1. What kinds of information and insight did it give you about the usability of the prototype?I tested my friend Lyndon on buying tickets to the opera. As an evaluator, the observation testing was really insightful because not only was I noting his comments as he was using the “prototype”, but also I was observing his non-verbal behaviours. He had no problems searching to find the tickets so the insights were limited. I can see how this method would be beneficial for prototype testing that may be in earlier stages and involve more interaction with the user. Since this was a very polished website, the experience was generally pretty good. As a user, I had to buy the tablet on the Officeworks website. This was less intuitive than the Sydney Opera House website so there was more commentary when I was interacting with the prototype. It was interesting to see how my interactions when I’m having to be mindful of “thinking-out loud” influences my experience. I was never a huge fan of the Officeworks website but after testing it for this exercise, I realise why I don’t like it and it uncovered some new insights on what makes the website so bad and potential ways to improve it.
  2. What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?I found this type of user observation testing very insightful. Being able to observe a user interact with a prototype beyond just noting verbal cues would be very helpful – especially when designs are in a more primitive or concept stage. This method easily uncovered issues relating to the usability of website (in particular the Officeworks one) when in the past, I’ve never been conscious of this. This method obviously relies heavily on the user feeding back to the observer and I think because it’s not a natural behaviour, I can see how this could be frustrating to the observer if the user was not providing constant feedback. From a user’s perspective, being mindful of providing constant commentary detracts from being able to fully interact with the prototype and this in turn makes the interaction less indicative of a real life situation and experience and perhaps impacts upon the accuracy of the insights.

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