Head first into user testing

toby and tom the tomato plantsI’ve had an incredible first month at The DoNation. Getting to work with some fantastic people, becoming part of something great, and seeing Toby & Tom growing taller than their bamboo. But by far the most exciting bit being helping out with our brand new site.

The site we’re working on right now is designed specifically for our Do Good for Business programmes, with the aim of helping many more companies to engage more employees in saving energy. It’s built on the feedback we’ve received from our first clients and is packed full of new features. All of which are customisable.

We know that there are lots of challenges and barriers to encouraging people to change their behaviours, but we really don’t want our website’s usability to be one of them. That’s why these last couple of weeks we’ve all been spending a lot of time getting our heads around user testing. This is where we observe people using our site and take notes on what they like, and more importantly on what confuses or frustrates them.

User testing with Lee, Andy, and Jesy

It’s a lot more complicated than I’d originally thought, but also more rewarding. Starting with deciding what we want to test, we then had writing out the scripts, Lee and I started actually running through the scripts with a bunch of lovely people we found around the office. After that we have to compile all the feedback and discuss it with the rest of the team, prioritising which bits need acting on immediately and having heated debates (often for hours) around how to deal with other feedback. My favourite part has to be seeing how differently everyone approaches the tasks, and it’s all been very useful to see what changes we needed to make to make things run smoother.

The first test we ran was with Chris (a regular doer) during which I realised I hadn’t even gone thoroughly through the site yet myself, and had no idea what was going on. But we’ve learnt a lot along the way and there have been a lot changes made to our scripts and our methods, as well as to the site itself.

It’s incredible seeing how smooth and user friendly it’s becoming, and we’re all getting pretty excited about this new site, I think you’re going to love it.

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