.