User Test Memo
- On : Dec 12, 2016
My topic is a specific command that you enter in a programming language called Matlab. The command is a comment of the code that doesn’t specifically do anything, and is just there for the person reading the code. When you are programming something with multiple people, it makes it a lot easier to see what is going on when there is a comment in the program. User testing was done on a novice, intermediate, and advanced technical knowledge-having individuals. Individuals reported having an easy time performing the task and completing the commands given in the instructions.
A set of instructions were designed to teach anyone with interest in using Matlab and learning about new software developing programming languages. The testing process was used to determine if the users successfully developed a program that included comments in it, and if the comments were successfully implemented.
The instructions were tested by a beginner, intermediate, and advanced user. The users were given a list of instructions and asked to complete them sequentially. Each individual user tested these instructions in their own private space with no time constraint.
After completion of the instruction set, users were asked to complete a short survey using likert scale questions that asked them about their experience and the usability of the instruction set as it pertained to the program
The results showed that the users were all able to successfully complete the instructions and get the program to work on their own (refer to appendix A). The following is a description of the three testing users:
Tester A: A mother of two children, 45 years old. She has very little technology experience. Uses the Internet occasionally, and is proficient in using her smartphone. Tester A does not know any programming languages. Tester A is the novice of the group
Tester B: A man, 19 years old. College student that uses the internet quite frequently. No background of Matlab or any programming languages to report. Tester B is the intermediate of the group
Tester C: A man 21 years old who is majoring in computer science at the University of Michigan. Tester A is the advanced of the group
I was focused mainly on helping my users achieve the desired result of the test in the shortest amount of time possible. I made sure that they had everything they needed, as far as a computer to do the program on, and a room to complete it in. I made sure to have participants that had some technical experience, but were not so competent that they skewed the results.
The testers said that they instructions were concise and clear. One thing they mentioned that they struggled with specifically was installing the software and running it. In my final draft I will have to come up with an online Matlab compiler that allows you to easily access the software without installing it the hard way. The will make it easier on the user to just start the coding process.
The user seemed to spend the most time on this part of the process, so it would really expedite the instruction completion if I were to make this a lot easier.
Another significant finding I had was that they were unsure what exactly the comment was for. They didn’t know if it had some kind of function or what to write in it. So in my final draft I will have to include a section on the function of a comment and what it does.
The test opened my eyes to the functionality of my instructions and where I can improve them. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all my testers successfully used the instructions to complete the assignment, but it could be improved. Specifically, the functionality of a comment, and the process of starting Matlab itself are my pain points. These conclusions will benefit anyone that is interested in pursuing Matlab coding in the near future.