Media Board App: Usability

The purpose of this task is to emphasize early user-testing in the app development process. Here are a few quotes about usability:

On the Internet, it's survival of the easiest.... Give users a good experience and they're apt to turn into frequent and loyal customers. But ... it's easy to turn to another supplier in the face of even a minor hiccup. Only if a site is extremely easy to use will anybody bother staying around."

- Jakob Nielsen

"The web is the ultimate customer-empowering environment. He or she who clicks the mouse gets to decide everything. It is so easy to go elsewhere; all the competitors in the world are but a mouseclick away."
- Jakob Nielsen

"You know from your own experience as a Web user that paying attention to usability means less frustration and more satisfaction for your visitors, and a better chance that you'll see them again."
- Steve Krug

Studies show that for every dollar a company invests to increase usability, it receives $10-$100 in benefits, and wins customer satisfaction and loyalty.

"To dismiss basic contexts such as link colours, page layouts, navigation systems, and visual hierarchy as 'boring' or 'pedestrian' is akin to laughing at a car's steering wheel as unimaginative."
- Jeffrey Veen

"There's one thing more painful that learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience."
- anonymous

Usability rules the web. Simply stated, if the customer can't find a product, then he or she will not buy it."
- Jakob Nielsen

97 percent of Fortune 100 companies had some type of site architecture problem that might give them problems being found by search engines.
- iProspect

Exercise: User Testing for Creative Project 1

1. Create a pod. This is a super-group of two groups (four). 

2. Observe users. Begin with one group and have the "users" download the group's app by scanning it from the web (app) page. Observe the users and take notes. Optionally,  film the proceedings.
  • Users: use the app and speak aloud all of your thoughts. Be expressive about what you like, what you don't like, where you get stuck, etc.
  • App Creators: Keep quiet and watch. Don't tell the users what to do, see if they can figure it out (you won't be there for every user that uses your app). 
3. Pod discussion. Put the phones down and discuss the app. What bugs and user interface issues need to be fixed? How could the app be made better? What directions might the team go in terms of expanding/modifying the app, or even a totally new app that this one lead you to think of? The creators of the app should take copious notes and (optionally) film this.

4. Repeat this process for the other team in the pod.

5. Report to the Company (Class) at large. Choose a spokesperson to describe the apps and what was learned from the tests.

6. Document: For the next checklist, you'll create a new page on your portfolio for App User Testing Session. Link to this page from your app page. Summarize and list the comments you received from your test users. For extra credit, create  either 1) a video of test users using and commenting on your app, or 2) a video promoting your app (a fun advertisement for it).