This post is about looking at the data from my usability test of Hedron, a social check-in site for gamers that I have developed. Having rolled out an alpha version to 22 people, 16 responded and completed the survey. Users were given a prompt (which can be found here) that would effectively give them a tour of the site while also testing all the interactions possible with the site. After completing the tasks, users were asked to complete a survey that gauged ease of use along with leveraging what functionality and interactions other social media sites, like Foursquare and SCVNGR, have. The survey was conducted remotely using SurveyMonkey.com to keep responder anonymity and allow users to feel more comfortable about taking the usability test.
There was an even split of male and female responders, 8 and 8. The median and average age of responders was 24, which is in the targeted age-range of Hedron (18-35). The ages of 22 and 24 were the modes of the data set. All responders had some level of collegiate education with the majority (9) holding a graduate degree.
12 out of the sixteen 16 responders play video games and 9 out of the 16 responders play multiplayer games. 9 out of the 16 responders also identify as playing “social games” like Farmville and Draw Something. 12 of the 16 responders have used social check-in apps like FourSquare and GetGlue.
Responders were asked to rate from 1 to 10 (10 being easy to use) the ease of use of each of the core functions on Hedron including checking-in, the messaging system, account creation, following/unfollowing users, and creating/updating a profile. “Sending a Message” had the lowest average score with 6.69 with “Replying to a Message” being second lowest with 6.81. “Check-in” was third lowest with an average score of 7.06 and had the widest range of responses, having at least one response for each number between 2 and 10, though a rating of 10 had the majority of responders (5) for that task. All other tasks averaged above 8.1. “Creating an Account” was the highest rated function with a 8.56 average rating.
Users were also asked qualitative questions regarding to positives and negatives about the site along with features that the responders thought were missing. Positives included ease of use, simplicity of design/layout, and catering to a specific demographic (gamers). Negative aspects noted by responders included no option to choose “mobile” as a platform, check-in area was too small, and the messaging system. When asked what features Hedron lacked when compared to other social check-in sites, responses around gamification, an incentive/reward system, and a better ability to share content.
Conclusions/Suggestions for Improvement
Looking at the data, Hedron should be considered easy to use overall. Though the site is generally easy to use, it is important to note that there are several different things that could be improved. The messaging system could use improvement with adding a notification system and an easier way to navigate how to send someone a message. The check-in system could also be improved by adding more platform options to select from and to create a larger, more graphical interface for users. Overall, since Hedron is lacking an incentive system that would help retain users, some kind of system that gives ranks, achievements, and/or rewards would help users create a stronger bond with the site/program and encourage continued use.