User Testing the Southington App

What is user testing?

There are many steps when creating a website or even an app. It always includes planning, sketching, wireframes, or low-fidelity prototypes, and now it is all about the user testing. User testing helps to determine how the app, in this case, is functioning so far and what potential users think about the app as a whole including what should be improved, revised, or removed altogether. 

These user testings can be done digitally on the computer or even in person. During these experiments, not only is it important to listen to the user’s feedback, but to also watch their reactions while they are completing the given tasks and how they navigate through the app. The real-time reactions can help to determine whether something on the app is making the user upset, annoyed, confused, or even happy. Even if the user does not mention how they are feeling throughout each tiny moment, you are able to tell if the app is straightforward or confusing to understand. Giving the user a chance at the end to express their feelings about the app that has not been said yet will help further the design and creation of the app. All in all, user testing can really help figure out what works and what does not before finalizing anything on the app. 

Creating the prototype

I have already created low-fidelity wireframes of what different screens would potentially look like. From there I used the website, Marvel, to create a clickable prototype to use for the user testing. Within the site, it was difficult to get my screens to fit into the phone, but I got it to a workable state. I was able to have different parts of the app be clickable like it is an actual working app. 

After the app was all set and ready to be tested out, the next step was to find the users, and create a script for them to follow that includes three different tasks for them to follow. 

User Testing Results

In order to respect users privacy, only the screen was recorded and I took notes on everything else

A little About the Users:

User 1: 17, a student, uses apps on a regular basis (as a teen normally does), so she knows what to expect and what would want in an app. 

User 2: 57, used to own his own business, does not use apps very often but will use them if he has to, has an idea of what he would want to see on a town app

User 3: 54, uses a lot of different apps, knows what to expect, and knows what she would want to see and be able to use on an app

Below is the PDF to the entire user testing experience

Screen Recording of Each User Completing the Tasks

User 1 Testing
User 2 Testing
User 3 Testing

Task 1: Find an event to go to at the library and fill out a form if you need to for the event.

User 1 Results:

  • Confused for a couple of seconds as to where to go first, then quickly figured it out
  • The two buttons under the events section on the library page and it was confusing
  • Easily completed the task once it got going

User 2 Results:

  • Slower to figure it out, took some time, and went through each one of the pages from the bottom navigation
  • Asked to repeat the task
  • Once he figures it out he quickly went through the task
  • Thought it was in a different place – didn’t know at first where to find the library page that was under the residents page

User 3 Results:

  • Didn’t know where to go at first
  • Tried going into other areas of the app to find it
  • Went into the hamburger menu after looking at the bottom navigation and not knowing where to go
  • Once she got used to the app then she completed the task quickly and easily

Task 2: Find and fill out a new business permit 

User 1 Results:

  • Used the hamburger menu instead of the bottom navigation as she did with the other task – about to use the bottom navigation then quickly went to the hamburger menu
  • Did not know which button to press at first (I had to be more specific in the wording)
  • Once she got going, she quickly completed the task

User 2 Results:

  • Found it quickly and easily completed the task with ease

User 3 Results:

  • Used the hamburger menu again and not the bottom navigation
  • Quickly completed the task

Task 3: Find a volunteer opportunity to sign up for and fill out the form

User 1 Results:

  • Used the hamburger menu
  • Again did not know what button to click on right away (had to be more specific in the wording)
  • Quickly and easily completed the task once she understood how the screens worked

User 2 Results:

  • Didn’t know where to find it at first (thought it was under the government tab)
  • The wording was easy to understand and knew where to go at first try
  • Quickly and easily completed the task

User 3 Results:

  • Kept using the hamburger menu instead of the bottom navigation
  • Thought it was in a different location until she thought about it a little more
  • Quickly and easily completed the task after she got to the right spot

Questions I Asked Each User in the End

  • What do you think of the app overall?
  • Was there anything that confused you?
  • Was there anything that should be changed, revised, added, or removed altogether?
  • Any final thoughts or feedback?

Summary of Results

Overall, the users found it very easy to complete the tasks once they got used to the app and knew where everything was. In fact, each task got easier because of it. Also, they liked how there was two different types of navigation because it gave them easy ways to navigate around the app and it could be useful once the app is more developed. The app as a whole is good and easy to navigate around, and there isn’t too much or overcrowded and it’s all the right size for a mobile app.

While they all liked the navigation icons at the bottom of each screen they did say that it took them a little bit to figure out what they represented and could probably be revised to make it easier to identify at first glance. For example, the residents icon (one person – 2nd from the left) can use more people in it, like three total in order to really know it’s the residents page within one look. The government icon was confusing since it looked like it was for judges, so it should be changed to an icon like a building with columns. Otherwise, all the icons throughout the entire app including the bottom navigation made perfect sense.

Furthermore, the homepage should include events as well and user two and three stated that there should be alerts at the top but shouldn’t be like who was arrested yesterday or anything like that, but instead should be if roads are closed, event updates, or even meeting updates. In addition, while the users couldn’t really think of anything that could be added during the testings, they all said that there should be a button for extra help while filling out the permits that includes any contact information since permits can be difficult and confusing to fill out.

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