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

AS THE USER

  • User observation

The valuable part of this technique is recording the verbal and non-verbal behaviors such as facial expression and some little gesture while I work on the tasks. These observations are quite useful as they are the most instinctive reflections of me to the task without any consideration. And through those things, like the times I showed smiling or furrowed brow can clearly reflects my experience even I myself did not realize.

  • Think aloud

While the user observation tries to receive insights through users’ external reflections, the think aloud tries to collect the information abut what is happening internal to the user. During the process, I was encouraged to spilt out the feelings towards the task without too much considerations, so I actually expressed the feelings instinctively during that process, and such information taken is more genuine.

AS THE EVALUATOR

  • User observation

It is a good way to encourage the evaluator to observe the user’s direct feeling when focusing on the task. Through such process, the evaluator collect the first-hand information of the users’ experience by their words and more importantly by their facial expression, these are quite visual and easy to understand what major attitude the user have towards the product.

  • Think aloud

By taking the note of what the user say, I think it is like the complementary information combined with the observation, sometime acting as the detail explanation to the observation, to illustrate the user’s experience towards the product, as what the users say are more clear and accurate expression of their feelings. Sometimes, while it may not exactly match with the result of observation which encourage the evaluator to discover deeply through that aspect.

What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

AS THE USER

I think the technique encourages the user to express their ideas and feelings through spilling out the words and facial expression during the process, and such information collected can reflect the most genuine feelings of the users, however, when I was doing the task, my group member, In order to have a better record for the user observation part, she encouraged me to talk while I was searching on the website, but indeed I didn’t know what to say, I felt like, for myself, distracted by saying when I tried to focus on doing something. So, I think quite positive on the observation of user’s facial expression, but I doubt that they can get much through what I said.

AS THE EVALUATOR

As mentioned before, for the evaluator, I think the user observation or the think aloud together try to provide them with the direct information and insights of the users’ experience through verbal/facial expression or even some micro-gesture even the users don’t notice. Such information are much more direct and genuine compared to others like face to face interviews.

However, there are some difficulties in collecting information from such technique. Firstly, while users are doing the task, they are more likely to concentrate on the screen so it might be difficult to capture their facial expression. Secondly, the reaction to the things might vary remarkably, not only because of their different attitudes towards the things, but also depend on the people’s character, like me, I don’t like saying too much when I am doing something on hand, and also, I am not a sensitive or emotional people, so even sometimes I am upset or frustrated or satisfied by the things, I might not express too much facially which might leads to the level of difficult to the observers.

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