In the tutorial we conducted and participated in usability evaluation through user observations and think-aloud technique.

Comment on how you experienced the technique as both user and evaluator for each of the 2 techniques (user observation, think- aloud):What kinds of information and insights did it give you about the usability of the prototype?

Through user observations, I was able to record detailed facial expressions and other physical behaviors of the user, which is not likely to be found through other methods, such as questionnaires. These physical experiences are closely connected with emotional statues, such as satisfaction or anxiety. The collected information help me to analyze user feelings towards the product and further understand the usability of the prototype. However, when I was acting as a user, I felt quite awkward when people staring at me. These feelings may not be addressed as designers, as we normally pay more attention to the user testing results.

With regard to think-aloud technique, I received more accurate user thoughts when the user was trying to explain what he wanted to do. As he spoke out his thoughts, I was able to find unexpected features of the prototype. Similarly, as a user, I found it quite interesting to share what I was thinking, it helped me to generate my ideas towards the product.

What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

Both techniques work well in recording detailed user behaviors that could be connected with further usability analysis. However, as the information appear at the same time that we had to observe and record, it was frustrating that observers may easily miss some slight movements while taking notes. Therefore, I believe it would be much more helpful to use a camera and take a video of the whole process in case of missing important points.

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