Usability Test of Microwave

For this sprint, we practiced usability test of microwaves. We first determined our testers to three Indian UW students. Then, we gave each of them three tasks: First, to open and close the microwave; Second, to heat a cup of milk for 10secs. Finally, to find the “defrost” and “popcorn” bottom. For the first task, we asked testers the degree of difficulty from 1 to 5 in order to test the difficulty of closing and opening the microwave. For the second task, we measured the time the testers took to find the simplicity of our microwave. And for the last one, we just accounted the number of errors the user makes for the sake of testing the visibility of the buttons

The link of the video of our presentation:"

the tester is asked to rate 1–5 of the difficulty of open the microwave
the tester is asked to put the milk in the microwave

For this assignment, I find first, it is really hard but important to find the fit tasks. I mean our first task which is to open and close microwaves, is to simple and the data seems not representative. Therefore, I think next time, I might emphasize more on preparation part, which is to design more appropriate tasks. Besides, during the whole test, the instructor who guide test plays a really significant role and good instructor need to be emotionless and speak flatly. Hence, in the future, I will try to be more emotionless and flat when I ask users questions.

I do like this project. I mean it is an interaction between designer and user that the tester give you his/her suggestion and feedback about using this product. Repeating this test, I think I can learn more about what users need. And I think this is an important part in the future, when I am a UCD engineer. Hence, I think I really learned a lot from this project. It teaches me how to design tasks to test our product and how to interact with users in a good way. Therefore, I really like this project.

I think usability is very important in our lives. Customers will only buy the product they think is helpful and easy to use. So as a designer, we should create products to meet their need. Thus, usability test is the best way to test if people want it or not. Only customers themselves can tell if a product is good or not. And their suggestion is more useful and representative. For example, if a company want to design a microwave. They are better to ask some normal people maybe from different backgrounds to use this device and then ask for feedback. In that way, they can get more general ideas and suggestions and modify their device. Thus, I think usability test is definitely important.

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