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Improve User Experience with Informal User Testing (Case Study)


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Learn how you and your team can greatly improve your web user experiences by doing informal user testing with little cost. This session's case study will examine a 100% web-based touch screen building directory kiosk recently created by a University of Minnesota web team. Expect to hear actual tips and tricks, problems and solutions, and lessons learned from executing a user test driven development process. As a bonus, see how you can use your current web skills to create more than just web sites.

Published in: Design

Improve User Experience with Informal User Testing (Case Study)

  1. 1. Improve User Experience with Informal User Testing Zachary Johnson with Kamran Ayub, Ken Loomis, and Ethan Poole MinneWebCon - April 12, 2010
  2. 2. Case Study Tips, tricks, key insights User testing will make your web projects better Do user testing yourself, save time and money
  3. 3. HTML CSS (taking major advantage of CSS3) JavaScript and jQuery No Flash Fullscreen Webkit (Konqueror, Chrome, Safari) Mac mini Touch screen monitor (works like USB mouse)
  4. 4. Who’s on First? Zach: Overview of iterative process, our project, and early testing Kamran: Semi-formal user testing Ethan: Process insights, user experience improvements Ken: More insights and improvments, project future
  5. 5. Iterative Design Design Test Repeat
  6. 6. Version control tools (SVN, CVS, Git) Individual developer test environments Morning status meetings Basecamp
  7. 7. Heuristic evaluation Casual testing and feedback Semi-formal scripted testing Formal lab testing
  8. 8. Developers/Designers Co-Workers Clients Friends and Family Target Audience
  9. 9. Iteration Start Do Work End x ∞
  10. 10. “I have not failed 1,000 times. I successfully found 1,000 ways NOT to make a light bulb.” -Thomas Edison
  11. 11. “You can’t do version two until you’ve done version one.” -Zach Johnson
  12. 12. Time to Code Your prototype is your product.
  13. 13. Kamran Ayub
  14. 14. My Roles Initial mockup and design Photoshop based off wireframes HTML skeleton with sample data UI and JavaScript
  15. 15. Creating the Tests No excuse to not do any testing—you can do it for free! Create a common introduction sequence for all participants Emulate “real world” scenarios—try to walk through it yourself, not just empty thinking
  16. 16. Sample: A Real Test “Nature strikes you at a most inopportune time. You must find out where the nearest restroom is. As you burst into Coffman’s first floor, you run to the touch directory and don’t bother touching the screen. Can you find your way to the loo in time?” Goal: Find a restroom in a hurry.
  17. 17. Running the Tests How do you find people? Keep a list of common observations, those are probably the most important Record the session, if possible Observe how you interact with the system, not just others—you may be surprised!
  18. 18. Keep in Mind User suggestions aren’t always the best solution—it’s up to you to improve it User testing isn’t finished when the product is launched Be careful of “test bias”
  19. 19. Ethan Poole
  20. 20. Iterative Development User scenarios should challenge your solutions to potential pitfalls. Re-development and re-testing are nonnegotiable.
  21. 21. Ken Loomis
  22. 22. Category Lists
  23. 23. Considerations Possible changes to list contents over time List sorting options Placement of page number links Navigation button behavior Category lists and room detail pages
  24. 24. Quick View Restrooms, Phones, ATM, Vending, Tunnels, Internet Kiosks Challenge: give the user directions to a service that is not on the first floor of the building.
  25. 25. Adventure of the Home Screen And Universal Design
  26. 26. “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.” -Henry Ford
  27. 27. Future Plans Events calendar integration: provide details for concerts, films, lectures, meetings and other events at the Student Unions Service hours Additional features More user testing! Fall 2010: St. Paul Student Center
  28. 28. Thanks! What are your questions? @zacharyjohnson @kamranayub @ethanp @kmloomis