User Test

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/lis590it/ on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/lis590it/ on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/lis590it/ on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/lis590it/ on line 589.

This is a group assignment for you to complete with your final project group.

Find a product or service that is similar to your idea for your final project. If you are approaching this from a business point of view, think of it as trying to find your closest competitor (whether they would be a local competitor or not). If you are approaching this from a social entrepreneurship point of view, think of it as trying to find a group who has tried to develop something as similar to your idea as possible.

Familiarize yourself with your chosen application
You don't have to become an expert in it
Look for bits of the user experience you would like to study in more depth
Look for parts that you suspect may be confusing, or could be or really need to be improved
In your groups, develop a set of tasks representative of how this application might typically be used.
Think of typical users, typical uses, typical user needs.
Have a range of 8-10 tasks of increasing difficulty that you want to try out with a number of volunteers in a usability test in next week's class.
Having more tasks than time allows usually allows for richer user studies than too few.
Think about making up tasks so that you can run a test regardless of whether your volunteer has never used the application, or is somewhat familiar with it. You can ignore expert users for now.

Submit your task list to Moodle, bring a copy to class along with a laptop or device set up to perform the user test if possible. If you are unable to do so, please let Sunah and Ingbert know in advance so they can help procure a setup for you.

You may find Section 5.2 of Lewis and Reiman's "Task-Centered User Interface Design" particularly helpful.

Here's an example task list that you might write for an email client:

  • Read all your unread email
  • Forward your most recently received email to
  • Send an email to
  • Add "Sunah Suh" to your address book with the email address, phone number 217-234-5678 and mailing address 501 E. Daniel St, Champaign, IL
  • Send an email to "Sunah Suh" in your address list
  • Mark an email as "unread"
  • Search for an email from "Ingbert Floyd" from December 29th, 2010 about syllabus construction
  • Create a new folder and put the 5 most recent emails into it
Due Date/Time: 
11:55pm on Thursday, March 3rd
How to Submit: 
Moodle Dropbox:
10 points