The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate the importance of the final test report and to illustrate the complex rhetorical challenges of preparing such a report. Usability reports are often the only part of the process seen by other developers and other departments. They can also have implications for external bodies, including government agencies, licensing and safety boards, consumer groups, the media, and even the general public. The most difficult rhetorical challenge in a test report is that of offering areas for improvement to the developers who created the item you have tested in a persuasive way.
Using the examples provided by Barnum (Chapter 9), previous student examples, and our discussions in class, prepare a final test report for internal distribution in the organization whose product or service you have tested.
Mobile usability presents special challenges to technical communicators, as we do not yet have the body of knowledge or literature that we do related to other types of hardware and software testing. Part of your assignment will be to locate appropriate users with whom to perform your tests. You will prepare and conduct a complete usability test, including a plan, test materials, and a final test report. If at all possible, you will conduct these tests with the end users in the field, at the place where they use the apps under study. You should test at least three users (four would be the minimum for an A), so finding and recruiting appropriate subjects will be a significant part of the assignment.
Your assignment is to prepare a test plan and test materials, administer the test, and prepare a final test report. Submit only the final report, which will include your plan in the methods section and can include your test materials in an appendix.
Your deliverable should address:
- The unique challenges to mobile usability.
- How mobile usability challenges are manifested in persona development, usability test materials, usability scenarios and tasks, recommendations.
Your report should include both the results of your testing and broad recommendations for action, though not specific design decisions, to be taken to improve the site or app you tested, including priorities for each of the recommendations you make.
Our partner will be Roanoke Chowan Community Health CenterYour usability test should be directed at https://rcchc.org/.Some of the tasks and populations that use the website include:
The more ambiguous uses of the site include:
- onboarding to website
- onboarding to projects within the website.
- information seeking behaviors
- community/client outreach
- to recruit inclusive or potentially underrepresented users including multiple language options and a variety of devices.
- to lower cognitive burden for participation
- to improve information architecture for install base
What Users Need To Be Able To Do
In order to observe participants you need to give them something to do. These assignments are frequently referred to as tasks. (During testing call them “activities” to avoid making the participants feel like they’re being tested). Rather than simply ordering participants to “do X” with no explanation, it’s better to situate the request within a short scenario that sets the stage for the action and provides a bit of explanation and context for why the user is “doing X.” Before you can write the task scenarios used in testing, you have to come up with a list of general user goals that your site, application, or document may have. Ask yourself: What are the most important things that every user must be able to accomplish or figure out with this product or content? For websites, these tasks are frequently things like on boarding or purchasing for products like coffee makers, it can be tasks like cleaning or making a single cup of coffee.
Making the Task Realistic
- User goal: Browse product offerings and purchase an item.
- Poor task: Purchase a pair of orange Nike running shoes. (Too specific, doesn’t let user think)
- Better task: Buy a pair of shoes for less than $40.
Making the Task Actionable
- User goal: Find movie and show times.
- Poor task: You want to see a movie Sunday afternoon. Go to www.fandango.com and tell me where you’d click next.
- Better task: Use www.fandago.com to find a movie you’d be interested in seeing on Sunday afternoon.
Avoid Giving Clues and Describing the Steps (i.e. do not give procedural instructions)
- User goal: Look up grades.
- Poor task: You want to see the results of your midterm exams. Go to the website, sign in, and tell me where you would click to get your transcript.
- Better task: Look up the results of your midterm exams.
Using your Mobile Usability Test Plan, recruit and execute a usability test for two to three participants. Invite four. Someone always can’t make it at the last minute.
Write up your in a report should consist of the following
- Time on task: How long did the participant take to accomplish their goal
- Qualitative evaluations
• Description of completion conditions
• Descriptions of non-critical errors
• Description of critical errors
- A report summarizing testing process and results
- Please keep the report under 30 pages including appendices. Note much of this content should come from the materials of your Mobile Usability Test Plan.
- all drafts and work should be submitted as shared G Suite links through through Moodle