According to the Interaction Design Foundation, the l ISO 9241-11 definition of usability is: “the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.”
Three outcomes must be inherent in a usable interface:
- The user should be able to become competent with the interface with relative ease.
- The user should be able to easily achieve their goals while using the interface.
- The user should be able to easily recall the interface and it’s use after first usage.
Throughout the Usability course, I was tasked with testing the interface of Papa John’s desktop website with real users who have an advanced understanding of computers and website usage.
Using the Papa John’s desktop website, the following objectives were investigated:
- Creating a screener to ensure participants reflect an advanced understanding of ordering food online via a company’s website
- Developing a list of tasks for the user to complete
- Moderating a usability session
- Analyzing a usability session
- Compiling a final usability report
To test the usability of Papa John’s website, research and testing was completed to investigate the following:
- When a user Google searches Papa John’s and enters the site from the search results, are they able to readily find the section to order pizza?
- Do the choices presented overwhelm the user?
- What is the best approach to order completion: should users be made to sign in or create an account? Will signing in/account creation deter users from completing their order?
- Can users easily understand how to order combo pizzas (half and half orders)?
- How difficult is the site to navigate for new users?
- How do demographics impact the user experience?
Working within a group for feedback and input, 10 screening questions were developed to ensure the proper demographic and skill levels were recruited.
Advanced User: Users who have ordered food online previously.
Demographic information: age, gender, frequency of use, computer literacy, time and possible distractions, use of online sites to order food.
Developed with the screener, tasks were created to ensure the user is able to utilize the Papa John’s website to order pizza, focusing on the issues raised regarding order options, combo orders, and account creation.
Moderating a Usability Session
Each member of the course was required to moderate and record a usability session with a user inside of their demographic group. A list of common tasks with a script was used to ensure consistency across all sessions.
Testing sessions were posted to the online repository. I screened potential sessions by their history ordering pizza online as well as the session length, based on the assumption that more advanced users would complete the tasks more quickly.
After watching four additional sessions, notes were taken to detail the usage of the website. User’s comments, struggles, and successes were recorded. The following areas were investigated with each session
- What are the expectations of online ordering and were they met?
- Isolate and document problems that arose in each session
- Identify key quotes from each user
- Was the interface successful in allowing users to complete each task?
- Were there similarities between the way users completed each task?
The following deliverables were created:
- Screener document
- Task document
- A recording of usability session captured with GoToMeeting
- Website documenting the screeners, tasks, and rationale
- Final report containing:
- Cover page
- Table of contents
- Executive summary
- Website being assessed
- Participant information
- List of tasks
- Synopsis findings
- Analysis of each task
- Follow up recommendations/questions
This course felt like it went hand-in-hand with user research. I had to think about behaviors of people who were advanced users in ordering food online. This was rather tricky since many of the people I have used over the past two years for my testing sessions or feedback live in the area I grew up in and very, very few restaurants have delivery, let alone any sort of online ordering. The user I chose used to live in the Washington, DC area, and therefore was more familiar with online ordering.
Watching other’s sessions was very interesting, because it gave me more tips on how I can improve my moderator skills. One thing I wish we had more information on was the demographic of each user. I felt like I was grasping at straws in order to find the advanced users.
When I completed the final report, it was very dense and hard to read. The feedback from my instructor aligned with my opinion: it needed to be easier to read and understand. After the completion of the class, I created a new final report, which is linked at the bottom of this page. I was very careful about how I laid out the information and hoped to make it easier for the stakeholder to understand.
The creation of the website for this course was to help my students see that deliverables can take many formats from PDFs, to animations, to websites.