Usability testing in TCID is testing the practicality and functionality of websites, applications, documents, etc. to find problems, issues, and opportunities. This requires patience, open-mindedness, and skills in interviewing people.
Project: Usability test for HCMBBF’s website
To improve traffic to the client’s website, a team came together to perform usability testing on the website and give their findings to the client.
- Skills in interviewing people
In November 2020, a group conducted a usability test. To improve traffic to the client’s website, a team came together to perform usability testing on the website and give their findings to the client. The team of four people had a month to do this. They started by determining which method of usability testing would be the best fit, then conducting usability test interviews with volunteer users, and delivering the results to the client.
The user I interviewed was very comfortable with talking out loud – a skill that was very helpful in the usability test but did require some patience when she went off on a tangent (see picture’s comments). All the information was helpful in finding issues and possible opportunities for future versions of the site (this user recommended adding a merch tab), but keeping up with her and her reasoning took tolerance of a large amount of chatter.
Listening to the user’s comments required some open-mindedness about the different ways people can perceive the same thing. The donation tab seemed simple and straightforward to me, but the user thought otherwise: “Am I giving to the roping event or to the fund? I do not want it going to an event; I want it going to the fund. I would want the button separated or better explained.” On the home page, the first thing I look at is the picture of a cowboy, but the user saw it differently as seen in the notes taken: “User saw logo first (happy), not a lot of horse in picture (was confused, odd picture, overshadows fund/logo), fonts are difficult to read and very distracting.”
To best conduct the interview, a script was created beforehand and followed during the test to make the user more comfortable. After getting her to agree to be recorded, I followed the script and guided the user through the test, gaining much data about what she thought of the website.
From this project, I showed abilities including patience with the user, open-mindedness with the feedback, and some skill in interviewing the user. The part that was missing was comfortably and properly interviewing and guiding the user through the test. She often sped ahead of the planned route through the website or went off on tangents, and I did not lead her back quickly, resulting in the usability test going over the expected half hour. In the future, I intend to be more confident and direct when interviewing a user during a usability test interview so that all of the topics are hit, the user does not get discouraged, and the session does not go over the allotted time.
Below is the final usability report sent to the client.