usability testing

2 sessions, 12 users, 1 task: our Checkout Process

Writing assumptions
We started with a several assumptions about how we can improve (with minimun development effort) the Checkout Process in our site.
I arrived to the company and I noticed we need to improve it. But only when we received user's complaints from Customer Service, Business Analysts focused their attention on it (and asked me to find out where the pain points live).

Heuristic Test
I invited to the UX Team to participate in a round of two Heuristic Tests. We run the first one in a workshop (individually) and the second one I run it with the Mobile Lead Designer (and we did it collaborately).
The results were amazing!
We all agree we need to change the step number 4 in first place for several usability problems found. Now we have an Hypothesis to formulate.

Our Hypothesis
"We think people are struggle in the step 4 of the checkout process, because it's hard for them to find out the way to apply their gifts to their purchases, because It's not intuitive enough the way back and because it's difficult to move forward once we have the gifts applied. We are going to prove it if at least 30% of our invitees in our Usability Testing can't achieve it or they take more than 20 seconds in order to continue."

It took us a while to define the numbers in order to proove it, for that reason I recommend to be flexible enough at the beggining. Later on, once the Usability Testing is taking place, users will come up with new issues and you will be observing them.

Based on this Hypothesis we run 2 session of usability testing with 12 targeted users, performing 1 task, in order to prove our assumptions.
This Usability Testing was conducted in one room and observed by the team members in the next door room, with a projector conected to the users's computer. In order to evaluate this test we prepared a set of questions according to the task we were to ask people to accomplish.
I invited people related to this topic (from Product Owner, Business Analyst to developers) to observe the test.

We recorded the sessions with video (we used Camtasia) and also we delivered a pdf report with all the results. Our assumptions were right and people observed users being stop of purchase in our application.

Seems horrible?
Actually it was fantastic, because we changed the backlog and we wrote the stories together adding even User Research on it (Card Sorting with a group of people).

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