WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Accessibility user testing


From: Zack McCartney
Date: Jul 26, 2016 1:19PM

Hi all!

*TLDR: What are you all's thoughts on using a guided tutorial / usability
hybrid to test a highly dynamic, customizable web application to answer the
question: **how do people first learn how to use this site? *

First off, thank you to everyone that replied. I really appreciate all the
help and advice. Definitely wasn't expecting so many and such in-depth
responses. And sorry for not replying sooner; work's been a little mad
lately :)

Anyway, I'd like to pick this topic back up because I conducted the test
about which I originally asked and have the fortune of being permitted to
run another round of accessibility user tests next week.

At the end of the first test, the participant offered to assist my company
and I in further improving our site's accessibility features. He suggested
maybe setting up a sort of guided tutorial, where I'd sit down with him and
we'd walk through acquainting him with the site, showing him how to set it
up, how to complete key tasks, etc.

I wouldn't normally re-test a site with the same participant from a
previous round of testing. However, I'm tempted to do so because it became
unclear in the first test that the site under test — a dashboard of office
organization and content tools for lawyers, basically, a heavily
customizable, content-rich, super interactive site — doesn't seem to have a
clear path to onboarding. It's not clear where people should start using
it, let alone learning how to use it. My conclusion could be way off here,
but I guess I'm thinking that without clearer context, as i'd provide in
this sort of guided tutorial, the original test's tasks (although they did
lead to some helpful insights) didn't make too much sense, given the site's
highly custom nature.

I'm envisioning this approach as a sort of exploratory usability test,
prompting the participant to do things, but asking lots of questions along
the way, having a conversation basically to uncover what they're thinking,
what info they need to setup the site, what they hope and expect to be able
to do with the site. I'm hoping that by talking the participant through
what they need to know to setup the site, this tutorial format would help
to answer: *how do people first learn how to use this site? what
information do they need to even get started using this thing?*

What are you all's thoughts on this sort of approach?