A thought about the methods I used for the results of my GNOME usability test
In order to analyze the results of the usability test I conducted for GNOME between weeks 7 and 8, I used two different methods:
- The “prose” method – which consists in describing where the testers struggled and which tasks were easy for them to accomplish (see Part1 of the results)
- The “heat map” method – which consists in creating a grid with colored squares, in order to indicate wherever tasks were difficult or easy to accomplish (see Part2 of the results)
As I went back through the notes I took during this usability test, I realized that it was not easy to summarize all the information, as all the participants had interesting things to say. But honestly, I did not find the “prose” and the “heat map” methods difficult to realize. I believe the “secret” of a good analysis consists into taking your time for having well organized data.
It is a good practice to learn about these two methods of analysis before performing an usability test, as they will help to know in advance what to expect from the test. So, this was another factor that helped me a lot during the test, as I noted a lot of details I needed for my analysis.
A brief on my Outreachy internship
Here I am at the end of my Outreachy project. In the last three months, I had learned a lot about usability and about all the work and knowledge that is behind an usability test. Even if I am a CS student, I have no regrets into making my open source contribution on a non-coding project. I can say this project “opened my eyes” regarding a lot of aspects, so I really encourage other computer science colleagues (especially the open source fellows) to learn about usability.
Also, I am glad that I realized my Outreachy project on GNOME, and now I dare to consider myself a little fellow of the GNOME community. I had discovered a lot of interesting features and I had a really good time during the tests, along with the participants.
I want to thank a lot my mentor, Jim Hall, for all the guidance, advice, the encouragements and the help he was giving me every week of my internship. I am happy that we had a good communication during the internship, which motivated me a lot me in my usability testing project!
I would also like to thank GNOME and the FOSS community for allowing me to participate into this awesome internship!
What comes next
In the near future I would be interested in repeating this kind of experience, this is why I would like to keep in touch with Jim and the GNOME design team for a new usability testing project, if the occasion arises. 🙂