The usability test sessions must be scheduled three weeks before the actual testing because many individuals must be coordinated and space made available. Your CS team members must coordinate with you, and you may also need to coordinate with the graduate students who are conducting usability testing on the same app. Also, space for the testing must be coordinated–we should be able to utilize the new usability lab within the HDMZ, but this is dependent on other scheduling needs. Dr. Pastel will seek participants for the tests, which also takes time, and you may need to round out your cadre of test participants if Dr. Pastel’s efforts don’t yield enough student volunteers, or if your test plan requires specialized test participants.
Number of Sessions and Team Assistance
You should schedule five (5) test sessions for the thirteenth week of the semester with people who represent the target user group for the app you’re working with. Each session should be scheduled for an hour, and at least three team members should participate during each session. Each team member should attend at least three usability test sessions; the following are roles needed for the test session.
- Test administrator/product owner: Oversees the scheduling of test sessions, communicates with professors, schedules participants, reminds participants the day before. Probably plays a dual role during testing.
- “Receptionist”: Check in, do paperwork. Someone should register the participants, make sure they get their extra credit, if applicable, and collect signed permission slips.
- Observer/explainer (HU student): Demonstrate the application to the participant; help guide them (e.g. prompt them to speak aloud as they work, if that is part of your test design).edu
- Observer/note-taker (HU and/or CS student): Observe interactions and take notes.
- Tech support (CS 4760 student or other designated techie): Sometimes the application does not work properly, so you will need a student to troubleshoot and repair the application, clear the cache and reset the “visited links,” etc.
When tests are conducted in the HU usability lab, extra group members can watch via video feed in the adjacent room. The lab is scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-5 (at least) during Week 13. Other times can be arranged through Dr. Kitalong.
Schedule and Participant Registration Process
The process for scheduling your usability test sessions and for participants to register for usability test sessions is:
- Team determines session times and testing locations.
- When Dr. Pastel emails you access to a google sheet called the “Usability Test Sessions,” enter session times, your name, the app name, and location. Make sure the information is correct and that you meet the deadline for entering the information. See Google Sheets Details section below.
- After the deadline for entering usability test times has passed, Dr. Pastel will give participating instructors access to “Usability Test Sessions” Google sheet along with instructions for using it.
- Students from lower level classes will receive the URL for the”Usability Test Sessions” Google sheet. They will reserve a usability test time by entering their name, email, and the class(es) for which they wish to receive credit for participating.
- After the deadline for participants to register for usability tests has passed, teams will have access to the ”Usability Test Sessions” Google sheet. The Google sheet also contains a column for you to indicate whether the participants attended or not.
- A day before each usability test, look up the email address of the participants and email them a reminder of the usability test time and location.
- After you have conducted a usability test, enter on the “Usability Test Sessions” Google sheet whether or not the student attended your usability test session.
- After the deadline for entering the attendance in the “Usability Test Sessions” Google sheets has passed, Dr. Pastel will give the participating instructors access to the “Usability Test Sessions” Google sheet, so they can decide who should receive credit for participating.
Google Sheets Details
Usability Test Sessions Google sheet
Prior to the usability testing, Dr. Pastel will email you access to the “Usability Test Sessions” Google sheet that you will use to record a usability test sessions. The “Usability Test Sessions” Google sheet has headings:
- Adminstrator – Enter your first and last name in this field. Be consistent with the name so that later you can order the google sheet by appName and find your usability test sessions.
- App – Enter the app name that you are testing. Be consistent with the app name.
- Testing Date – Enter the usability test time(s) and date(s). The formatting of the test date and time is very specific because the “Usability Test Signup” web app will convert it to a Date object. The format is MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM AM or PM. For example, if you wish to schedule a usability test session for April 17, 2017, at 10:05 am, then you should enter the data as 4/17/2017 10:05 AM. If you want to schedule the date April 19, 2017 at noon, then you would enter 4/19/2017 12:00 PM. The google sheet will try to validate your entry, but you are responsible for entering the correct date and time. Otherwise, the wrong date and time will be displayed in the “Usability Test Signup” web app.
- Location – Enter the location of the usability test. Be sure to give the room number and building so that the participant can find the location.
- Name – Participants enter first and last names.
- Email – Participants enter email address. Use this email address to remind participants of the usability test time and location.
- Course – Participants enter the course that they wish to get extra credit for.
- Attended – Administrator enters whether or not the participant attended the usability test session. If the participant attended then enter “yes”. If not then enter “no” (without the quotation marks).
Enter this information correctly, or the data will not display properly in the “Usability Test Signup” web app.
Modifications for Spring 2020
In the location column enter only “zoom” (without the quotes). You will need to email the participant the day before the testing the link to the Zoom meeting.