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Whitney Henry - User Experience

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Henry 1
Whitney Henry
Intro to Web Publishing 20303-02
Prof. Jacquie Lamer
5 March 2019
Usability Test for EnterpriseCarsh...
Henry 2
squared away, I moved right into the test, following my roommate’s instructions.
Even though it was not technicall...
Henry 3
took me the longest – finally, I realized the videos contained the answers, so I watched
those and found out that ...
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Whitney Henry - User Experience

  1. 1. Henry 1 Whitney Henry Intro to Web Publishing 20303-02 Prof. Jacquie Lamer 5 March 2019 Usability Test for EnterpriseCarshare.com TEST PREPARATION  Conducting my own test: To effectively lead others through a usability test on EnterpriseCarshare.com, it was necessary that I conducted the same usability test on myself. This way, I would gain the knowledge and insight to know the source of problems that my testers might have, and be able to recognize and identify the cause of this issue (whether it be site-based or user-based). When conducting this test, I found that it was also easier to have someone else read the script for me, so that I could get the same experience as my testers. So, my roommate was the proctor for my test, and she sat down with me as I went through the tasks, asking me all of the questions and letting me go through it as my testers would. I opted to use my apartment living room as my location, seeing as this is where I regularly browse the internet – therefore, it’s the most ideal spot for me. I sat where I always sit, with no lights on so it was easier on my eyes, and I had my phone on Do Not Disturb next to me as I always do. On average, I’d say I spend around 45 hours or more a week browsing the internet, so I’m no stranger to websites/unfamiliar layouts. I used my university-issued laptop while conducting this test, so the device was both familiar and easy to navigate. The browser used was Chrome, and my WiFi connectivity only failed me once for a moment, which is typical for a night at my apartment. With my location
  2. 2. Henry 2 squared away, I moved right into the test, following my roommate’s instructions. Even though it was not technically my first impression, I still went over the homepage and recorded my observations as I did so, noting that there was nothing absolutely eye-grabbing about the front page. However, the navigation did have consistent, easy-to-recognize terms that were just as straightforward as the design of the front page. I appreciated this in terms of consistency/standards and matching between the system & the real world – Enterprise CarShare, although sometimes sounding lofty in the body text, did have a coherent, user-friendly navigation. Completing Task 1 was relatively simple at first. I clicked on the Universities & Businesses tab, where I searched for St. Louis University. Once I got to the page, the map was a scroll or two down from the top of the page. The biggest problem I had here was determining how many cars there were on campus. I only saw two dots that were hard to distinguish against the background, so I assumed there were only two cars on campus, when in fact there were two at one location and one at another. On Task 2, calculating the cost was also relatively easy – the application fee was waived, and the membership fee was discounted, so it was $31 in total after adding the hourly rate and membership fee together. I would say the only issue I had with this task was trying to find the weekend rates, which were actually nonexistent for St. Louis University, as we discussed in class the other day. Task 3 was by far the most challenging task of them all, and required more digging around than usual. In order to find whether my parents could pay, I had to open the application to join as a student, where I found that the credit card on the account has to be under the student’s name, not the parents. Finding the account/charging information
  3. 3. Henry 3 took me the longest – finally, I realized the videos contained the answers, so I watched those and found out that the account history is online and the card is charged once the rental is finished. With Task 4, I had already seen a liability section on my way to the videos, so I quickly scouted that back out and found that I’d be responsible for the first $500 of physical damage. Also, Enterprise CarShare would provide liability protection up to the required minimum for the state of Missouri if I were to not have my own insurance. Now, with all of that under my belt, I contacted my possible testers to start conducting tests myself. CHOOSING PARTICIPANTS  Overview: When choosing participants for these two tests, I wanted to get people who were on opposite ends of the spectrum – in doing so, I made it possible to get vastly different outlooks on the website through the varied experiences of the two people. The two testers I ended up choosing, although both male, were unlike in terms of internet usage, familiarity with the web, and usage of car-sharing sites. This provided unique perspectives, and also made it more interesting for me in terms of seeing how both testers navigated the site. Tester 1: Garrett  Why Garrett?: Garrett, the first tester, is an 18 year old man who had minimal to no experience with car-sharing companies before this test. He doesn’t travel often due to the fact that he’s a full-time student with several small jobs, so he doesn’t know the need for things like Uber, Lyft, and Zipcar, especially in a small town of 1,300. Thusly, this means that he is inexperienced with car-sharing sites and how they work. However, Garrett is a regular when it comes to using the internet (30+ hours a week), proficient in many
  4. 4. Henry 4 elements related to the web and usually quick to troubleshoot when he is having issues navigating a site. For these reasons, I was quick to choose Garrett as the first of two testers.  Environment for Tester 1: o Location of test: Garrett chose to conduct the test in the computer room at our friend’s house, as he feels that this is where he is most comfortable searching the web. o Physical environment: Garrett sat at his computer desk with his phone next to his hand, which he checked during a brief break in the middle of his test. There was minimal noise from someone playing Guitar Hero across the house, and the lights were dimmed so that he could see his screen clearly. o Technical environment: Garrett used a 4k desktop monitor next to a gaming PC monitor/server, and utilized Google Chrome as his browser of choice. He didn’t appear to have any specific plug-ins for the browser, but one thing to note for this specific technical environment is that connectivity issues happened often near the middle of the test, leading to a small break to resolve said issues. Tester 2: Doug  Why Doug?: Doug, the second tester, is man of about 50 years of age, and he is an entrepreneur who runs a series of small town businesses about 30 minutes north of Maryville. These small businesses are closed during the winter season, which provides him with ample time to travel. He is somewhat familiar with car-sharing sites, but not specifically Enterprise CarShare – one site he did list as his go-to was Turo. Nevertheless, Doug is far more inexperienced when it comes to using the internet, spending only
  5. 5. Henry 5 around 20 hours or less on the web/social media during a week. For these reasons, I found him to be a good antithesis to Garrett, so I chose him as my second tester under the guise that he would be returning to school and was considering St. Louis University.  Environment for Tester 1: o Location of test: Doug chose to conduct the test inside of his tiny home on one of his business properties – this is where he does most of his browsing, according to him, seeing as he mainly browses before bed and this tiny home is where he sleeps. o Physical environment: In this tiny home, Doug was seated on his couch/bed, with his phone plugged in across the room and providing no distractions, as it was on silent. The only noise happening was from a very quiet Saturday Night Live episode playing in the background, which occasionally distracted Doug, but not to the point where he forgot about a task. o Technical environment: Since Doug does not own any type of device similar to a computer besides an iPad, he opted to use my university-issued laptop to conduct the test. The connectivity, although a bit slower, was not as interrupted here as it was at the last location, and my laptop being on mute made sure that there were even less distractions. TEST RESULTS Initial Site Thoughts  Upon opening the home page from their Google search of the website, Garrett and Doug had differing reactions to the content immediately. While Doug praised the straightforward, easy-to-read design and solid information, Garrett immediately picked
  6. 6. Henry 6 out that the image and the buttons on the front page were low quality and not suited for his monitor. Despite that, they both agreed that this website was rather candid about what you could do here – “Reserve. Ride. Return.” Garrett also pointed out that the navigation bar showed where he was on the page as he scrolled, which he appreciated later when it came to be time for the tasks. After all was said and done, Garrett was neither impressed nor unimpressed with the site, while Doug was leaning more towards impressed – in fact, when he saw the prices on the front page, he actually mentioned something about looking to this site in the future instead of Turo. Task 1: Determine the size of Enterprise CarShare’s presence at Saint Louis University. Do they have service there? How many cars seem to be available?  Summary for Both Testers: Garrett Doug Average Average Satisfaction (rated out of 5) 4 3 3.5 Success Rate (%) 100 0 50  Highlights: Right away in this task, the search bar proved to be a big issue for both testers. Garrett could only locate Saint Louis when he input just the words “Saint Louis,” while Doug couldn’t even get the search bar to recognize that he was inputting anything (possibly due to slow connectivity). Instead, he had to use a manual search, while Garrett had to return to the home page and do the same in order to find the university. All in all, the search bar was a setback, proving to be useless to both users/ineffective in helping them get to where they needed to go. Another thing that Garrett mentioned was the website’s failure to accurately label the search bar. Although he liked that the ability to search every location was all in the
  7. 7. Henry 7 same spot, he mentioned to me that the title was misleading over the search bar – it read “Find your university or business.” This confused him for a moment, as it was showing all of the locations when he typed in “Saint Louis,” when he was just expecting to see the university. Doug didn’t mention this problem, but that was mainly because Doug couldn’t even get the search bar to function in its intended manner. The issue that presented itself the most was the car listings map, which was also probably the most frequently mentioned problems thereafter, as well as the problem that seemed to be composed of the most mini-problems out of them all. The load time was far slower than the rest of the page, and once it did load, Doug was quick to note that it was all similar in color – the green dots were difficult to spot, and he never even figured out that he could click on them. Garrett took several minutes to figure that function out, and he did mention that he didn’t like the map key that labeled whether the cars were in network/out of network. There were a few other issues with the map including zooming in, but that wasn’t a big enough problem to warrant discussion here.  Biggest Problem: Obviously, the biggest issue here was the map – it was clunky, hard to navigate, and even made Garrett get a bit worked up in the beginning – “Why can’t I see them? What am I doing wrong?” Once he did finally figure out the green dots were interactive, he still disliked the feature and made it known that he thought the key was also frustrating. The language in the key was “pretentious” to him – I think he meant that it was confusing for someone who was not familiar with car-sharing websites/utilizing
  8. 8. Henry 8 their features (see Figure 1 for example). Doug also didn’t like this wording – he mentioned that even he found it to be somewhat alienating in the sense that it was too confusingly-worded for someone like him.  Alignment to Heuristic: The heuristic that I thought ran parallel with the aforementioned problem was matching between the system and the real world. The map was rather system- oriented, using language such as “Out Of Network” that was deterring to both testers and made them confused. I could say I agree with them as well – the map is not user-friendly, and the language does not speak on a level that even a layman trying to use the service would understand. Language easily created a barrier that could prove to be a deal-breaker for several people like Doug and Garrett. Task 2: Determine the total cost of securing a vehicle for 3 hours on a weekend that you plan to drive the vehicle about 100 miles. (Include all application fees, membership fees, and usage fees.)  Summary for Both Testers: Garrett Doug Average Average Satisfaction (rated out of 5) 4 4 4 Success Rate (%) 100 100 100 Figure 1. The key for the Saint Louis University map and what it illustrates
  9. 9. Henry 9  Highlights: Task 2 proved to be a problem in itself due to a specific part of the question – the “weekend rates” part – and both Doug and Garrett could not locate where these rates were. It was only after we discussed it in class that I found there were no weekend rates for Saint Louis University, which relieved me because I couldn’t find them either and thought I was going crazy when not seeing them. Obviously, this is an issue – if a user is familiar with the website and sees that there are weekend rates on another location, they could rightfully assume that there were the same rates on this location, which could lead to misconceptions about prices. Speaking of prices, that was the only other issue I noticed. There weren’t many other problems with this task – after all, they had a 100% success rate and both rated it 4/5, so they really didn’t find any big beef with the task. But one thing that Garrett did say was that he felt there needed to be a calculator in lieu of the table reading the rates. In the table, there were a lot of numbers to have in one place, and quite a bit going on, which made it difficult for him to calculate the cost for the allotted time. It was not easy to read, it contained too much information, making it a bit of a heavy weight on the page that sticks out like a sore thumb and serves only to frustrate customers.  Biggest Problem: The biggest issue was definitely the table containing rates in it. Although Doug didn’t mention it, Garrett did, and I wholeheartedly agree that the table is unwieldy and distracting when trying to calculate costs. There’s too much information going on at once for a customer who just wants to know their costs – not to mention, the strikethroughs and price updates also add more weight to the area and make it even more confusing for the average reader. Garrett mentioned that as someone with dyslexia, it was
  10. 10. Henry 10 overwhelming for him, and he actually gave me the wrong answer at first before he corrected himself a moment later after seeing another fee that he’d missed.  Alignment to Heuristic: I found that the need for a rate calculator/something similar related the most to the heuristic of aesthetic and minimal design. There is a bit of information displayed in that table with rates (see Figure 2), and not all of it is pertinent to the user. This creates a distraction when someone might be trying to calculate their costs, and could be frustrating if the wrong thing is read. Only the relevant information should be displayed – the whole table is not comprised of individual consumer-relevant information. Task 3: Assume your parents will be paying for your vehicle usage. Is that possible? How will your account be charged each time you use a vehicle? How and where will you track your vehicle reservation history?  Summary for Both Testers: Garrett Doug Average Average Satisfaction (rated out of 5) 1 4 2.5 Success Rate (%) 0 100 50  Highlights: Right away in this task, one of the biggest issues one of my testers (Garrett) found was that he could not even access the information he needed. Although he found reservation/charging information in the videos, he could not find whether parents could pay at all. Every time he tried to access the page that I knew the answer was on, it sent him to a server error message reading “Our Apologies – We’re experiencing technical Figure 2. The table with rates/fees
  11. 11. Henry 11 difficulties and are unable to process your request.” Then, it linked to a customer support number. So, he was unsuccessful at this task, and found it impossible to complete anything with the error message – as a result, he asked to take a quick break so he could check his phone, most likely discouraged from his (lack of) findings due to the site’s server error. Difficulty finding information about parents paying quickly became the biggest issue here, though. Doug struggled to find the information for several minutes, scrolling up and down, moving from page to page, just barely catching it before he was about to give up. Garrett could not even access the page, as I mentioned above, so obviously he had some difficulty accessing that information since it wasn’t readily available on the university’s page itself. Since both testers focused so much on those first two issues, there wasn’t really a third – plus, I’m running out of pages as it is, so I’m not sure I could even fit it properly in here and do it justice if there was one.  Biggest Problem: Transparency was the biggest matter of contention for this task – Doug mentioned after rating it that he felt “they should have put information like that in the video in the first place” (in reference to the parents and whether they can pay or not). He had to go through the Member Policies and FAQ before he finally found it on his own on the application page, which is farther than Garrett made it, but still an unnecessary amount of work to find one small but crucial detail.  Alignment to Heuristic: Although I used this heuristic in the task before this, I feel that it also fits here, albeit for the opposite reason. As aesthetic and minimalist design states, only the relevant information should be displayed on the page to reduce clutter. But with this issue, the relevant information was not displayed, creating issues with the testers,
  12. 12. Henry 12 which leads to creating issues with the consumers. Enterprise CarShare definitely needs to work on displaying all of their relevant information, not obscuring it on application pages in the middle of many other requirements (see Figure 3). Task 4: Determine your liability responsibilities if the vehicle you use is damaged while you are using it.  Summary for Both Testers: Garrett Doug Average Average Satisfaction (rated out of 5) 5 5 5 Success Rate (%) 100 100 100  Highlights: When all was said and done, there were no complaints from either party on this task. They both recalled quickly that they had passed the liability information in a previous task, and they were easily able to retrieve this information and read it back to me. So, I can’t even list three issues for this task, let alone one. The most I can say is that Doug mentioned the map again while he was narrating his progress, as he briefly scrolled up too far and saw it again. Figure 3. The requirements that include the information about credit cards
  13. 13. Henry 13  Biggest Problem: As I said before, I really cannot mention an issue with this task. I simply could not find one myself, and it only took both testers less than a minute at the most to finish this task. It was straightforward, familiar, and easy to complete for both parties, so there is nothing to fix here.  Alignment to Heuristic: See above. Final Site Thoughts:  When finally through all of the tasks (whether successful or unsuccessful), I asked the two of them to make some closing remarks about the website and rate it in the general sense. Garrett ended up rating it a 3/5, with Doug just a tick above at 3.5/5. At first, Garrett focused mainly on design issues, calling for updated videos and photos to keep up with new monitors/his own design preferences. On the other hand, Doug did not have much to say – what he did say, though, agreed with Garrett’s observations. Both of them brought up information accessibility. They both thought that it was far too difficult to find information about payment, and found the videos hard to watch when he finally locating that information. Garrett also brought up the difficulty of car listings as well, and Doug hinted at his distaste for the map during the final task. RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE USER EXPERIENCE  Singe Problem: As mentioned before several times, the interactive map that helps users explore CarShare’s presence on campus is generally ineffective. Garrett and Doug cited it as an issue several times, both of them mentioning it either in their closing thoughts or the final task. This issue manifested itself in Task 1, and stuck with both of them long enough to survive through the test, so that alone warrants a big fix.
  14. 14. Henry 14  Problem Improvement: My suggestion for improving this interactivity issue is to keep the map on the page, but update the language, the appearance of the dots, and the way in which they list cars. When someone looks at the map (like Doug, for instance) and sees dots, they might not always think to click on them immediately, resulting in an incomplete task like Task 1, where Doug was not successful in locating the amount of cars on campus. So, I propose that the map make the following changes (as shown below in Figure 4 and 5): 1. Revise the language on the key. 2. Change the color of the dots for easier location. 3. Add a list of available cars and their locations. 4. Make it possible to filter or sort available cars based on your needs. Figure 5. After alterations to map Figure 4. Before alterations to map Filter: Sedan, Silver Sort: Location = Available = Not Available Figure 5. After alterations to map
  15. 15. Henry 15 Now, I know my design isn’t the best, but my point is still clear. The dots are far easier to recognize on the map, and consumers know whether they’re available or not available, as opposed to “In Network” and “Out of Network”. The language used in Figure 4 is just too difficult to understand for the average person, including me, so an update in the language makes it less daunting. On top of that, my list of cars is far more apparent than the current way to access cars – as I’ve mentioned several times before, it’s important to have relevant information readily available, so having this list makes it easier on the user. Also, it’s just an added bonus to be able to filter and sort cars. Sometimes, users need a specific type of car in specific situations (i.e. going to pick up a big package), so these options help users specify their criteria in order to find the ideal car. All of these, if implemented, would make this interactive feature a far better experience for the user, thus improving the user experience for everyone.

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