TODAY Brief discussion USE it! Usability Test 1 Coming soon… Homework
USABILITY Today we’re going to do the first of two usability tests you will conduct on your final project website. Let’s start by talking ever-so-briefly about what usability means.
USABILITY Usability, if you’re not familiar with the term, is similar to accessibility but not precisely the same thing. A usable website will almost always be accessible, but usability is more about the general user experience. In other words– does it do what it is supposed to do? How well?
USABILITY To test usability, we… come on, guess! We go and find users and present them with the thing (in this case, the mock-up). Then we ask them, basically, to do stuff. It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s the basic idea. We ask them to do stuff, we watch, we ask questions, they ask questions, and we figure out what works and what doesn’t work.
USABILITY Let’s look at a quick example. As an impossible hypothetical, let’s imagine that ol’ Phill got a parking ticket because the Olin pharmacy is roughly as fast as molasses. Never happen, right? But he needs to pay the quickly escalating ticket before the total exceeds his TA stipend.
The ticket says to go to http://police.msu.edu/ So… I go there. *loading*
USABILITY TEST So that’s the basic concept. What I want you to do is form groups of three, and you will share your mock-ups. Each person should respond to your mock-up based on the prompts on the next few slides (also on a PDF on the course site)
USABILITY Prompt 1: Figure out what the site is supposed to provide as its primary function. See how quickly, easily you can access that function. Comment on what might make it clearer or more engrossing for you.
USABILITY TEST Prompt 2: Look at the other functionality of the page. What does it appear you can do? What do you think you should be able to do? Comment on these things, thinking specifically about potential changes to make the page easier for you to navigate/manipulate.
USABILITY Prompt 3: Think about the style/design choices of the page. Do they support your user needs? Do they enhance the overall reception of the page? Do they ever hinder?
USABILITY TEST Prompt 4: What is one thing the site doesn’t offer that you wish it did? Why?
USABILITY When you finish, hang onto your results. These will be due with your final project, but for now, they should serve as a guide for you as you continue working.
HOMEWORK For next class, read Read for class: Dated but interesting day in the life of a webmaster, a day in the life of a freelance web designer, Should I become a web designer?andCareers in web design We will talk again about careers in web design now that we’re a little deeper into the semester. Keep working on module 6 mock-ups.