3.0 Usability Testing
The Cat Connect project team conducted two usability test sessions with a total of ten cat owners on the UW campus on Feb 28th and 29th, 2020. The purpose of the test was to assess the usability of the app’s interface design, information flow, and information architecture.
3.1 Target User Testing Session
Five participants are involved in a usability test to ensure more stable results. Each individual session lasted approximately 30 minutes. During the session, each task scenario is explained by the test administrator. Test participants attempted completion of six prompted tasks, alongside solving a self directed task.
The Six Prompted Tasks Include :
- Discover and connect with a few cat profiles that interest you.
- Find a cat you would like to cat sit from your connections. (Alternatively, find a cat sitter you would like to cat sit for you from your connections).
- Find more detailed information about any Cat Connect profile.
- Check your notifications.
- Share your cat’s profile with your owner to grant them temporary administrative rights.
- Post a funny cat video.
3.2 Designer Testing and Critique
Unlike the previous group many of these users will not be cat owners or cat-sitters. However, they are interaction or UX designers offering critique from a more professional standpoint. Combining their feedback with the previous test sessions will conclude a clear direction for improvements in the final deliverable.
3.3 Testing Synthesized Results
Raw data is documented throughout the testing process using a rainbow table method to identify key metrics such as task success rate, time on task and errors. In general, all participants found the explore and connect functions to be clear and straightforward. However, the sharing profile function was confusing and how each account is managed was unclear and needed improvement.
The test identified a few areas for redesign, including:
- Unnecessary filtering options confuses the explore page user experience.
- How would an owner with multiple cats manage each cat's account? Do all cats use the same account?
- How does someone without a cat use an account?
- Does a user connect to a cat’s account or another user's account? What is the information hierarchy here?
- In-app chat function should be more simplified.
- Users don't need an in-depth listing service to find a cat sitter.
3.4 Testing Conclusion
Having a clearer organization between user profiles and cat profiles is crucial for users. The lack of hierarchy and concise interaction leads to confusion. Unnecessary functions will be removed and interactions will be simplified. Next steps will include redesigning and implementing the specific feedback on the profile, connection and notification pages while continuing to work with users to ensure a continued user-centered product.