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V.03 Wireframes, start early and test

Saturday, December 1st, 2012 | Posted by Dave Gottlieb

Click here to view my wires.

Starting the process early helped me test my v.03 wires with 6 strangers at my favorite local coffee shop, Cenote.   I took the feedback from last week which was to focus on visual alignment, and attention to each element on the screen, and fixed those earlier.  I then took the next part of the feedback, which is how I present this to the world, and here I am writing what is hopefully a more insightful blog post.

I have three goals for you to take away from this post, first user testing works!  If you ask people for help especially as a graduate student, they will help you and give you feedback you wouldn’t otherwise see.    Second, creating multiple versions of your wires is extremely helpful.  Each iteration unfolds new ways to make your system work better, fact.  Finally, it helps to be able to use the tool.  I switched from Keynote to Indesign and it was a slow start, however each time I work on the wires the tool is getting faster.

The two year MBA Health executive program course scheduler that I am designing allows the user to take both online and in person classes.   The flexibility is well received by those who are working and need to have a flexible schedule and in person classes on weekends.   I used Think Aloud testing, with a little bit of flexibility considering I was using paper wireframes.  In this method you ask test participants to use the system while talking through what they see— verbalizing their thoughts as they move through the user interface.  Shut up and let the user do the talking.

Some of the feedback from the user testing using think aloud were as follows. Dee Anne- Student in Massage School said “ I don’t like pop ups, they scare me,  I like to open multiple browsers”.  This I found interesting considering I actually don’t mind popups.  Another piece of feedback which I ended up including was from Amy, she mentioned  “ I want to be able to export my schedule to my google calendar”.   One of the participants was a designer and was very visual and mentioned,  “Keep the add class button in the same place,  if it is on this side of the page here, keep it on this side of the page when I click through.”  It was a good reminder that flow throughout the process is key.

To recap this week’s wireframe process, I started earlier, which enabled more time to test with six users.  At the same time the tool is getting a bit easier.   Let’s see what happens for next weeks version.

 

 

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