Last Thursday, during MoneyLab (at Pakhuis De Zwijger cultural center) we have been presenting Gray Zones to the public.
As said in former posts, this consisted in a good opportunity for us to test our reader on people. And we had pretty much fun doing it.
We’ve been part of the Exhibition organized during the event. We set up our stand in the main hall, to be sure to get attention of people and to reach a large pannel of testers. The hall was also just next to the place where people had lunch, so they could test the platform and eat their sandwich at the same time; this was an important argument to take in consideration.
We shared this exhibition place with 3 very nice and interesting other artists: Scott Kildall, Rob Myers and Aline Baggio.
We also had a great and epic moment on stage explaining our project and the work we made for Gray Zones to the audience, on the first morning of the event.
We presented the platform on different devices: 2 laptops (13″ + 15″), 2 tablets, 2 smartphones.
The idea was to make people test different screen sizes and to make them feel confortable by choosing the device they prefered to use and they were more familiar with.
To gather feedback, we printed a questionnaire that people could directly fill in during the event. The form consisted in 5 very simple questions, that were made in order to begin a conversation with the public more easily and to point out important aspects of the website we wanted to test, more than to get very specific informations.
However, an empty area at the bottom of the page was made for people to add particular comments. People had to answer questions by choosing a note from 1/5 to 5/5, expressed by smileys (more or less happy smileys).
To add some more interaction to our presentation, we also organized a kind of lottery, to make 5 lucky people who filled in a form win a printed copy of Gray Zones, by drawing lots.
Lots of people tested the platform and we were quite surprised and amazed by the nice comments they gave to us and by the quality of some exchanges we had with them.
However, only 24 people in total did fill in a form. But we still consider that this is a good amount of people, having in mind the fact that we had to remove all of the materials during the talks for security reason and that the testing time was thus strongly reduced.
We were also nicely surprised to discover that the persons who tested the platform were not necessarily designers, programmers and geeks, but from a wider range of professions.
To sum up people’s feedback, people were satisfied with:
- Quality of reading (font-face, font-size).
We also note that the tool we programmed to increase or decrease font-size also helps to make it suit people needs.
- Clarity of information related to the book itself (title, editor, keywords…).
If people were very satisfied (5/5) with the clarity of the presented informations on laptops and tablets, they were mainly just “satisfied” (4/5) on smartphones. This is a point we should work on.
- Usefullness of implemented functions.
But, it appears that on tablets, those functions were “less usefull” (3/5) for the majority of testers.
A lot of problems and misunderstandings that we have been told about can also be explained in general by the current state of the responsive version of the website: people often couldn’t find the menu and couldn’t use some functions on tablets and smartphones mainly, whereas such problems were less pointed out by our testers on laptops.
Also, some functions as the “show keywords” function were quite complicated for people to understand:
“The ‘show all keywords’ in the menu show pop up all keywords in a list: that way what I suspected would happen but didn’t”
This “show keywords” function, but also the “quotation” function, represent challenges for us, because those appear as functions that are not common, and that even we, as designers and creators, don’t really know how to classify and make understandable. We should keep on working on those functions, in order to make them the clearest as possible by improving their design and their didactics and by strongly taking in account users minds and intuitions.
The tool pannel, the responsibility of the platform and the “show keywords” function seem to be the main elements that we should focus on and improve during the next weeks to come.
You can consult the results of MoneyLab questionnaire here.
Finally, we would like to warmly thank all of the nice testers for their contribution to the project, they helped us a lot.
Until next time!