Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Week 9: Testing - If At First You Don't Succeed, Try Try Again!

Testing Ideas:

I can tell myself that no matter how good I think I did a project, or a speech, or a paper, it really comes down to when someone else looks over it. Some of the best advice and tips I've received have been when others proofread my papers or critique my projects and how I can improve. I think involving students to test mine and Steve's final project is the best way to improve our app. 

Since we're all extremely busy with our schedules, I think a good way to get feedback is through surveys. They are easy to put together and don't require too much time to complete. Steve and I could put together a survey to send out to students (or whoever) on what they think of our app! Questions could include:

  • What navigation styles do you like best? (One page with a navigation scroll bar or separate pages)
  • What (if any) social networks would you like to see included on the app?
  • How much do you think this app should cost?
  • How likely are you to use this app?
  • What other suggestions or additions would you make to this app?

I think the survey would be a good way to start receiving feedback and testing our final product, and then for my second testing idea, we should conduct an in-person experiment for the app. We could take the information from the survey and then conduct an in-person experiment with some of the same people who took the survey, or completely new participants. Either way I think it's a great way to get feedback. I believe the best meeting place would be somewhere at HPU, possibly in one of the group study rooms in the library. Another option I thought of is getting my peers from this class to review our app, and vice versa. It's always nice to get a second programmer or designer's opinion.


  1. A survey is great, but a critical part of this is that you need to be providing alternatives. Asking people to rate one app on a scale of 1-5 is likely to get you very little actionable information.

    What you really want, and were asked to provide in this plan, is a description of the interface alternatives that you will present to people for testing, e.g. you might have one map based interface, and one list based. Or an integrated map and list? Or compare having a pipeline through the restaurant decision process, versus having a single screen with lots of checkboxes.

    Again, the critical part of the testing plan is not so much how you are going to test, but "what" you are going to test. And the answer is not "your app", but should be some sort of hypothesis about what interface design is better for your app. And you can only get useful results if you present people more than one alternative.

  2. Hi Professor-

    Great to know! Now that I think about it, I think a survey where the participants can only rate 1-5 could be quite limiting the information that we need. I'll have to talk to Steve about ways we can present interface alternatives to different people for testing purposes!