Conducting User Interviews to Understand Multiple Notes

Sharon Bautista
Sep 20, 2017 · 2 min read
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Screen from the prototype used to evaluate the usability of managing multiple notes

Two weeks ago, the Test Pilot team conducted one-on-one user interviews to evaluate the usability of several possible enhancements to Notes, including the option to create multiple notes and search. Our findings are a reminder that user interface conventions familiar to tech workers and people who use specialty apps like Evernote and Google Keep can be much less familiar to people who rely on a more limited technology ecosystem.

Method

We recruited 8 individuals, representing a mix of gender, ethnicity, ages, household income, level of formal educational attainment, and location in the United States. All participants also reported having taken notes while using the internet in the last week. Participants were interviewed individually over video conference and were asked questions about a prototype that illustrated the proposed enhancements to Notes as well as their current note taking methods.

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Prototype screen illustrating the note list for multiple notes

Key Findings

Some of the biggest opportunities for the Test Pilot team to address from this research include:

  • How to create a new note and how to view all of the notes one has created were the most difficult tasks for participants to complete.
  • Half of the participants assumed that the “export” functionality encompassed options to share with oneself or other people via email and/or SMS.
  • “Sync” for most participants meant being able to access Notes on multiple devices. However, for other participants, “sync” implied being able to back up one’s notes to a local folder on their computer.

Additional findings, including recommendations, can be found in the full report.

Next Steps

Based on the recommendations coming out of this study, the Test Pilot team will continue to iterate on the user experience design of managing multiple notes as well as evaluate other Notes enhancements. Help us make Notes better by giving it a try or continuing to use it.

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