Usability Testing

This week, to attempt a usability test, we used a microwave. We tested these microwaves using three friends, who each completed three tasks. The three tasks were defrosting a chicken breast, setting the clock, and popping a bag of popcorn. We then measured the time it took them to complete the task, the buttons they pressed to do so, and then asked on a scale of one to five how difficult each task was.

After testing I realized a few things that would improve a future test. Since we used a microwave that none of us knew how to use, we had nothing to compare our users tests to. If they took 30 seconds to complete the task, we did not know if that was slow or fast in comparison to how it was intended to be done. For that reason I feel it is important to have someone familiar with the product test it first to set a control to which we can then compare.

I really enjoyed this project because we were able to come up with our tasks and data ourselves which made it fun to think about what might be hard and what might be difficult. It was also interesting to see different people interact with the same product and use it so differently. For example, some people use the popcorn button and leave it at that, while others keep adding 30 seconds until they feel that the popcorn is done popping. I had never realized how many different ways a product could be used.

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