Friday, August 26, 2016

GNOME usability test analysis

Renata has posted an analysis of her GNOME usability test. You may recall this was a traditional usability test of other areas of GNOME development. We also wanted to measure how GNOME has improved since our last usability test (which was examined in a previous cycle of Outreachy).

Read Renata's blog posts for details, but I'll share very brief overview here. I find it's best to do the analysis in two parts: a heat map, and a discussion of themes.

Heat map

click to view larger version

What were the challenges?

The heat map shows several "hot" rows: creating an album in Photos, adding a new calendar in Calendar, and adding an online account in Calendar. You can also see other "warm" rows as well, but I'll leave those for you to read in Renata's blog.

Create an album (Photos)
Renata observed: "This task was definitely the most challenging to accomplish. All participants went through similar steps to complete this one. First they clicked “Albums” on the view switcher and then tried clicking “Name your first album”, thinking that this option would create a new album. That didn’t work, so they tried right clicking on the screen which also didn’t work. After that, they looked for a “Create an Album” option in the “Application menu” and could not find it. Some participants even searched for “Create an Album” in the search bar. Finally, they tried right clicking on “Photos” and found the “Add to Album” option on the bottom of the screen."

Add a new calendar (Calendar)
From Renata's blog: "In general, all participants were confused by the term “Add a new Calendar” or “Create a new Calendar”. They would expect for an option like “Add a new Calendar” to be located somewhere in the application menu or in a “more obvious” location and not under the “Calendar Settings”. Some even created a new event instead of adding new calendar. Almost all testers were not sure which option to choose for adding the calendar. Testers expected feedback after they named the calendar. They complained about not having an “Apply” button since they were not quite sure if they added the new album."

Add an online account (Calendar)
Renata says this: "The first thing some testers did to is choosing the “synchronize” option on header bar menu. The “+” and “-” signs [in the Online Accounts menu] were not that obvious to indicate their meanings. They would rather prefer something like “Add an Account” and “Remove an Account” buttons."

Renata goes into more depth in her analysis, and covers themes and offers a few suggestions. Read Renata's analysis for more»
image: Outreachy

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