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Usability test reports Test your usability skills

Test Your Skills

Are you a usability expert?

It takes a lot of time to answer this question convincingly, and whose answer should you trust?

Taken from DialogDesign’s extensive teaching experience, this page offers several free usability self-assessments.

Each problem should take you less than 10 minutes to complete. You can test your skills by comparing your answers to our suggested solutions, which appear when you click the link below the problem. The solutions are based on feedback from many usability professionals, but we realize that our answers might not be perfect. We welcome your feedback by email to selfassessment@dialogdesign.dk.

For more extensive self-assessments, attend one of our courses.

Usability Test Task

In CUE-6, participating professional teams tested Enterprise’s car rental website (www.Enterprise.com). The teams suggested the following two test tasks:

(1)  You’re a Spanish speaker interested in renting a car in Los Angeles (after flying into LAX). You speak limited English. Find a tool to assist you in your search. Note: use the word “test” as your last name when making the reservation.

(2)  You’re going to the corporate office in Fairfax, VA, in October. You fly into Dulles Airport at 6:00 am on Oct. 2 and back out again at 6:00 pm on Oct. 5. You need to rent a car for this trip. Note: book a reservation for a full-size vehicle.

Please point out the problems in these tasks.

Solution

Usability Recommendation

CUE-6 teams suggested the usability recommendations:

(1) Give better weight to the rental location search list.
A major city entered in search box
came up as #9, below suburban locations.

(2) The labels in the reservation block are not grammatically parallel.

Rent a car in:
Location…
Date & Times

Please point out the problems in these recommendations.

Solution

Questionnaire

These two questions come from a professional questionnaire for Europeans about their expectations of ATMs:

(1) “How likely are you to obtain a mini-statement when you visit the ATM or SST?”

Very likely, Likely, Neutral, Unlikely, Very Unlikely, Never

(2) “Do you own or use a mobile cellphone?”

Yes, No, Don’t know

Please point out the problems in these questions.

Solution

Re (1) Users might not know what a “mini-statement” is.

Re (1) Users might not know what an “SST” is (self-service terminal).

Re (1) The option “Don’t know” is missing.

Re (2) Two questions are combined into one (“Do you own...” and “Do you use...”).

Re (2) Unclear what “Don’t know” means here.

Expert Review

The Events page offers an expert review exercise (in the right column).





Certification of Usability Professionals

DialogDesign strongly believes that certification of usability professionals is needed. Simply too many voodoo priests go around pretending to be usability experts. It’s often hard for customers to tell the difference between experts and “experts” before it’s too late, which hurts the reputation of legitimate companies.

Unfortunately, no one has yet to suggest an objective certification procedure, and recent attempts to set one up have failed (search for “certification” on the Usability Professionals Association website, www.upassoc.org, for an example).

If you come across someone who offers certification, always ask, “Is it reproducible - that is, it isn’t based on someone’s opinions, right?” and “Is this certification recognized by anyone else?”




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