The Usability Test of a Microwave Oven


the microwave oven we used for the test

After the last sprint we are asked to do a usability test on a microwave oven. Thus in this weekend our group made a simple usability test , targeting at our friends, to collect some useful data.


In the survey we planned to ask those users to do some simple task with the microwave: set the clock time, set the cook time and put back the turntable- the disk in the microwave. We chose these variable because these things could straightly reflect the friendliness of the device to a user: the basic use of a microwave is just cook. For the data point, we use time, difficulty estimate by the users and the completion to measure the usability, because the time objectively shows the efficiency of the device and the user’s comment represents their satisfaction on it.

the data of the usability test


One thing I need to mention is that for the future user test, as a moderator I need to be absolutely objective. In the test, the third participant had some difficulty on setting the clock, and after 70 seconds he still can’t make it; as a moderator I shouldn’t give him the hint; but I did because I thought he can’t make it. In the reflection, I think a moderator should be absolutely objective, if he didn’t finish the test, we should just record “incomplete” but not to interfere the test.


The usability test gives us the basic view on the concept of usability, and we learned how to conduct a simple user test to collect the data, I think it’s really useful because it can not only be used as a usability test, its structure can also be utilized on other kind of test, such as user experience, social survey, etc. Most importantly, this sprint make us know the importance of user’s view, it’s the motivation and basis for a designer to make improvements.