Friday, December 26, 2014

Usability project - week 3 (scenarios)

I encourage everyone to follow our progress in the GNOME Usability Project. I'm planning to post each "assignment" on my blog every week. I figure this will help others who might want to apply to the Outreach Program for Women in future years, so they can "follow along" with what we are doing. Or, if you have more experience in usability testing, feel free to leave a comment on our work.

In planning your usability test, after you understand and agree to the personas that represent your users, your next step is to document the scenarios under which these personas will use the program. This is key to performing a good usability test. The success of your usability test depends on how well you understand how the program will be used (and in turn, how well you understand this depends on the completeness of your personas).

This week, let's examine scenarios. Use these questions to guide you:
  • What is a scenario?
  • Can you identify scenarios for GNOME, for each of the personas you imagined last week? Do they overlap? In what ways are they similar or different?
  • What is the difference between a scenario and a scenario task?

These websites may provide more information as you consider this week's topic:

Scenarios inform the next part of our usability project: scenario tasks. Once you define the scenarios for your users, you can generate the scenario tasks. Consider these questions:
  • How do your scenarios break down into separate tasks?
  • What parts of GNOME will be exercised by your scenario tasks?

Of course, you may not be able to test all of your scenario tasks in a single usability test. Your testers may become weary of a usability test longer than about an hour. So as your final step for this week, consider what scenario tasks will help you most in your usability test. What features do you want to examine in GNOME? Reflect on how your scenario tasks expose features of GNOME, and compare that to the features you want to examine.
image: Outreach Program for Women

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