Reflect on your experience of conducting and participating in usability evaluation, by answering the following questions:

Comment on how you experienced the technique as both user and evaluator…

For each of the 2 techniques (user observation, think-aloud):

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

In the think aloud technique, I was required to be a user and verbalize what I am thinking, feeling and doing when I was interacting with the prototype. In this stage, I was quite perplexed because it is not I used to do in normal condition and it is difficult to talk when I am doing something else. While it is a great method to concentrate on the process rather than the result of the practice, and the process is an importance consideration of satisfaction for the design. By expressing what I am feeling when I am interacting with the design, it is easier to find what the users want and the feeling of the design. For instance, when I was doing the library exercise, I followed step by step but I was still confused by a great amount of information showing in the website. After I finished, I realized that there are other more effective methods to get the result.

As an evaluator, I found most of the users’ action were always with confusion, they tried to use their own way to achieve the goal rather than following the process. The main reason may probable be different operation habits. By observing users interacting with the design, I can easy identify users’ operation habits, their preference and what the design should be improved to cater different users.

  1. What aspects of the technique worked well or were frustrating?

As a user, there was not much feeling because I was concentrate on figuring out what the design is and how to achieve the goal in the first time. While it is a reliable method to evaluate the design because I have to express real-time feeling about the design rather than recall the feeling of each step which is forgettable.

As an evaluator, it was a bit difficult to keep the users expressing feeling and talking when they were busy, which is not usual action. While some users may give some special advises depending on their interaction to improve the design.