Usability on Friday the 13th: Sprint 4

It was Friday the 13th 2016 and we were at Hva’s Usability Lab to test our platform Even Up at the end of the fourth sprint. Usability is an important process when making a platform. In short, testing helps the creators to develop better experience for the users.

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In the beginning of the fourth sprint, we sat down to decide what are the main aspects of our site which we wanted to test. The first thing was the visual identity of the brand. We wanted to know if the name and the vocabulary, which we used, are conveying the theme of balance and the topic of healthy and balanced lifestyle to the users. The second aspect, we wanted to investigate, was the navigation and the visual side of the design of the website. For example, to convey simplicity and harmony, we used icons for every activity on the article page – favorite, save for later, print and share on social media. The third aspect was the paid content. We wanted to know if the planned premium features of the website are incentive for users to upgrade their profiles.

So, on Friday 13rd we conducted our testing. Maybe because of the date, we had our setback and we couldn’t use the eye-tracking technology. However, we adopted another strategy – listening to the testers, which in the end was very helpful and successful. We invited 4 people to test our prototype. Three of them were female, interested in the topics Even Up will explore. Two of them were millennials and the other two testers were adults, part of the original audience of “Happinez”, “Yoga” and “Psychologie”. We wanted to compare how different generations reacted to the website.

The protocol for the testing was simple – think out loud. In the beginning, before the testers started browsing through the site, we asked them what is the main topic of the website and what do they expect from the menus, based on the homepage. Then the tasks were short and clear. The tester should go on an article page and then print it, bookmark it and write a comment on it. Then the tester should explore the account page. Finally, we wanted to investigate the reaction of the tester when looking at the About page with interesting icons and an animation. In the end, we asked the testers to tell us their opinion about the platform, would they be interested and would they pay.

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Based on the talks with the testers, we explored several aspects of user experience. We discovered that the homepage is not specific enough for the topics. Furthermore, one of the millennial testers said that the website seemed targeted at adult readers rather than users in their 20s. Our solution is to make the homepage more exciting and work on a slogan to better speak to the readership. The second finding is connected to the monetization model of Even Up. We found out that the testers are interested in a feature which sends notifications about new articles and works like a feed. So we plan to sketch this feature.  ALthough there are several challenges, we got positive feedback as well. One of the advantages of our platform are the menus, the vocabulary and the visual navigation. Testers knew what they will find in the “Mind”, “Body” and “Earth”. They also liked the visual site of the design layout of the site. The testers were interested in the Uneven menu, too.

The usability sprint finished and we are looking forward to finalizing our prototype of Even Up, using the helpful and extensive feedback we gathered from the testing day Friday the 13th.