After interviewing users, gathering requirements, creating a design concept, and creating and iterating interactive prototypes, it is time for the final stage of the human-centered design process: conducting an evaluation of the usability of your design. At this stage, we examine the interaction between the user and the interactive prototype to find out what improvements are needed in order for the design to achieve its goals. We do so by observing users as they interact with the prototype to complete tasks. While we often use a high-fidelity prototype at this stage, we must resist the tendency to consider the design as close to "done," as this stage of the process is still iterative. In order to get useful feedback and make the product better, we must carefully plan and conduct a usability test session, listen to the users, and make changes in response to design flaws that we find.
In this course, you will create a usability test plan, including defining its goals and any metrics you will want to use for your usability tests. Based on that, you will create a usability test protocol by choosing tasks and composing task instructions for your users to follow. You will then recruit a participant to run a usability test session with your high-fidelity prototype and form a plan for what changes you will make to improve your design.
KEY COURSE TAKEAWAYS
Plan a usability testing session
Develop the usability testing script
Run a usability test session and report on the results
Senior Lecturer and Director of MPS, Cornell Computing and Information Science
Gilly Leshed is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University. Her research and teaching interests are in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). She also serves as the Director of the MPS program in Information Science.
Dr. Leshed received her Ph.D. at Cornell in Information Science in 2009. Her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Industrial Engineering and Information Management Engineering, respectively. She also worked several years in the industry as an HCI expert for commercial flight-deck avionics systems as well as command and control systems for military purposes.