www.aspca.org – "actual" user test using an "actual" user (or users) of your site

This is an individual assignment, but remember: each student is required to analyze the same website as their other group members.

Use www.aspca.org

This is an “actual” user test using an “actual” user (or users) of your site. You may not be able to find a test user that matches the user profile you identified in the previous group assignment, but you can (and should) describe the scenarios of use to your user so that they understand their “motivations.”

Choose one of the formal methods of user testing described in class (e.g. Think Aloud), and perform a representative user test of your website where your user(s) try to accomplish the tasks developed in the previous group assignment. Make certain your tasks are clearly identified ahead of time, and that you are very familiar with the site being evaluated. It is perfectly appropriate for individual students to refine the representative tasks and scenarios of use at this stage, if desired, but you should try not to deviate too far from the group’s expected scenarios and tasks.

Write a blog post covering the following points, in this order, using subheadings to separate each point:

Identify the website you selected (including a screenshot), and briefly describe the site being evaluated.
Describe, but do not identify, the characteristics of your user(s).
Describe the user testing method you used during the test, and briefly explain why you chose that method for your test.
Describe the tasks you assigned to your user(s), and briefly explain any changes you made to refine the scenarios or tasks from the previous group assignment.
Present a detailed analysis of what happened during the completion of each task, explaining the problems your user(s) encountered and any insights you might have as to why your user(s) encountered these problems.
Discuss some possible design recommendations for improving the usability of this interface, explaining how each recommended change would address issues observed during your user test. For full credit, your write-up must provide a thoughtful analysis that draws solid conclusions based on your findings.
Submit your post to the class blog in the appropriate “Group” category for your group AND the “Representative User Test” category. Length: minimum 1000 words.

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