Evite - User Testing
The following is a user testing project that was conducted for my Human-Computer Interaction master's program.
The primary objective of this usability test is to evaluate the effectiveness of certain Evite website features by observing users as they complete a set of prescribed tasks. The test sought to answer questions of whether or not users would be able to understand the onboarding procedure, create an invitation with pre-defined event details, add contacts to the Evite, and send it to guests.
Additionally, the testing was used to identify the website’s key user experience strengths and weaknesses and to assess how they could be further improved to better meet the needs and expectations of the user. By observing users and recording any dialogue with participants, the test was able to uncover usability strengths and weaknesses, which were then categorized based on their impact to the user.
- Moderation guide writing
- Moderation of user tests A and B
- Interview transcripts
- Findings coding and summary
- Report writing and editing
Usability issues were classified based on their severity - irritant, moderate, or severe. Irritant severity issues were minor issues that could be easily circumvented with system support and/or learned with repeated exposure, or were cosmetic in nature. Moderate severity issues allowed the user to still be able to use the product, but required moderate effort in getting around the problem. Finally, severe issues caused the greatest difficulty or strain on the user, either preventing them from completing a task or significantly delaying the completion.
A majority of users failed the task of creating a custom invitation, and two users failed to send their invitation and check for confirmation that it had been sent. None of the users failed to sign up for an account or add the provided contacts.
USABILITY TEST PLAN
1. To evaluate the Evite website in terms of the user experience that it creates. Specifically, we would like to answer the following questions:
- Can users effectively create an online invitation?
- Can users complete the account signup without difficulty?
- Can users customize invitation designs to fit the theme of their event?
- Are users easily able to add contact information?
2. To identify the site’s key strengths and assess how it could better meet the needs and expectations of the user:
- Identify features, tasks and controls that are difficult or ineffective
- Classify and prioritize issues
- Provide actionable recommendations for solving issues
The Evite online invitation website (www.evite.com) will be the focus of the evaluation.
A total of six participants who:
- have never created and sent an Evite before (it's OK if they have responded to an Evite)
- are of age 18+ and of any gender
- have experience using the Internet
- Using a web browser on a provided laptop, user will ask to access the Evite website.
- Users will create an account using a Gmail account provided by moderators
- Users will create an event using details provided by moderators
- Users will enter in contact names and email addresses provided by moderators
- Users will send out the Evite and check the provided Gmail account to confirm it has been sent
- Usability issues observed
- User comments during test
- Number of successful task completions (complete sign up, complete invitation customization, complete set up contacts, complete send and check confirmation)
- Ease of use ratings for each task: Participants will be asked to rate their ability to complete each task from 1 (very difficult) to 10 (very easy), and then to rate the ease of use of the site as a whole.
- Moderator (has notepad or laptop for notes, and Moderator's Guide with details and printed materials for the participant)
- Laptop or desktop for using the Evite website
Sample of FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
No Blank Template Option
- Finding: All users reported wanting to have a blank template option, the lack of which three users found a severe issue, two a moderate issue, and one an irritant issue.
- Recommendation: include a blank template option. All users looked for a blank option during testing. Unfortunately, the current site only allows users to choose from Evite’s own set of free and Premium templates, whether they meet the user’s needs or not. Including a blank template will satisfy the needs of users who would prefer to use their own images and artwork. It will also meet the needs of users who may want to send a card that is outside of Evite’s event types (e.g. birthday, bbq, game night) or one that is more generic.
Photo Uploading and Editing
- Finding: Five of the users experienced severe issues while uploading or editing their own image, one user found the issue to be moderate, and one had no issues. Four of the users failed to locate the option to upload their own image, because they could not find a premade template that allowed them to upload an image, or because they missed where they were able to do so on the template.
- Recommendation: add a more robust photo editor. Photo editing proved to frustrate users because it forced cropping that the user didn’t like, or forced an unpleasant aspect ratio. It’s recommended to remove such restrictive defaults and give users the tools to edit and manipulate images in a way that’s most appealing to them.
Unclear Organization of Party Themes
- Finding: Three users encountered moderate issues when trying to categorize their event.
- Recommendation: add additional tags/keywords to existing themes, evaluate search data, allow user to create from a blank template. Some existing themes could easily be used to fit a wider range of search results, and are tagged very specifically. Re-evaluating the tags and categories based on data drawn from common user searches could be beneficial.
No Transfer of Party Details to New Templates
- Finding: If a user decided to change their template choice while filling out their invitation into the text fields, there was not a prompt to allow them to save the details before moving on to a different template.
- Recommendation: provide functionality to save event details. After users unintentionally selected a Premium Design, they wanted to go back and select a free template. Unfortunately, after leaving the Premium Design flow, their event information (e.g. time, date, location) was not saved by default and they were forced to re-enter this information once they selected a free template.
- Adding Contacts - When we asked our users to add contact emails to the invitation, five users experienced positive results. Overall, most users experienced no issues adding contacts.
- Visual Affordance - The green button at the bottom of the register form was an effective affordance that tells the user what to do next.