Summative & Formative Usability Studies

Project Scenario: As a UX researcher for a media-sized pizza company, stakeholders hope to implement a redesign of their online ordering experience. The project has a short timeline, as they wish to go-live before the upcoming Super Bowl. The budget allows for one summative usability study or two formative studies.

For this assignment, I created the “Hot Spot” pizza chain and reviewed both study options within my two page, iPad themed report. I chose two formative studies and proposed a timeline for testing.  Formative testing will allow the chain to identify major issues, correct them, and test our solutions before the site goes live.
If they wait and conduct summative testing, they not have enough time to develop solutions.
While researching  I found a study by Esteban Kolsky stating if the customers are not satisfied, 13% tell 15+ more people about their poor experience.  72% of customers share positive interactions with 6+ people.
Formative testing will allow for:
• Launch a site with a firm foundation
• Iterate the site and the solutions
• Test the quality of the user’s experience, not just metrics
• Clarify the approach and ensure  assumptions are correct
• Test the quality of the user’s experience with the Hot Spot site
This is another project in which research combined with knowledge of usability led me to a strong choice.
Quick Hit paper, Information Technologies