I214 UX Research

January 16, 2012

Assignment 3: usability testing

Filed under: — Nancy Van House @ 8:02 pm


The purpose of this assignment is to give you the experience of conducting a usability test.

You will do this assignment in groups of three or four.* If your final project is a group project, that would be a good group to work with. If you can, do a usability test related to your project.

Your group will conduct two usability tests.  Both will be think-aloud tests; that is, the user will talk through what she/he is doing and why. The moderator can ask clarifying questions, but cannot help.

Allocate roles among yourselves for each test: user; moderator; note-taker; camera-person.* For the second test, change roles.

Design a simple user test around something related to you project. If that’s not possible, then pick something you can test easily without a lot of added effort. For example, some sort of website or web-based interface would work, since you can just sit someone down in front of a computer.

As a group, develop two tasks or sets of tasks, one for each of your “users.”  You want the tasks to be not too hard, and not too easy. Hard tasks  make for complicated testing; easy tasks don’t give interesting results.


1. One written report from the group:

  • describe succinctly what you were testing
  • include your set of the tasks
  • treat me like you would the owner/designer/sponsor/etc of the site or product, and describe what you learned:
    • Areas/functions/etc that the users liked or found helpful
    • Problems the users had
    • Recommendations coming from your tests

    Remember, I am your client, and you are evaluating something that I have put a lot of work into! Include quotes from users and screenshots of problem areas in order to get your point across. Try to break your report down by topic, and make it clear what the most important problems/recommendations are.

2. Also from the group, a short video clip, or audio with still images.  Five minutes or less.  This would be something you would put online or otherwise deliver to your client.

3. From each of you individually, a one to two page reflection on the process and what you learned.

Please turn in #1 and #3 together on paper and upload  the audio/video to a Dropbox folder.

Due XXXX.  We’ll view and discuss some of your videos in class.

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