Summary: In this laboratory, we explore usability testing of a common household object.
For this lab, you should be in groups of 3-4.
You will need a stopwatch. If a group member has a stopwatch
or a suitable application on their cell phone, you may use that.
Otherwise, use this online stopwatch.
As a part of this lab your group will be conducting several mini-studies.
Choose one group member to be the participant for the first mini-study, and another to be the facilitator. The remaining one or two group members will be observers. My goal is that each of you experience playing each role and that in the process you learn something about different aspects of usability in practice.
Here are the instructions for the facilitator. (We'll also hand out paper copies.)
Here is a form for the observer.
The participant should follow along with the facilitator, whose job it is to guide you through the study.
You might have noticed that there are more devices than groups. When you are done with your first mini-study, assign everybody a new role and raise your hands. We'll come to collect the observer's notes and give your team a new device for the next mini-study.
Let me know when everyone in your group has experienced each role.
We'll try to take the last 5-10 minutes to reflect on our experiences. Here are some questions to think about.
In what different contexts do people use alarm clocks? Are different aspects of usability important in those contexts?
Have you encountered usability problems in your own everyday use of alarm clocks?
Which clock did you find the most usable? Least usable? Why?
Which clock do you think was the most expensive? Least expensive? Why?
What was the most difficult aspect of playing each role? The most rewarding aspect?
Janet Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org)Created April 12, 2012 based on http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/~davisjan/csc/151/2007S/labs/25.usability.html