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

– Observation

While observing the physical behavior of Kanna and Soul as they interacted with my desktop-sized web prototype, I could know how their facial expressions, gaze, posture, and gestures are linked to actions in the product interface. I could know how they actually use and interpret my designs. From the observation, I found that some widgets might imply a wrong interaction operation and some title(page) names are vague so testers might be uncertain about the upcoming contents if they clicked the link.

– Think-aloud Technique

Through the think-aloud technique, I could know clearly my testers’ thoughts, feelings, and intentions during the evaluation. This method could help to reveal the gap between the designer’s and user’s mental model. And in some cases, I could also receive some advice or expectation from the tester.

What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

As an evaluator, I found that it was a bit frustrating if my tester didn’t have many thoughts or feelings to share. That meant that my design couldn’t invoke the tester’s emotion. If that happened, I had to try my best to encourage the tester to verbalize what she was thinking, feeling and doing as she interacted with the prototype.

As a test user, sometimes it was a little bit difficult to verbalize my thoughts, feelings, and intentions without biases because I couldn’t help to imagine what feedback the evaluator really wanted and I would try to meet the evaluator’s expectation. That means that sometimes, as a test user, my feedback was not reliable.