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Usability Research & Testing for the KLOA Keyboard iOS App

One of the classes that I took for my UW UCD certificate classes was Usability Studies (HCDE 517). I worked in a team with three other people to meet with a real-world client and run usability tests to determine: if people would understand the app in it's current state; and how interested they would be in using the app. We presented our summarized findings to the class and the client, and then met with the client to present our full findings and answer more questions in depth.

For this project, I was the communication and scheduling connection between our team and the client, worked on the usability study kit, the usability testing and recording setup, data logging, video editing, the presentation and report documents, the presentation to both the class and the client, and a followup meeting with the client.

Here are a few sample pages from our usability study kit, including part of the "affordance script" we created to be able to give consistent instructions to test participants.

The video below shows a participant interacting with the app in a small post test section. The video has been sped up until the point where the participant starts entering the last two words so that you can see the actual typing speed.

Below are sample pages from our usability study presentation. We presented to the full class as well as the main stakeholder, the client for our study.

And lastly, sample pages from our usability study report.

More information about this project

The app to be tested was a novel iOS keyboard concept for the new feature in iOS that allows replacements to Apple's default QWERTY keyboard. The Kloa app visually and mechanically differed quite a bit from other keyboards available for iOS. We handed the app to friends and people in bars to get a sense of how much they would understand, and quickly determined that we needed to create onboarding materials in order to get useful data in further testing.

I worked on the graphics for our usability study kit, and on many of the graphics for our presentation and report as well, though another person on the team did the graphs. We worked well as a team; most of the contents of the study kit, presentation, and report we collaboratively edited and planned via Skype and Google Docs. We often edited the documents while connected on Skype, which made it easy to get feedback on something we were adding or that we realized we needed to add.

I edited multiple video feeds from each study into one combined clip per study participant. One camera looked down at the phone, another looked directly at the participant, while we also recorded the video output from the phone. All four of us were then able to enter all of our notes from during the study as well as note details like timing and completion from the video itself. This let us see if the participants were improving over time in speed, completion, and more.