Interview & Usability testing
When running a usability test you are not testing the user. You are testing the software or device they are using. It is important to pay attention to non-verbal language and micro-reactions. A hesitation, a change in their tone of voice, it can mean that they were surprised or confused. Whenever that happens and the user is not vocalising what is going on in their mind, you need to ask them, open questions, to figure out what is actually going on. To start off the usability test I did a short interview with some easy questions to break the ice, and then some questions about his flight booking behaviour and his last experience booking a flight. This way next to doing a usability test I gathered information by interviewing the user. To prepare myself I made a test script. This included the questions I wanted to ask and the two tasks for the usability test.
When running different types of tests it's also helpful to have someone take notes of the test.
This way the information can easily be shared within the team. As you can see I made notes from the video of someone else performing a usability test with the mobile flight booking application by Eurowings. For legibility I added styling for painpoints, positive points, and moments where the moderator had to step in to help the user along.
UX Fly - Flight booking application
After gathering data through questionnaires and usability testing this data needs to be analysed. Since my walls were not large enough I decided to use Miro and create a board to gather all insights on stickies. I didn’t have a team to collaborate on the Affinity Diagram, but on my own I managed to get some interesting insights in the mental models, goals and experiences of the user. Imagine how much you can learn doing this with a team!
For booking a flight there are a lot of different mental models, some people always buy the cheapest flight, others might have kids and will want to fly at a certain hour. It is hard to play into all these different needs. So I think the best way forward is to use the following insights while designing:
- Make sure the user gets (visual) feedback while moving through the steps and while selecting flights, dates or add-ons.
- If icons or labels are used to test these, if these remain unclear change them.
- Texts have to be accessible, clear and not too long.
- Make sure the app is intuitive by adhering to best practices and industry standards.
Scroll down to see the affinity diagram!
Time to boil down this big bulk of data in some concrete insights.
Customer journey map
To make the insights look more organised, and to put them into context, I made the customer journey map for the booking process. On the top I added the mood for each step, this is not 100% science based, but from all the information I gathered I was able to deduce the mood more or less. Factors that influence the mood are pain-points in the process, for example the user expected feedback after tapping on the calendar. Or only at the end of the process it became clear that the flight had a layover. These are all important insights to take into consideration when we start sketching the screens for the booking process. But this overview also helps us focus where in the journey there is room for improvement. Do the user’s goals align with the functionalities build in the app or software? Communicating to stakeholders is also an important part of the UX process, and this customer journey map allows us to present all the analysed data in a structured and beautiful way.
High level user flow
User flows are used to boil down the actions and interactions the user has with the product or software for a particular goal. For example, in Fly UX, the booking process. In a user flow you can use screenshots to show the flow, but for a high level user flow this is not the case. In this scenario I also don't have an application to take screenshots from, so a high level user flow, using all the data from the previous exercises, will do. Keep in mind that when designing the High lever user flow is not
UX Fly - Flight booking application
Low fidelity interaction design for mobile
This is the exciting moment! I get to implement my insights into the design. The quickest way to get your ideas across and to see whether your idea is as good as it was in your head is to start sketching. With pen and paper you can change and iterate without spending too much money and losing too much time. My sketches are combined with some notes, this will help clarify for example the screenstate, the different elements in the calendar, selected dates, the menu to help sort the search results.
Finally I get to translate all insights into a clickable prototype. The low fidelity interaction design I sketched in the previous exercise combined with the high level user flow is a solid base to start with. The decision was made to make a medium fidelity prototype. This will enable me to validate the design with users, enable critique and feasibility evaluation and have better design documentation. At the same time the details in previous exercises are not etched in stone and still open to iterations. This prototype can then be used as an aid for development. The prototype can also be used for usability testing when you want to test a certain user flow.
Handing off your design is as important a skill to acquire as designing. It is important that all the details of your design are documented and communicated to the developers because this documentation will be the blueprint for development. It will not merely consist of screenshots but it includes annotated notes or system rules and together with the interactive prototype every detail should be clear to the developers.
Born to an artist and a scientist I was destined to dip my feet in both worlds. I have a strong curiosity for thorough research and setting clear objectives and goals, while at the same time leaving space for serendipity and surprises that might change the path we're walking on.
Talking with people, and actually listening to them, asking questions, finding out what drives them is what intrigues me. My empathy and curiosity led me to different fields and jobs, and I thrive in situations where I keep on learning and developing my skill set. I love learning new things, not just in one field. This resulted in a messy CV, but the way I look at it is that I have a lot of transferable skills. At this moment I am looking to join a team where there is room for collaboration, growth and empathy.
In my free time I am currently learning Python. I take analog photos and enjoy live music* and dancing.
*you can often find me at a Roda de Samba.