After designing the app, I still have a lot of questions with how my user will use this app and if it is actually useful for them. As a result, usability testing was naturally the next step for me to find out and investigate these problems and questions that I have.
I drafted a script for the test and talked to professor Lija who was my usability testing professor in SI. She helped me a lot in fine tuning the questions and pose a lot of interesting ideas that I need to think about. The major thing she changed was before I give the older adults specific tasks and find out how they interact with each function, I need to find out which function they naturally go to for communicating with their family. Instead of asking “Please message your daughter,” I would say “You are missing your family member, what would you do?” During the actual test I actually found really interesting that all of the elderly naturally go to call and most of them have no idea or understanding of instant messaging. They really like the voice recording function because they are most comfortable and confident using voice to communicate than anything else.
One major problem that they faced was going back to home page after going into other functions because they don’t remember what is home page, no concept of home page, or don’t know how to get back to home page. They are more used to having the contacts and within the contacts they can choose to call, message, or other communication. This absolutely makes sense but it wouldn’t work for future expansion of this app which will start adding other functions such as calling uber, grubhub.
- calling and video calling home button icon should be a phone instead of a video camera because it is unfamiliar to the older adults
- Within the calling function when it asks whether they want to video call or call, the two different buttons should be different colors.
One major observation is that the older adults do read everything that’s on each page so if they still can’t figure out the next steps then I need to change the design. Also they need people to walk them through the app several times with them.