OUTINGS

 

OVERVIEW

Outings is a mobile application for discovering new places. Outings lets you search stories from travel blogs.

 

PROBLEM STATEMENT

What are the usability flaws within Outings during initial use?

 

USERS & AUDIENCE

Outings is for all people that like to discover and share places to visit. From trail junkies to architecture enthusiasts. Participants for this study are over the age of 12, like to discover new places, and prefer the mobile experience. Participants were between the ages of 15 and 25.

 

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

For this usability study, I screened and recruited participants that preferred to use their mobile devices. Usability tasks and success criteria were defined in key usability areas. A video recorded usability session was conducted. Analysis and recommendations of problem areas are documented.

 

SCOPE & CONSTRAINTS

The scope as defined required: screening, recruiting, conducting of the usability study, finding usability issues within the application, and making recommendations for improvements. This study had a time constraint of 3 weeks to perform all tasks in the scope.

 

PROCESS & WHAT WAS DONE

Create a screener for potential recruits including the 4 requirements below:

·       Minimum age of 12 (Users must be at least 12 years old to download the app).

·       Preference of mobile to computer.

·       Has never used the Outings app before.

·       Likes to discover new places.


3 Participants were recruited for this study, Kristian, Tina, and Brittney were selected.

Each participant went through a series of 3 tasks to find usability issues within the app. Each participant was required to sign a disclosure allowing for the recording of the usability study. Each task had either a chance of success, partial success, or failure. Definitions of the success criteria and additional information can be found on the full report upon request.


Tasks to assess usability:

·       Task 1: Find the ‘Discover’ feature. Select a story snippet that is of interest to you and show me how you can find the full article.

·       Task 2: Now, imagine you’re looking for your ideal winter vacation. Using the ‘Browse’ feature, show me what you would do.

Task 3: Finally, using the ‘Nearby’ feature, can you find a location to discover a location within 50 miles, and then share this location.

Tasks were weighted with; complete success, partial success, and failure.

 

OUTCOMES & LESSONS LEARNED

The first task, find the ‘Discover’ feature. Select a story snippet that is of interest to you and show me how you can find the full article, had two successful results and one partial success. In the case of the partial success the participant began to scroll up and down throughout the screen looking for actual links. A user said when opening the app “I thought it was an ad for a second” (Tina 4:30). The user thought the entire post they selected was an advertisement. The hyperlink was difficult to notice.


Recommendations: Consider making the external article more noticeable for the user by creating increased sepration.

 
Outings_Task1.png
 

The second task, now, imagine you’re looking for your ideal winter vacation. Using the ‘Browse’ feature, show me what you would do, produced three successful results. Two users used the search box, and another the browse feature. A user commented “I’ve never been to any of these but they look good”.


Recommendations: No recommendations are suggested for this task.

 
Outings_Task2.png
 

The third task, finally, using the ‘Nearby’ feature, can you find a location to discover a location within 50 miles, and then share this location, all three participants had partial success. The Nearby feature utilizes the location of the user to show nearby Outings posts. All participants used the browse tab and searched for their location instead of selecting the navigation icon from the carrousel menu that is on every page.


Recommendations: Consider incorporating the nearby feature into the browse tab so that it has a higher chance of being noticed by a user.

 
Outings_Task3_edited.jpg
 

Lessons learned: Two additional users would have been a great addition to the participant list. Additional numbers would have added support to the recommendations.