Ah ok, Tutorial 8! This week was very helpful to get some practice on the old user-testing process and experience, particularly with our monumental assignments a-waiting in the wings! I was in charge of recording the user’s following interactions:


  • Thinking Out Loud for purchasing tickets from the Opera House (Task 1)
  • Verbal/Non-Verbal Behaviours for purchasing the cheapest tablet from Officeworks Glebe (Task 2)
  • Task 3 – Completed by myself.


What kinds of information and insights did Task 1 give you about the usability of the prototype?

Primarily the user’s thought process. The User tended to go to the search bar as a last-resort measure if they could not visually see any likely pathway to the information they were searching for. In general, the navigation experience through the interface for the completion of the task was very, very poor. The information structure/architecture didn’t seem logical to the user at all, resulting in a great sense of frustration.


What aspects of Task 1 worked well or were frustrating?

Regarding the testing technique – continuous prompting of the User was not the most natural way of testing them I felt. I prefer to let the User talk when they want to talk; this way I feel you get more honest feedback from the User, as you’re not contributing to any impatience they might be already feeling from their own User Experience. Additionally, thinking out loud did not take into account the high significance of non-verbal communication cues and signals.

I can, however, see the usefulness of it in terms of gaining insights into the user’s thought process.


What kinds of informatidon and insights did Task 2 give you about the usability of the prototype?

Similarly to Task 1, there were numerous organisational issues that the user ran into regarding the structure, hierarchy and layout of information on the site. For example, the User wished to control the display of products by price, not just by brand. This lack of clarity, as well as customisability, resulted in an overall unsatisfactory and frustrating experience for the User.


What aspects of Task 2 worked well or were frustrating?

I found the User-Observation testing method to be a more thorough method of recording the overall experience of the User, as it recorded both verbal and non-verbal cues and signals. The non-verbal recording in particular allowed for a more comprehensive snapshot of the User’s positivity/negativity towards the interface, as seen in the pictures below.


What kinds of information and insights did Task 3 give you about the usability of the prototype? What aspects of Task 3 worked well or were frustrating?

I’m not going to lie – unfortunately since I did Task 3 and I’m a USYD student, I was a heavily biased user in this testing session, as I’m very familiar with the USYD library. Not a very valid task for me – but that in itself is a noteworthy observation! I guess you could say that aspect of Task 3 did not work so well – don’t have a biased user!

Definitely this last point was something I found very helpful when completing my group assignment for the Design Proposal. Found that learning curve very useful in undertaking effective user-testing for our EnergyGains prototype.


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