Moving on with my project I am continuing to advance with new functionality. This week, however, I have done a very important task in the development process. This task was user testing. So in today’s blog post, I will give you some details on how it all went and what I have learned.
Why build a product if no one is going to use it? This is where user testing comes in. It is a very important part of product development because you get the insights about the project from the users perspective. This helps developers to improve and tailor the functionality of the product to meet their target audience needs.
That being said, I have had end users involved in the development of the product since the beginning. I have done the research, and presented users with an early prototype as I have talked about in my previous blog post: Found a new pathway!. However, I have only shown them the early prototype, and now this was a second time I got to test my app with users. It has been almost 3 months of developing and this is how it all went.
The user testing session was organised by games computing students at my university, but I have managed to sneak in and find myself space to demonstrate my not-so-game app. The test location was a room full of people, and users varied from students, lecturers and artists. It wasn’t a natural place where my app would be used, but even this test session has helped me to gain a lot of insights.
Firstly, I would introduce the idea behind the application, then ask them to play around with the app for a few minutes. While they were using the app I was watching their reactions, face mimics and gestures. This has helped me to understand a little bit more of how the users felt using the app. After they were done, I would ask them to fill in a short survey asking about their experiences using the app.
I have managed to run the tests with around 10-15 different people. 9 of those people have filled in the survey and left me some feedback on how I could improve the app. You can find the results to the survey here: VinylAR survey. Others gave me direct feedback by speaking to me. This was very helpful and I have taken a lot of notes on how I could improve my project.
Picture of two users trying out the app.
Every single person who used the app said that the idea is great and they really liked the ability to preview the music inside the vinyl. While some people said the GUI was good enough (they seemed that they didn’t want to say any bad things to me), others have given me critical feedback. The observation of the users has also helped me to see how people interact with the app and so now I can work on that to make the interaction more fluent.
As I’ve mentioned earlier I have taken a lot of notes on what should be improved in the app and so I will continue to work on implementing the changes. Once that’s done I will do some more user testing to see whether they like the changes or not.
Next steps for my project is to implement the changes from feedback received, add some extra functionality, and better graphics and fix some bugs so that the app could run consistently for a prolonged time as it currently crashes from time to time.