This past week, I implemented the user test that I had designed for the new History research guide. I enlisted five participants from the history alias, ensuring that I had one participant from each class year so that I could test the spectrum of students here at Gettysburg.
I believe that the testing went great! I used a program called Morae, in which two computers are connected over the internet, with one being used by the participant and the other recording the test. The recordings show mouse movements, as well as video and audio recordings of the participant as they move through the test.
Although I was in the testing room while the test occurred, I am very excited to begin watching the tests, so that I can pull out further themes and struggles that each person had throughout the test. Over the next week or so, I will be decoding each of the recordings, in order to learn from what happened and so that I can make changes to the new guide based upon how the users reacted to it. Additionally, I asked each of the participants to fill out a post-questionnaire, which included comments and suggestions for improvement. An initial reading of the comments has brought up some interesting suggestions that I will definitely explore as I work to improve the guide. I am excited to go deeper into the comments that each participant made and working to incorporate their suggestions.