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GUI-Design test methods.

Hi,
We're developing a game (Stratego) for a school project. As we march into the final stages, we're wondering if our GUI design is good. Before we started, we did a little research about HCI (because my teatcher sugessted it). Only thing I found helpfull was this http://www.ambysoft.com/userInterfaceDesign.pdf
So we made our GUI to our needs and desires and applied some rules from the document above.
Now in the final stage we want to test the GUI. The question we have now is, is there a method on how we can test. Wich questions should be asked to the test-persons and how can we find usebilty pittfals quickly?

Mabye if we have a good test-plan, we let you test it as well.

Casper Broeren
Wednesday, April 07, 2004

[question we have now is, is there a method on how we can test. Wich questions should be asked to the test-persons and how can we find usebilty pittfals quickly?]

The only method is, let people use it and whatch them closely.
Explain carefully that you are testing your application and not them.
If they appear to have trouble, find out what they are trying to accomplish and take notes.

[Mabye if we have a good test-plan, we let you test it as well.]

Is this supposed to be an incentive? Please leave out such silly remarks next time you try to get some help. Or at least make sure that what you are offering is indeed in demand.

Erik
Wednesday, April 07, 2004

This is a better "learning" experience if you can record what they do.

- Set someone, unrelated to the project, in front of the application without instructions.  Tell them to use it.  [The hard part is to remain silent - no help to the user at all]  They should plan an entire game.
  - What do they do?
  - What do they look for?
  - What do they find frustrating.
        - I must right click, then select the destination square then left click
        - The background is too busy
        - The colors are hard to tell (Dark red versus Black on a green game board can be difficult)
          - To many/to few acknowledgments.  (Too many - "Do you really want to move there" .  Too few "File Erased")

- After they get through the test.  It's Q&A time. Never assume you know why they did something.  Ask them why they did each thing. 

For example, some people go through all the menu items before starting.  This is not a problem with the application, it is just a habit.  However, they may also have been trying to find "Start Game" which someone thought would be better named "Begin Assault". 

In UI evaluations, people will tell you about gross mistakes, but the subtle ones are difficult because users self correct, but still dislike the application, they just do not know why.  As such, if you cannot tape them working, then have two people watch and make notes.  Don't have the entire class watch them.  This makes people nervous and prone to mistakes.

There are entire libraries on how to test, but this should get you started.

MSHack
Wednesday, April 07, 2004

"Is this supposed to be an incentive? Please leave out such silly remarks next time you try to get some help. Or at least make sure that what you are offering is indeed in demand. "

Is this supposed to be constructive criticism ? Get a life. Someone has asked for help. Your judgement that this is 'silly' is entirely subjective. I'm up for testing it.

The classical formal testplan for a user interface - the kind where you can tick boxes - only works for each individual component on the screen.

To test the interface for true usability, you need to monitor a number of users very carefully - use video and play it in slow motion. Watch for the flickers of frustration, tutting etc.

WoodenTongue
Wednesday, April 07, 2004

[Is this supposed to be constructive criticism ? Get a life. Someone has asked for help. Your judgement that this is 'silly' is entirely subjective. I'm up for testing it.]

How is it not constructive? I gave him a push in what I consider the right direction. I then informed him that his offer may not seem appealing to everyone.
And how is telling someone to get a life constructive?

Erik
Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Don't forget to usability test how easy it is to install your application, using whatever method you're going to use to deliver this to your customers (CD, download, etc). The game itself is only a portion of it.

pb_canuck
Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Erik:  I didn't feel that your tone was constructive, especially the "silly" statement. How is offering to share software 'silly' ?

WoodenTongue
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

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