UX Design Usability Testing

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  1. 1. Usability Testing (UT) and User-Centered Design (UX) 2015 Rhetoric and Composition Program Department of English University of Idaho
  2. 2. User-Centered (UX) Design: a rhetorically based philosophy of design that considers end users needs, wants, and constraints in all stages of the design process. (Wikipedia) Pssst. If you dont help me achieve my goals effectively and efficiently, Ill chew through your power lines.
  3. 3. Usability Testing is a way to find out if the assumptions used in the design process were correct. Therefore, it is often done throughout the design process as tests reveal how users respond to a product. I feel like this could probably be more convenient.
  4. 4. Apple Products and UX/UT Apple invests heavily in Usability Tests and has a developed a culture that supports User-Centered design. Want proof? Searching Apple jobs for UX validates that Apple does do user research and is heavily vested in user experience with at least 7- 10 distinct UX job titles. From: Busting the Myth that Apple Doesnt User Research
  5. 5. To be usable, a product should be Easy to learn. Easy to remember. Efficient to use. Satisfying to use. Error free.
  6. 6. Types of Usability Tests Lab based testing involves recruiting participants and observing their behavior as they do a series of tasks. Often involves video-taping the user. Survey testing involves asking users of a product to respond to a series of questions about their user experience. Cognitive Walkthrough involves an evaluator who does a set of specific tasks rather than the actual user. The idea is for the evaluator to assume the role of user. In this project, you are being asked to do a cognitive walkthrough. Note some usability test experts call what you will do a usability inspection, but lets not get too far in the weeds about definitions.
  7. 7. Steps to Design the Test
  8. 8. Step 1: Decide What to Test You Have Two Options Option 1: Test Two Communication Products Test usability for both and compare the outcomes. Option 2: Test One Website or Test Two Websites Test usability for a complex website where users have to find and do stuff. Test usability for two websites and compare the outcomes. If you decide to test two products or websites, the products and websites need to be comparable.
  9. 9. Step 1: Here are some ideas for Option 1 Word Processing: Microsoft Word vs. Open Office Image Editing: Gimp vs. PhotoShop Website Creators: Weebly vs. Wix 3-D Modeling: AutoCad vs. SolidWorks Many other possibilities exist.
  10. 10. Step 1: option 1 continued The two products you choose should be comparable.
  11. 11. Step 1: Here are some ideas for Option 2 US Internal Revenue Service: Idaho Department of Fish and Game: Idaho Department of Labor: University of Idaho: Many other possibilities exist.
  12. 12. Step 1: option 2 continued You may choose to test one website or compare two websites that are similar such as two department of fish and game sites or two university sites. The key is to find a website that has complexity, where users need to find and/or do stuff. What users find and do have to be accessible to you, so you could not compare how to enroll in classes at the University of Idaho compared to Boise State because you would not have access to one of these.
  13. 13. Step 1: option 1 continued If you decide to test two websites, they must be comparable
  14. 14. Step 2: Identify Users of the Products or Websites Compose a description of these users. The description will be part of the white paper you write of your findings from the test. Identify their level of knowledge: For example, engineers use AutoCad and SolidWorks, so a description of what knowledge these users would have relative to the products would be different from a user who is not an engineer or studying engineering.
  15. 15. Step 2: continued Sometimes identifying typical users can be difficult. If the product will be used by a wide-range of users with varying levels of technical expertise, think about what level of expertise you envision that your user has when designing the tasks. Are they a novice user with little of no experience using a product? Would they likely be using one product but not the other? Try to focus on a specific group of users if possible.
  16. 16. Step 2: continued Become the user. Remember, that this is not about your personal experience with the product, but with the user you identify (obviously, you cannot test something as a user with a higher-level of experience than yourself). Its okay to have used the product before as long as you become the user you have identified.
  17. 17. Step 3: Design the Test Tasks You will need approximately ten specific tasks. This is a guideline only because the number of tasks depends upon the complexity and what you are testing. You need enough complex tasks to evaluate usability. Avoid tasks that are too basic. Tasks that are simplistic, such as testing how Word saves a document compared to Open Office, do not really test usability since how you save a document file is easy and much the same in any word processing software. Apply your user description. To help you decide what specific tasks to test, you need to analyze what the user you have defined would be doing with the product and how. Example: how does a user login to the product? If a user needs to set up an account, then that could be the first task.
  18. 18. Step 3 continued To create tasks, think like a user. What would a new user have to do in order to start using the tool or website you are testing? What would a new user want or need to do with the tool or website you are testing?
  19. 19. Step 3 continued How to create the task list for testing a website. If you are testing a website like the University of Idaho, think about what specific users need to do on this site. A specific user might be a newly enrolled student registering for classes for the first time. So, the next slide will show some tasks related to what that specific user needs to do on the site.
  20. 20. Step 3 continued Examples of tasks to test UI website: 1. Find my advisor. 2. Find out when registration opens for me. 3. Find a schedule of classes for fall 2015 semester. 4. Enroll in a course. 5. Waitlist a course. 6. Check my final grades. etc. You would not want to be more than one type of user, so think of other things students need to do.
  21. 21. Step 3 continued How to create tasks to test word processing software. You are likely familiar with using Word, but to derive tasks that you can test for usability, think of things you have never done with Word before. These need to be tasks that are more complex than the familiar things we do on a regular basis such as the save feature. The next slide has some examples of tasks for testing a product like Word.
  22. 22. Step 3 continued Examples of tasks for testing Word. 1. Create an automatic table of contents. 2. Create a header for one page that is different than a header on another page. 3. Insert a reference. 4. Insert a footnote. etc. Even if you have done these things before, you can pretend to be a new user of the product.
  23. 23. To test website creators like Weebly, you need to create an account and set up a website to start testing it. The next slide will have some examples of tasks and, after that, some screenshots of how to derive more tasks. Step 3 continued How to create tasks to a product like Weebly or Wix.
  24. 24. Step 3 continued Example of tasks to test a website creation tool 1. Create an account. 2. Create the first step that builds the site. 3. Choose a theme. 4. Modify a theme. 5. Create additional pages for your site. etc.
  25. 25. Step 3 continued This is a screenshot of Weeblys Help Center. If you are having trouble deciding on tasks, use the various support categories to derive the tasks. For example: one task might be: 1. Replace the header image. You dont want to learn how to do the tasks before you try to do them because what you are testing is how well a tool works WITHOUT having to consult the help section unless absolutely necessary. So, just use the help page menus to derive what you might want to do with this tool After you have tasks and start to test, then consider if it is necessary to use the Help Center because you are having trouble. Pay attention and evaluate that difficulty by taking notes and scoring the usability. Then evaluate the usability of the Help Center for that task. Dont judge yourself as you do all of this --- judge the product. See next slide for more tips.
  26. 26. Some of the features like video/audio may be limited or unavailable on the free version, so you cant test some things. Step 3 continued Here is another screenshot of Weeblys Help Center.
  27. 27. Step 4: Decide Equipment and Test Environment Laptop or Desktop? PC or Mac? Location of Testing Your residence? Computer lap on campus? Be consistent. For example, dont do the test on a Mac for one product and a PC for another. You want to do the test using a computer you are familiar with so it does not interfere with the results.
  28. 28. Step 5: Design the Metrics
  29. 29. Metrics are the means by which you evaluate the usability of a product. There are many ways to compose metrics. In a formal usability test where participants are observed by teams, metrics may include a team member who video-tapes the session, another who records what happens as a user does tasks, and a third who records statements the user makes as well as facial expressions and body language. Observers of test participants would record this information on a data collection form. You will need a data collection form, but first you need to decide the metrics. S