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

  • Both processes – user observation and think aloud – enable the user and evaluator to gain more information on the usability of a website. As an evaluator, I gained key insight into the positives and negatives of the websites. As a user, I had a chance to pay more attention to certain flaws in the website that I may not have noticed or paid attention to previously.

2) What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

  • The prototypes weren’t 100% fully functional, they each had various glitches that were noticed throughout the individual’s usage. While some had interface design problems, others had issues with convenience and placements of options/tasks and one website just plainly lagged.
  • As a user, I felt a bit more under pressure and I was being recorded and observed while using the website, this only added to my frustrations to lagging aspects of the website.
  • As an evaluator, it was a bit more difficult to record accurate reactions of the user as it had to be done simultaneously. In addition, one of the users in my group didn’t really have many reactions (happy or otherwise) to the prototype they were testing, this was mainly because the person is quite patient by nature. In my opinion, this method of evaluation is good only if the user is quite expressive by nature.