On May 6th 2015, we organized the 5th LadenZeile Usability Night
one of a series of free usability testing events. People are invited to exchange ideas and experiences about online products in a casual atmosphere. It is about witnessing how user friendly your product is, receiving “live” feedback from unbiased people and get an opinion on improvements.
We have two groups of participants: voluntary testers who want to get a sneak peek at tech products and companies/startups that have web sites, apps, prototypes they want to receive feedback upon.
For testing we use the technique of “thinking aloud”, which means companies provide a little test case for the testers, they simply sit next to a tester and take notes as he or she comments on the product. After 15 minutes the testers are shuffled again and the same case can be tested with another person.
What are the pros for Visual Meta?
The great benefit for us is that we get direct feedback on our products from users who never saw our website or app before. We learn where our product is not user-friendly enough and what has to be improved. The benefit for the participants is that we provide the infrastructure, food and drinks. Moreover the event is a good possibility to meet other Berlin tech companies and do some networking. The method we use is lean, cheap, flexible, convincing and easy to learn. You just need a device, internet connection and a pen and paper.
What’s the quality of the feedback?
The feedback is unbiased and honest. Testers usually see the products and features for the first time. They are thrown into it totally unprepared. They directly utter their feelings. The companies witness all the misconceptions on functionality and misinterpretation of design elements. Moreover, they get to learn why testers guess wrong about some parts of the user interface and why they find others easy to use. This way of usability testing only highlights a tiny group of people, but it is sufficient to draw conclusions about a broader mass of users.
Who did participate this time?
Our guests were Wimdu, myToys, Flipstack, Medigo, Citeecar, SHOPAMAN, eDarling and Preis.de. The feedback we get for hosting the Usability Night is always very positive. Especially smaller companies are thankful because they usually don’t have the budget or the resources to do usability testing on their own.
What did we test?
This time we compared how the user behavior of searching a product and putting it to the favorites list differs between desktop and mobile devices. Moreover we tested a new feature of grouping all selected filters in a new “My Filters” option on top of all the other filters in the side bar. Nearly every testers understood the new version better than the old version, which convinced us to go with the new version, which you can see live already
How can you participate?
You are welcome to register for future events on Meetup.com
. We hope to see soon at our offices for some pizza and a little testing.