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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

UI Testing

Thinking Aloud Usability Testing: tried and true, and it's been a big part of my life for the last week.

I've been doing some testing on a mockup of the Graduate Financial System online approval worklist for the Workflow project. Five people came in. All five were able to do the tasks they needed to. I made a couple of tweeks based on their feedback. The users crack me up when they're cynical. One person said, "Well I'd like it to work , but I'll bet it doesn't." And then when it worked exactly as she described as being the ideal, she was like, "Oh, very nice. I'm going to like this." All in all, it's a less than ideal scenario having the designer doing the usability testing, but it's what we've got, and it's better than no testing at all.

And then today at 1, I went over to Tivo and sat down for a usability test, and was on the other side of the same scenario. No more the facilitator; now I'm the tester. The facilitator kept saying the same things to me I'd been saying to my users for the past week - "Say what you're doing out loud as you do it... Say what you expect to happen..." etc. I can't tell you any more about it, but I love Tivo. Love it love it love it. The gang who work there have big brains and they make stuff I want. This makes them very cool. I hope the market rewards them for their efforts and their changes to the way multimedia is consumed.


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