Dive into Usability Testing, from Planning to Improving User Usability and Performance.

Week 4 Reading Reflection

Tullis, Tom, and Albert, Bill. “Chapter 3,4,5 and 10.3” Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann, 2008. Print.

After reading all the testing graphic charts and statical data on usability test. First come to my mind is the important of creating a flow of structure, from the planning to a final improved usability product.

In Tullis and Albert’s book, it first introduce to us what is a usability study? How to plan a usability study? We need to know our product and our audiences, think through the usability testing is done before or after the product release to public use. We can line up our thinking to a usability specialist. In the study consider identifies user performance and satisfaction using different methods mention in chapter 4 in the book. Another item should catch our attention is the size of the testing participants. We can identify this by focusing on the purpose of the individual study, watch the cost and time. For instance, one study only require a small lab test (ten or fewer participants) to identify a issues-based metrics, but instead we built a testing website and collected hundreds of testing data set. We are only wasting time, and may likely miss opportunities to improve part of the product. It can also be helpful if we have the usability study plan and show it to an usability specialist and get feedback first. I also enjoy reading the real life example on “The ballot used in the 2000 presidential election in Palm Beach CountyThe Ballot in 2000 Presidential Election” Should we think and plan before costing thousand of Tax-Payers dollars and all the confusions?

Chapter 5 and Chapter 10.3 combines issues-based metrics with real life case study, this shows us the important of apply the principles from planning to an improved design. To identify which usability issue is the most effective and real issue, this starts when we plan our usability testing in order to study user’s thought process and behavior. After all, we make improvement on the product design according to the study results. We also can document what were the gains and loses about this usability study to ensure the successes of more future study. Practice makes perfect after all.


Author: eddyzhuo

Think about your day, seen like brake into two part: online -- offline. And then think about your time when you are shopping in the grocery stores, you will look what is better with a better price. Same thing apply to surfing online, we should be able to identify what is good and bad website, use good product that worthy your time, instead only being passive. Hello my name is Eddy, a master of computer graphics technology student in Purdue University. Let us use the web, think about it, discuss on it, and create a better and friendlier user experience WWW.

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