EDC - evaluating user testing data (Carmichael)

Evaluating User Test Data               

Carmichael/Henschen/Crist  (FQ 2006)

printable version (doc)

Once your team has organized the raw data from the user testing into readable tables, charts and accounts of user experience and response, you should begin to see how the results of your testing can help you 1) retain, reject, or modify certain elements of your proposed design; or 2) translate the design requirements into more concrete specifications.  

User testing should prompt questions such as the following:

•    Where did the user(s)’ responses to your design most diverge from the team’s expectations?  Was your sense of user priorities with respect to the design problem correct, or did you find significant differences?  For example, your team may have felt that it was all-important that users be able to don or deploy the device in ten minutes or less.  The users, however, may place a higher value on the device not slipping out of place during use and thus may be willing to spend longer donning a more complicated device that satisfies such requirements.

•    At what points in user testing did your users ask questions or need more information from the team to assist them in using the device effectively?  Could your design be changed to make its use more intuitive, or might your team need to formulate written instructions to accompany the design?

•    Did the users put the design under unexpected stresses or to unexpected uses that may influence your team’s decisions about materials or methods for the prototype’s construction?  Remember the blood separator example from Professor Lake’s lecture.

•    Did the users’ responses indicate enthusiasm for the design?  Or did the users not perceive the anticipated value of certain elements of the design or appear to deem them “too much trouble”?

•    What questions were NOT answered by user testing?  You may find that the results of your team’s user testing, for one reason or another, are not as comprehensive as you like.  Your team will have to determine how it can best make up for those informational shortfalls in order to determine the final design direction.