April 17, 2013

Usability - Always Test and Test Again

You never know how something is going to be used until you test it with real users.

Here's an example. I bought a house not too long ago and my husband and I were wondering what furniture would best make use of the space at the entryway. We had a few options:

1. A longer entryway bench so multiple guests can sit down at once to put their shoes on.

2. A little table top with one chair for people to put their shoes on.

3. Just put a rack there for shoe storage and no seating area.

We went for a two-seater entryway bench (pictured above), thinking it's great because we always have people come over and two people can sit on it at once. It's been a few months and I observed people's behavior, and no one, not even family members like to sit next to each other while they take off their shoes. It's always one standing, one sitting. Or, one sitting and putting a bag on the empty seat. Not a use I anticipated but it totally makes sense.

So, morale of the story is: always user test your products. Test your websites. Test your apps. People use things in ways you don't expect them to.


  1. Anonymous11:38 PM

    if they were in a hurry to leave they would sit next to each other.... maybe they aren't in a hurry to leave :D

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