Usability Tests

Project Summary

On this project, usability tests conducted the determined performance, structural concerns, and overall usability factors of a platform.


Business Goal

Usability tests are a way to observe the user interacting with an application or product. The initiative is a new hire on-boarding and pushes for a re-design.


UX Role

UX/UI focused on research methods, including user interviews, usability testing, and follow-up surveys.

Additional surveys allow for screening of candidates before testing.

Over a two week period, the usability tests were performed. Recruiting candidates for the tests required collaboration from different groups.

The project required working closely with:

  • Finance
  • Digital Operations
  • Programming
  • Creative Services
  • New Hires

Testing Sessions

Behavioral data, also known as qualitative data, is collected and measured against the tasks performed. It demonstrates the struggles and frustrations to navigate through the site.

14 candidates participated in the study; 9 males and 5 females accomplished defined functions on an enterprise platform.

Written on the paper was twenty-three tasks, taken from email surveys conducted in prior weeks before. The participants took forty-five minutes to complete the tasks.

Tasks to Perform

Monitoring Session on an iMac

Screen Recording with Forward Camera Recording


Testing Setup

The equipment used was an iMac for observing the user while navigating the interface and a Macbook Pro laptop to perform the tasks.

Quick Time Pro was used on both the forward-facing camera and the screen recording. Their interactions and facial expressions synced with the audio simultaneously. 

To stop all recordings, the user had instructions to sign out and close the laptop lid.

Mackbook Pro 15′


User Interviews

Following the sessions, we interviewed the participants. It was interesting to hear their feedback after having completed the usability tasks.

Complied was a montage of the feedback. It was enough for the stakeholders to review and hear for themselves some issues on the site.

The testing sessions help advocate for a re-design of the site.

User Interview


Follow-up Survey

A week after the sessions ended, an email survey went out as a follow-up to the usability test.

Participants had even more feedback because they had time to go home and think about their usability test experience.

The follow-up survey allowed participants to convey their thoughts about the tasks they performed during the session thoroughly.

Email Survey


UX Insight and Findings

Feedback and behavioral patterns indicate that the site does not meet the user’s needs; they often felt frustrated with the site search and often confused by content placement.

User feedback at a glance:

  • Trending not relevant to their discovery process
  • Prefer to call 4040 for help
  • Preferred fewer clicks
  • Preferred a list of holidays vs. Using a calendar or event page
  • Would rather send an email or IM for sharing
  • Preferred scrolling as to clicking “more” in search results
  • Confused by “my docs”
  • Preferred search over browsing
  • Searched by department
  • Preferred viewing from A-Z
  • Hard to distinguish search results
  • Confused by “expertise browser”
  • Confused by “memberships” in profiles
  • Prefer NOT to go to a new tab in the browser

0% of participants signed out successfully, leaving their private information at risk.


Delivery

Compiling the two pieces of footage together was done in Camtasia, then exported an mp4 file to show stakeholders. 

A video montage pieced together, using 3 of the test sessions, clearly demonstrated the site’s usability issues. The video is five minutes long and well worth the watch in presentations.

Data collected from email surveys and usability tests were bound together in a spiral booklet and given to the stakeholders.

Spiral Booklet – Participant Data

Spiral Booklet – Email Survey Data


Takeaway

Usability testing is an important role and worth doing for any platform, no matter what stage of the product cycle. It could be an entire site or just a selected area.

Listening to your users and their concerns are vital in learning their perspective, behavior, patterns, expectations, and overall mindset about your product.

Defined metrics:

  • Ease of use
  • Frequency of use
  • Location in website
  • Learnability
  • Discovery
  • Look & feel
  • Site content
  • Site organization