User testing and UX Guidelines - Thesis and Report
The Digital Designer examination thesis is six weeks and is the last projekt before a six month long internship period.
Since we (in school) have worked mostly with redesigning existing products such as websites, creating brand identities and other very visual projects, I wanted to focus more on the factors behind the actual design.
I have a big interest in UX and usability, so during my thesis i wanted to deepen my understanding in the topic.
When: October/november 2018
Where: School (Yrgo)
Software: User testing methods, Sketch
Duration: 6 weeks
I chose to work with an existing product, and testing this product using several different, and new for me, user testing methods. An app I had heard about witch i thought had an interesting concept is the diet and health app Daily Dozen.
Daily Dozen is created by Dr Greger, author of the book How Not to Die (Pan Books 2017) and functions as a complement to the book. It offers a checkbox list with every food one should eat each day, according to Greger’s research. It also provides information about many different foods, brought to the app from Greger’s site nutritionfacts.org
I used this app as my target during the project, and tested it with the goal to set up a couple of UX guidelines that could be used when creating a similar product.
The main focus in my project was to deepen my understanding in different methods of user testing, however I also did a redesign of the app, mostly to be able to do A/B-testing later on.
I started the project by researching which different methods i wanted to use and that i thought was adequate for the project and I came to use the following:
A/B Testing + Think Aloud
Interview, semi structured
Since I wanted to collect a big amount of data to use, I started the project with a Think Aloud test; I asked four test users to complete a series of tasks in the app, while they got to “think aloud”, explaining the choices they made and what feelings they had while using the appt. I took notes and did audio recordings which resulted in a lot of valuable data.
Next up, Heuristic Evaluation, a test where i checked the app using a premade form (Nielsen). This helped me gain a lot of interesting findings, and led me to explore many different parts of the app in detail. I discovered lots of new findings that didn't come up during the think aloud test with the users.
Later on, I realized i should have had taken note of more positive findings than i first did. This would have led me to a more balanced result.
I gathered all my findings on small paper notes, and wanted to start braking up all findings into different problems that was easier to work with. Therefore I used the Affinity Diagram method, where I clustered the notes on the wall based on who experienced a problem and what kind of problem they were associated to.
I took all notes down and repeated the process several times. This process got me to think about the findings in new and different ways which was very stimulating and forced me to be creative. In the end I had a much smaller amount of key problems than the bigger amount of problems I started out with.
Based on the previous tests, I could begin to work more physically with a new design. I started this part of the project with doing quick sketches on paper, then doing more precise and detailed paper wireframes, a process that took me three days. I wanted to try different solutions on paper before I took any decisions on the final product.
Then i designed the new version of the app using Sketch. I made a detailed fully clickable prototype for my users to try out.
When I had a second version of the app, I was ready for a A/B -Test; Three test users tested version A (old) and three users testet version B (new). I asked my users to complete a couple of new tasks while they thought out loud.
Based on the tests I was able to finish my project by constructing the guidelines. See the result in my thesis.
My teacher liked my work (“excellent!”) and thought my thesis and presentation was logically structured and interesting, and liked that I reflected on my process in a constructive way, discussing for example if perhaps I should have done some parts of the testing process in another order and so on.
I learned a lot about different user testing methods, both while practising them and during my research phase. I learned about the importance of testing once product on many users. It will lead creators to discover unexpected things, gain more knowledge about users and have a mature relation to their product.
William - November 2018