Usability Testing

I conducted two sets of test with four participants each. Although most of my participants are 20 years old, I tried to find a couple of participants from other age groups to see if they reacted differently to the application. While the majority of people who use this app will most likely be those with families, many people enjoy cooking and finding recipes. Because of this I felt that all of my participants could be likely users of the app. Regardless, all of the members that I have had different experience with the use of applications in general. By testing this range I got some great feedback in terms of what kinds of things people like to look for in their app. For those who don’t use applications often, I found what kinds of things did and didn’t come natural to them. I want my design to be simple and natural. It should not feel like a chore to use my application, it should only make their life easier.

Before both of the usability tests I collected demographic and experience information about each user. By collecting their gender, age, profession/education, and experience with the app, I could see if there were any trends between certain categories of users.

The first test that I conducted was observational. I handed them my phone and told them to use it like they would in real life. All four of the participants looked for a recipe. I encouraged them to talk out loud. By having them talk out loud I could see what they were looking for when they pressed each button. I also asked questions about the interface and what they would like to see. I did this to try and dig deeper into what each participant would like to see. I asked questions like what would you like to see here? Is that what you would except to see? What would make this better? Do you like about this? By asking questions I could get deeper into what the user feels is missing and I could really address these issues.

The second test I conducted was task based. I had three tasks that I asked the users to attempt. I let the users know that there was no pressure if they could not successfully complete a task. I also encouraged them to think out loud. This method helped point out some of the issues that the observational tests did not because the users realized what they could not do and suggested what should be done to fix that.

The Tasks were:

  1. Find a fruity dessert that takes 10 minutes or less.
  2. Email me quick meal of your choice.
  3. Find any chicken meal.

After each task I had the participant answer a survey. This way I could see further how confident they felt with the task, as well as the learnability of the app. At the end of the tests I found the overall score that participants gave this application. Overall testers usually consider 80% and above a good usability score. This application received a 62.5%. The survey was:

Task 1:

I felt confident completing this task:

Very unconfident 1    2     3       4     5  very confident

I feel confident repeating this task in the future:

Very unconfident 1    2     3      4      5  very confident

Additional comments:______________________________________________________________

After completing this task I gave the participants one more survey to see their overall experience using the app. The survey was:

Final Survey:

Overall I feel confident using this app:

false 1    2     3      4      5  true

The design is easy to use:

false 1    2     3      4      5  true

The app is visually pleasing:

false 1    2     3      4      5  true

I can see myself using this in the future:

false 1    2     3      4      5  true

After both of the tests, I had my participants look at a list of words and pick a couple that they felt described their experience and feelings towards the app.

Over all I found that there were a couple of problems that the majority of the participants ran into. These are my high priority issues that I will try to fix first in my redesign.

To compile all of my data, I created a spreadsheet with the issue, suggested solution, priority, and the participants that ran into the issue. This will become useful when making my backlog of changes I want to make.

Click here to see the data that I collected.


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