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?

The think-aloud technique is very useful in determining the user’s thought processes. It enables them to give direct and spontaneous feedback at every step of the process. I was the designated user to employ this technique while using the Officeworks website. I feel that it was effective in communicating my decision making and explaining the issues that I encountered. When assessing others using this technique, it was easy to follow and led to insights such as them not being able to find certain features. User observation, on the other hand, is more difficult to follow as an evaluator because facial expressions can be ambiguous, and sometimes hard to read when the user is looking down towards the screen. As a user, they are automatic. For this reason, they may be able to expose more genuine insights, and those that are too difficult or transitory to verbalise.

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

The think aloud technique is easy because it is direct and requires little interpretation. User observation, however, requires a lot of attention, so it is difficult to both record and observe simultaneously. Observations must then be matched up with specific steps of the process, and therefore must be combined with either a thorough think-aloud narration or a screen grab to gain a useful interpretation.

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