Usability Test Plan

Scenario:In beginning our usability test we first began by outlining a scenario in which we felt we could best observe how potential users would interact with our interface. For this usability test we chose five people to interview and serve as test subjects. Three of the individuals also participated in our user needs analysis. We believe these five individuals represent the breadth and scope of the type of users we anticipated using our site. As a provider of an online website that allows people to promote, share and find out about events we felt it was important to include test subjects that represent both event hosts and prospective event attendees. Our first test subject is an undergraduate male student and a fraternity member. Our second subject is a male undergraduate student and vice president of a large student organization. The third test subject was an undergraduate male and someone who actively attends campus events. The fourth test subject was an undergraduate female and active party hoster. The last test subject was a graduate male student who co-manages a small university dance group.

Tasks:
We gave these test subjects a set of five core tasks that we felt were representative of the main tasks that users would be expected to perform on our website. (1) The first task is to simply sign up and create an account on the website. (2) The next task would be to create an event. (3) The third task would be to browse the list of events and “buzz” an event or click on share. (4) The fourth task would be to browse the list of events on the map and calendar. (5) The last task would be to log out of an account.




Pre-test:

For our pre-test we administered the following questionnaire to all of our test subjects.

Gender(Circle one): Male Female


Age:

Major:

How often do you host social events per month:


How often do you attend social events per month:

Hours of Internet use per week (please circle approximate range):
0 - 5 hrs

6 - 10 hrs
11 - 15 hrs

16 - 20 hrs
21 - 25 hrs

26 - 30 hrs
31 - 35 hrs

36+ hrs



What type of computer user do you consider yourself to be? (Circle One):

Beginner Average Expert


Which browser do you use the most (Circle one):
Firefox Chrome Safari Internet Explorer Opera
or Other:






Post Test


Rank your user experience with our interface from 1 (being hard, confusing or unintuitive to use) to 7 (being easy and intuitive to use).

1) Did the current layout allow easy access to and recognition of actions and functionalities?
Very hard 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very easy


2) Rate the usability of the navigation, forms and buttons?
Very hard 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very easy

3) Overall how difficult was it to perform all requested tasks?
Very hard 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Very easy



Please provide a brief answer to the following question.

1. Please describe one or more features you liked.



2. Please describe one or more features you disliked.



3. Please provide any comments that can help us improve the usability of our site’s interface.




Usability Test Results

Screenshots
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Testing Logic
Our rationale for the tests was to build a short questionnaire that would allow our test subjects freedom to describe their user experience. Moreover, we made sure to ask our test subjects to provide an example of our interface they disliked to figure out weakness and areas of improvement for our design.


Individual Results
For the most part we received good reviews on the overlook look and feel of the site with particularly good reception for our main page’s layout. Many of our test subjects lauded our crisp, glossy and finished design and our emphasize on descriptive images and icons. We also received significant and constructive feedback that we believe will be invaluable to us as we move forward with implementing our site and its interface. As a process, the usability tests with our designated test subjects went off without a hitch despite the fact that important areas of our website’s intended functionality had yet to be implemented. We must admit that even though we provided a “wizard of oz” hook for the calendar, map, email-sharing and account views -- we noticed that it was generally difficult for our test subjects to provide us with any constructive insight into the interface of those functionalities as so much would be dependent on how those functionalities were actually built out. Beyond this one issue, our test subjects felt that we provided a high-fidelity prototype with which they could provide real critique and offer real suggestions.


Undergraduate Male Fraternity Member - This test subject is 19 years old and manages some event planning for his fraternity. This is a test subject we previously interviewed for the user needs analysis. He provided extensive feedback and insight into what he felt we did well on and what he felt we could work on. He mentioned that despite an overall positive reception to the site, he had interface concerns regarding certain functionality. He felt that we needed to provide more feedback or improved “response” to a users actions. For instance, he noted that when a user successfully registered an account on the site, there was no flash or notice acknowledging that success. Moreover, when a user logged out of his or her account there was, again, no flash or notice of that action. Quoting the subject “It would have been cool to get a response acknowledged that I had successfully registered”.


Undergraduate Male Vice President of Student Organization - This test subject is 20 years old and frequently manages the planning and execution of events his organization hosts. This is another test subject we previously interviewed for the user needs analysis. He provided positive feedback regarding the layout, clutter free web page and easy navigation. With regards to areas he would like to see improved he noted that email notifications would be something that could be useful for people who sign up. Moreover, although he was excited about how we incorporated larger social networks and media into our site via links to Facebook, Twitter and Digg, he felt that we could make this an even more usable aspect of our design by possibly syncing these services with our site or at least exploring the use of the Facebook Connect API to sign into our application.


Undergraduate Male Active Community Member - This test subject is a 21 year old senior here at the University. We also previously interviewed this test subject for our user needs analysis. He is a very engaged participant in events hosted by several cultural, sports, political, interest and academic groups. He is very mobile and almost always has his Iphone with him. He noted that being able to visualize events on a map was very important to him. As a result he really was impressed that we incorporated a live, fully-functioning Google Map into our site that dynamically updated events as they were created or change. With regards to things he didn’t like in our user interface, he felt that our layout centering scheme could use some work as it sometimes would allow scrolling of the site past the main area. Moreover, he added that he thought “[it would be ] nice to have the calendar look more like a google calendar since I’m already familiar with it”. Other than those points, this user did mention that he liked that users did not have to sign up to browse events.


Undergraduate Female Active House Party Organizer - This subject was a 20 year old who generally enjoys throwing house parties about three times a month. This test subject noted that it was very important to her to be able to share the location, time and description of events she holds. This user was extremely happy with the map implementation where prospective guests can easily find directions and details in one location. This user mentioned that she would have liked the ability for an event to be private or only viewable to those invited. With regards to a negative aspect of our design, she noted that when someone clicks “login” there should be a link to register, since sometimes people just bolt for the login button as opposed to the sign up button. This user also loved the feature where people can like the event and results are displayed using changing “B” icons.

Graduate male dance troupe manager This test subject is a 27 year old graduate student who manages student dance troupe. This user and his student group only host a couple of events on campus but extensively uses several different social media venues to promote their events. One thing he noticed was that our host event function only asked for a single co-host, when in reality he often co-host’s events with multiple other student groups. Moreover, while he liked the ability to send invites via the host event form, he would have liked to see more instruction on how to enter photos, emails and the co-host.





Analysis of response gather from test users:

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Average for Question 1: 5.4
Average for Question 2: 5.4
Average for Question 3: 6.0