UX Design Notes: 3rd User Testing Main Recommendations

These are the main rec­om­men­da­tions after the 3rd round of usabil­ity test­ing done using the 8th ver­sion of the wire­frame pro­to­type found at keyzz​.com/​p​r​o​t​o​t​y​pe8:

1 — Stream­line and pre­dict user’s actions on “List a prop­erty” process funnel

Cre­at­ing a prop­erty list­ing is one of the main tasks of the Web site and it should be opti­mized to offer a more engag­ing and effi­cient expe­ri­ence. The pro­to­type tested asked for all the ques­tions nec­es­sary to cre­ate the most com­plete list­ing pos­si­ble. How­ever most of the users tested were over­whelmed by the amount of infor­ma­tion asked from them. A solu­tion for this prob­lem would be to cre­ate a sequence of steps that: a) asks only for the min­i­mum infor­ma­tion nec­es­sary to cre­ate an effec­tive list­ing; b) are dynam­i­cally inte­grated so that each step offers the user options based on selec­tions made on pre­vi­ous steps; and c)are pre-filled with most com­mon answers or sug­ges­tions. Here are some examples:

a. On the first step the users should only see the field where he can enter his address. Once the address is entered and con­firmed by the user the rest of the form can appear with ques­tions con­sis­tent with the address entered.

b. Users do not need to input the neigh­bor­hood name. They should be able to choose from a list of avail­able and search­able neigh­bor­hood names. For cities where there are no neigh­bor­hood names on the data­base, that ques­tion sim­ply does not appear on the form and con­se­quently the option to fil­ter results by neigh­bor­hood will not appear on the search refine­ment sec­tion of the search results page.

c. It is not nec­es­sary to ask the user whether he wants to show street view or not. That fea­ture should be auto­mat­i­cally turned on and the user should have an option to turn it off later (pro­vided that he knows that the street view is adjusted to not show the user’s actual street address).

d. There should be con­tex­tual tips that appear when­ever a new form field receives focus as well as in-line val­i­da­tion when­ever it is possible.

e. On the sec­ond step of the process the amenity options should be pop­u­lated accord­ing to the choices made on the pre­vi­ous step (e.g., if the user selects “house” as the prop­erty type, “door­man” and “ele­va­tor in the build­ing” are not viable amenity options.

f. Extra ser­vices is a great fea­ture but it can be over­whelm­ing for first time users. Instead of dis­play­ing all the options on the screen there should be a descrip­tions of what they mean and a but­ton to dis­play them.

g. On the last step, a can­cel­la­tion pol­icy should be pre-selected based on the user’s past choice or the aver­age pol­icy should be pre-selected in the case of first time users. The same applies for all other fields in this step.

2 — The bur­den of hav­ing to choose a prop­erty rate

Choos­ing a prop­erty rate is an essen­tial but also a very del­i­cate task. It is also a great oppor­tu­nity to prove to the user that the Web site really intends to make the process of list­ing a prop­erty the eas­i­est pos­si­ble. That can be done by offer­ing users sug­ges­tions for rate ranges based on the size, type, and loca­tion of their prop­erty. That sug­ges­tion will be based on prices of other sim­i­lar prop­er­ties listed on the Web site. In case of cities where there are no other prop­er­ties listed, the sug­gested range should be wider. Any help fill­ing out this required ques­tion is bet­ter than no help at all.

Expe­ri­enced users or prop­erty man­age­ment pro­fes­sion­als should have the option of adding alter­na­tive rates in the form of a link bel­low to the field.

3 — Cal­en­dar start “all booked”

When users are cre­at­ing a list­ing the property’s avail­abil­ity cal­en­dar is expected to have all days avail­able by default. How­ever that can rep­re­sent a seri­ous prob­lem for a Web site that intends to offer instant book­ing. The rea­son is that instant booking’s suc­cess depends on up to date and cor­rectly filled avail­abil­ity cal­en­dars. So, if a user don’t feel like updat­ing the cal­en­dar at the time the list is cre­ated (e.g., new users not famil­iar with the con­cepts), that can mean can­cel­la­tion of book­ing by the host down the line. One solu­tion for this prob­lem is to show the cal­en­dar com­pletely booked at first and ask for the user to pick the dates that the prop­erty will be avail­able. Another solu­tion is to ask the users a few ques­tions before shoing the cal­en­dar like for instance whether they live in the prop­erty or not, and if they do the cal­en­dar is shown all booked. The inten­tion of all this is to force the user to stop and think about the cal­en­dar and all that it means and to edu­cate the user about his options and their consequences.

4 — Instant book­ing everywhere

There should be a visual dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion between prop­er­ties that have instant book­ing ON and prop­er­ties that don’t. That way users would feel com­pelled to learn more about it. There should also be a descrip­tion of what instant book­ing is when­ever it is men­tioned through­out the Web site. And when­ever a user turns it ON some of the guest require­ments should be pre-selected by default.

5 — Book­ing noti­fi­ca­tion vs. book­ing request

Under­stand­ing the dif­fer­ence between a book­ing noti­fi­ca­tion and a book­ing request is the same as under­stand­ing the con­cept of instant book­ing ver­sus inquiry based book­ing. That is the sin­gle most impor­tant con­cept of the Web site and its assim­i­la­tion by the user can­not be under­es­ti­mated. There should be visual clues as well as rollover descrip­tions and maybe even pop up tips for first time users describ­ing the idea and what is expected from the user.

6 — Pro­gres­sive engage­ment on the rates and cal­en­dar page

The abil­ity to cre­ate alter­nate rates is a gift for more expe­ri­enced users but it can be over­whelm­ing for new users. This fact makes the rates page a good can­di­date for pro­gres­sive engage­ment with smart defaults. The user should only see the sec­tions of the page that he is inter­ested in.

The user should see that there are options to cus­tomize the rates fur­ther if he decides to do so. If there is only one rate, the cal­en­dar should give the option of choos­ing other rates. If the user inputs an alter­nate rate in more than two days the sys­tem should show that the rates can be cus­tomized on the rates page.

On the rates page, the first field should be the base rate (the rate entered when the prop­erty list­ing was cre­ated). Bel­low that there should be ques­tions ask­ing whether the user wants to cre­ate: a dif­fer­ent rate for guests stay­ing over a week; a dif­fer­ent rate for guests stay­ing over a month; a dif­fer­ent rate for dif­fer­ent sea­sons; or dif­fer­ent rates for dif­fer­ent days of the week; or dif­fer­ent rates for hol­i­days; or a dis­count rate; or dif­fer­ent rates for dif­fer­ent num­ber of guests. Each one of this options should add or sub­tract an amount to the base rate.

7 — Pro­gres­sive engage­ment on the addi­tional ser­vice page as well

On the addi­tional ser­vices page, each of the ser­vices should only show its options once selected. The options should be explained clearly and they will vary accord­ing to the ser­vice (e.g., air­port pick up should be priced per per­son and not per day; park­ing, use of gym, and use of pool/hot tub should be either included or paid on check-in because those are very sub­jec­tive and guests can only make an informed deci­sion once they see what they’re pay­ing for; Laun­dry and house clean­ing should be paid per ser­vice and there should be an option to choose how many times they are needed;  and break­fast should be paid per day and there should be an option to choose how many days within the whole stay. Any extra ser­vice or amenity added by the host can­not be pre-paid.

8 — Sug­gested tasks section

The sug­gested tasks sec­tion is a dynamic sec­tion of the dash­board with lit­tle notes with sug­ges­tions of tasks that might help users opti­mize their expe­ri­ence in the Web site, and reminds them of exist­ing fea­tures (e.g., adding more pic­tures to a list­ing, review­ing a guest or a prop­erty, turn­ing on instant book­ing, updat­ing a property’s cal­en­dar, etc). Once the user does what is being sug­gested the reminder note goes away. How­ever it can become annoy­ing for expe­ri­enced users or users who decide not to do what the reminder note says. One solu­tion for that is to have a cou­ple of but­tons on each reminder note that appears when the user rolls over it. One but­ton to close that note for the cur­rent ses­sion and another to not show that spe­cific note never again.

9 — Mobile notifications

E-mail noti­fi­ca­tions are manda­tory for hosts and guests. Mobile noti­fi­ca­tions is a very use­ful fea­ture for hosts who do not use instant book­ing. A sug­ges­tion to turn it on should appear at the ‘Sug­gested tasks sec­tion’ when­ever a user lists the first prop­erty and only dis­ap­pear when the fea­ture is acti­vated or if the user asks not to be reminded of it again.


In class

  • Final Design Spec­i­fi­ca­tions requirements
  • Stu­dent presentations

Due next week

  • Start work­ing on final report.

UX Design Notes: 3rd User Testing Plan

3rd Usabil­ity Test­ing — User Tasks

Task 1 — Sign up and cre­ate 1st prop­erty listing.

Goal/outputs:

This task’s goal is to make the users go through the sign up process as well as go through the steps nec­es­sary to cre­ate a new list­ing. By the end of the task they user will have an account with one prop­erty list­ing active in it.

Inputs:

The task will ask the user to input his own per­sonal infor­ma­tion. Through­out the task there are too many form fields that need to be filled out and it would be eas­ier to have the user enter infor­ma­tion that he/she is already famil­iar to, since none of the required fields requires spe­cial­ized  or unique information.

The one infor­ma­tion that will be pro­vided is the name of the image file that should be uploaded as a prop­erty photo.

Assump­tions: 

The main assump­tion made for this task is that the user can remem­ber, describe, and answer ques­tions about the place where they are cur­rently living.

Instruc­tions for users: 

Please imag­ine that you were trans­ferred to work in another state for one year and you decided to rent out your cur­rent apart­ment as a vaca­tion rental in order to make some extra money and help you pay the mort­gage. After some research you decided to use Keyzz​.com to list and man­age your property.

Your first task is to cre­ate an account at our Web site and list your prop­erty. You can use your own name, email and per­sonal information.

Imag­ine you are rent­ing out the prop­erty where you cur­rently live. Feel free to cre­ate a list­ing that you think peo­ple would be more inter­ested in staying.

For the sake of brevity, please fol­low these directions:

  • You do not need to set up alter­na­tive rates for your prop­erty. You should only decide on a sin­gle rate to be used in the listing.
  • You also do not need to worry about updat­ing the avail­abil­ity cal­en­dar in this task. You will be doing that on a later task.
  • Pre­tend that you only have one pic­ture of your apart­ment right now (file 1. jpg) . You can upload more pic­tures at a later time.
  • Do not add any addi­tional ser­vices yet. You will be asked to do that in a later task. For now just choose the ameni­ties that match the prop­erty where you live.

Good luck cre­at­ing your first prop­erty listing!

Notes: 

The prop­erty list­ing process is the most time con­sum­ing process there is on the Web site, and for that rea­son it needs to be tested and improved to pro­vide users (hosts) with the best pos­si­ble way to cre­ate list­ings, an essen­tial task.

Task 2 — Set up instant booking

Goal/outputs:

This task’s goal is to test whether of not reg­u­lar first time users can under­stand the con­cept of tra­di­tional book­ing ver­sus instant book­ing and whether they can locate and acti­vate instant book­ing on exist­ing prop­erty list­ings. By the end of this task the user should have found the Instant Book­ing page, acti­vated it, and cre­ated con­di­tions for its application.

Inputs:

The task will sug­gest under which con­di­tions Instant Book­ing should apply. How­ever, the user will have the free­dom to set up the Instant Book­ing con­di­tions as he/she pleases.

Assump­tions: 

This task assumes that the user under­stand what a prop­erty book­ing is and the dif­fer­ence between the tra­di­tional book­ing model used by hotels ver­sus the book­ing model tra­di­tion­ally used by short term vaca­tion rentals.

Instruc­tions for users: 

After using this Web site for a few weeks, you notice that some list­ings offer the guests the pos­si­bil­ity of  imme­di­ate book­ing, with­out hav­ing to wait for avail­abil­ity con­fir­ma­tion from the prop­erty host. In other words, some prop­er­ties can be booked right away on the same day, just as you do when you book a hotel.

After con­sid­er­ing that for a while, you decide that you want the same for your prop­erty list­ing. Please find a way to acti­vate that fea­ture on your prop­erty list­ing for the prop­erty Belle­vue Apartment.

Please take into con­sid­er­a­tion that by doing so, guests will be able to book your prop­erty directly with­out you hav­ing a chance to con­firm or decline their request. You will receive a book­ing noti­fi­ca­tion instead of a book­ing request. So be mind­ful of the con­di­tions you spec­ify when acti­vat­ing this feature.

Notes:

Instant book­ing is the most impor­tant fea­ture of this Web site and what dif­fer­en­ti­ates it from the com­pe­ti­tion. Find­ing the best way to inte­grate this fea­ture with other more con­ven­tional fea­tures is essen­tial to con­vince users of its poten­tial when it comes to attract­ing more guests and stream­lin­ing the book­ing process.

Task 3 — Set up auto­matic notifications

Goal/outputs:

This task’s goal is to locate and change the pre-set options for auto­matic notifications.

Inputs:

Users will be asked to acti­vate mobile text mes­sages if/when cer­tain events occurs.   These events will be explained in details under the task instructions.

Assump­tions: 

This task assumes that the user under­stand what text mes­sages are and that he/she can pro­vide a fic­ti­tious con­tact mobile num­ber that can be used for text messaging.

Instruc­tions for users: 

Now imag­ine that your cur­rent job does not allow you to stay in front of a com­puter all day or that you can’t use your work com­puter for per­sonal affairs. You need a way to be noti­fied when­ever you get a new book­ing noti­fi­ca­tion or book­ing request. Spe­cially when you get a book­ing request, because you need to answer that request ASAP.

Please explore the Web site and check whether there is a fea­ture that can help you in this situation.

If you find such fea­ture, you can use your own per­sonal infor­ma­tion to set it up.

Task 4 — Check for new book­ing requests and con­firm availability

Goal/outputs:

This task’s goal is to check if there are any new book­ing requests in the account’s inbox, and if there are, to con­firm avail­abil­ity of the prop­erty and final­ize booking.

Inputs:

The user only has to check and con­firm the book­ing request. Writ­ing a mes­sage to the guest is optional.

Assump­tions: 

This task assumes that there will be at least one book­ing request in the inbox wait­ing to be answered.

Instruc­tions for users: 

Now imag­ine that you have two prop­er­ties listed on your account: Belle­vue Apart­ment and The Pipj Studio.

Please check if there is any inter­est from guests in rent­ing any of those apart­ments, and if there are, please answer accord­ing to what the Web site is suggesting.

Notes: 

Con­firm and decline of book­ing requests is an essen­tial part of the book­ing process, and for that rea­son it needs to be tested and improved.

Task 5 — Find guest’s con­tact details for an spe­cific book­ing notification

Goal/outputs:

This task’s goal is to test the speed at which the user can find the con­tact infor­ma­tion of a guest whose book­ing has been already con­firmed. By the end of the task the user should have the phone num­ber and email address of a given guest.

Inputs:

A guest name and book­ing dates will be given to the user.

Assump­tions:

This task assumes that the user under­stand the dif­fer­ence between a con­firmed book­ing at a book­ing request.

Instruc­tions for users: 

There was a very strong storm over the week­end and the roof of one of your prop­er­ties (The Pipj Stu­dio) was dam­aged. You won’t be able to get it fixed before the next guest’s check-in date. You will have to can­cel that booking.

But then you have an idea. Instead of can­celling the book­ing you will call the guest as soon as pos­si­ble to offer her another prop­erty for the same price.

Her name is Patri­cia Botwin and her check-in date is Decem­ber 3rd. Please find her con­tact details.

Notes: 

Auto­matic book­ings made through Instant Book­ing reveal the con­tact details of the guests who made them. That way users have more options to communicate.

Task 6 — Can­cel an exist­ing booking

Goal/outputs:

This task’s goal is to test the book­ing can­cel­la­tion process. By the end of the task the user will have found an spe­cific upcom­ing book­ing and will have can­celled it.

Inputs:

The user has to pick a rea­son for can­cel­la­tion and write his/her name. Writ­ing a mes­sage to the guest is optional.

Assump­tions: 

This task assumes that there will be at least one upcom­ing con­firmed book­ing that can be requested. It also assumes that users will know that in order to be can­celled by the host, a book­ing needs to be already confirmed.

Instruc­tions for users: 

After the storm you called the guest but after hear­ing what you had to say she decided not to stay in the prop­erty you sug­gested. Your only option now is to can­cel her book­ing on the prop­erty that got damaged.

Please find any upcom­ing book­ings for The Pipj Stu­dio and can­cel them accord­ingly. Feel free to write the guest a mes­sage if you feel like it.

Notes: 

Can­celling of a book­ing by the host is a very del­i­cate process with seri­ous con­se­quences for both the host and the guest. The Web site’s respon­si­bil­ity is to inform the host of all pos­si­ble con­se­quences of his actions and that decid­ing to can­cel a book­ing is not a deci­sion to be taken lightly.

Task 7 — Edit pric­ing details of a property

Goal/outputs:

This task’s goal is to test the detailed pric­ing sec­tion of the appli­ca­tion. By the end of the task the user should have been able to spec­ify dif­fer­ent rates for dif­fer­ent times of the year, days of the week, and for dif­fer­ent con­di­tions (dis­count, hol­i­day). The final rates should be $120/weekday and $140/weekend between May 15 and Sep­tem­ber 15, $70/weekday and $90/weekend between Sep­tem­ber 16 and May 14.

Inputs:

The user will be given rates that match dif­fer­ent situations.

Assump­tions: 

This task assumes that the user under­stand the con­cept of high and low sea­son when it comes to accom­mo­da­tion rates, as well as the idea that prices should be higher dur­ing hol­i­days and on week­ends.  It also assumes that the user can solve sim­ple math­e­mat­i­cal equa­tions to find a weekly and monthly rate once a daily rate is given.

Instruc­tions for users: 

Now we’re going set up a property’s rate. Rates should change accord­ing to the time of the year, the day of the week, and the amount of days that are being booked at once.

Please change the rates for prop­erty The Pipj Apart­ment. Take into con­sid­er­a­tion that this prop­erty is located in a city that receives most of its tourists dur­ing the Sum­mer, from mid-May to mid-September.

The daily rate for the prop­erty dur­ing the Sum­mer is $120 for week­days and $20 is added to that on week­ends. Guests who stay a whole week or more pay only $750 per week. And guests who stay at least a month pay $2300 per month.

For the rest of the year the rate is $70 dur­ing the week  and $90 on week­ends. The weekly rate is $430 and the monthly rate is $1500.

When­ever there is a hol­i­day (Christ­mas, Easter, New Year) the daily prices go up to $150.

Save your changes.

Task 8 — Update avail­abil­ity cal­en­dar of a given property

Goal/outputs:

This task’s goal is to test the inter­face of the property’s avail­abil­ity cal­en­dar. By the end of the task the user will have the cal­en­dar updated accord­ing to the given schedule.

Inputs:

An avail­abil­ity sched­ule will be given to the user, as well as the rates to be used.

Assump­tions: 

This task assumes that the user was rel­a­tively suc­cess­ful on the pre­vi­ous task.

Instruc­tions for users: 

For the sake of this task, let’s pre­tend today is Decem­ber 1st and you just got a call from some friends ask­ing to rent your prop­erty (The Pipj Stu­dio) for Christ­mas, from Decem­ber 23rd till Decem­ber 27th.

The sys­tem will not auto­mat­i­cally update your property’s cal­en­dar because your friends did not use the Web site to book the prop­erty. Keep­ing your property’s avail­abil­ity cal­en­dar up to date is very impor­tant to avoid book­ing con­flicts and cancellations.

Please update the cal­en­dar man­u­ally and mark those dates as unavail­able for book­ing since the prop­erty will be occu­pied by your friends.

While you are at it, please change the rate for Decem­ber 31st (New Years Eve) to a hol­i­day rate since you antic­i­pate higher demand for accom­mo­da­tions at that time of the year.

Notes: 

Updat­ing of the avail­abil­ity cal­en­dar is one of the least intu­itive tasks in the Web site and one of the most impor­tant ones. It is essen­tial that it be tested and improved as much as possible.

Task 9 — Add/Edit addi­tional services

Goal/outputs:

This task’s goal is to test the inter­face of the property’s addi­tional ser­vices fea­ture, spe­cially its labels and over­all tax­on­omy. By the end of the task the user will have set up two dif­fer­ent addi­tional ser­vices for one of his properties.

Inputs:

The user will receive the details of the ser­vices that he will be asked to set up.

Assump­tions:

This task assumes that the user under­stands the dif­fer­ence of pre-paying for a ser­vice ver­sus pay­ing at the time of check in.

Instruc­tions for users: 

After rent­ing out your prop­er­ties for a few months you notice that most of your guests ask you about the best places around for break­fast. And some of your guests arrive by car and com­plain that street park­ing is too expen­sive and cheaper park­ing is too far from your property.

You see all that as an oppor­tu­nity to pro­vide extra ser­vices to your guests in order to improve their over­all expe­ri­ence and make some extra money.

Set up two addi­tional ser­vices for the Belle­vue Apartment.

The first is a con­ti­nen­tal style break­fast, and you will charge $15 per day and expect guests to pay for it along with the total rent fee.

The sec­ond is park­ing. You you also charge $15 per day but you pre­fer to wait until the guest arrives and sees you pri­vate garage because it is too small and not all cars can fit in it. So you will charge for the park­ing after you talk to the guest in person.

Save your changes.

Task 10 — Sub­mit a review for a guest’s stay at a property

Goal/outputs:

This task’s goal is to test the inter­face of the guest review fea­ture, spe­cially its loca­tion on the dashboard.

Inputs:

The user will be instructed on what to write on the review as well as which guest they will be reviewing.

Assump­tions: 

This task assumes that there are past guests in the sys­tem that were not reviewed yet.

Instruc­tions for users: 

The best way to con­vince poten­tial guests of the ben­e­fits of stay­ing at your prop­erty is to have pos­i­tive prop­erty reviews in your property’s list­ing. And the best way to get those pos­i­tive prop­erty reviews is to write pos­i­tive guest reviews of the guests who stayed at your prop­erty. That way when they read your kind words they will feel moti­vated to write good things about your prop­erty. Please write and sub­mit a guest review for one of your past guests — Roy Litkins — who stayed at the Belle­vue Apart­ment. Give him a 5 star rat­ing and write that it was a plea­sure to have him and his wife as guests.

Notes: 

This task is left for last due to its non essen­tial nature. It will be per­formed if users still have time to do so after per­form­ing all tasks that come before it.

 


Here’s the com­plete User Test­ing Plan for the 3rd round of usabil­ity testing:


In class

  • Change of direc­tion form
  • iOS Human Inter­face Guideline
  • Kino­topia

Feed­back

  • Include con­fir­ma­tion screen when accept­ing or declin­ing a book­ing request.
  • Improve book­ings page, includ­ing chang­ing labels and label positions.

Due next week

  • Revi­sions on final pro­to­type and user test­ing plan.

UX Design Notes: Room77 Competitive Analysis

Notes:

  • Room77​.com has a great con­cept: empow­er­ing hotel guests by inform­ing them which are the best rooms at a given hotel.
  • The prob­lem is that users are not able to see the avail­abil­ity cal­en­dar of that room or book it from the web­site. All the user get in the end of the expe­ri­ence is instruc­tions on where to call and how to talk to the front desk clerks of those hotels. The Web site is still in its beta ver­sion and not many hotels pop­u­late their data­base. How­ever it has great poten­tial, spe­cially if they decide to show user gen­er­ated pic­tures of the views and the rooms, as well as guest’s reviews.

What can I take from room77​.com?

  • Keyzz​.com should encour­age hosts to post pic­tures of the views from their prop­er­ties as well as its sur­round­ings and nearby attractions.
  • A “view” based search option for guests. If at least one prop­erty pic­ture is tagged as a “view” pic­ture, guests could view search results that com­pare prop­er­ties’ “views”.
  • Google Maps exten­sive customization.

What should I avoid based on room77.com’s Web site?

  • Search refine­ment that hides the options or uses non-conventional sym­bols to com­mu­ni­cate fil­ter options.
  • The Web site does not have offer a tool or fea­ture to help the users to find rooms that matches their bud­gets. Under the “room cat­e­gory” fil­ter there are three options divided accord­ing to room’s prices, but it does not give a real or ball­park price or price range. That means that for most users, room77​.com is a Web site that needs to be used in con­junc­tion to at least one other Web site in order to ful­fill the user’s main need which is to find a hotel room.

Due next week

  • User test­ing plan for “Host” User Testing

UX Design Notes: 2nd User Testing Report

Based on the results of the user test­ing and the com­ments made by actual users, the fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions were made. The fol­low­ing issues were encoun­tered in the test­ing and have rel­e­vant impact on the design of the Web site. They are listed in order of importance:

1. Search refine­ment feature

Guests who are look­ing for a prop­erty should be able to refine their search based on any of the ameni­ties that are present in the prop­er­ties being searched. One option is to ini­tially show only the most pop­u­lar ameni­ties and have a but­ton say­ing “show more ameni­ties” that expands the list of fil­ter­able ameni­ties in the search refine­ment panel.

2. Dash­board

The “Dash­board” but­ton should be more promi­nent on the page and once the user logs in, he should be able to see the dash­board instead of stay­ing at the home­page. On the dash­board there should be a “Find prop­er­ties” field.

3. Map with neighborhoods

The search refine­ment would be a lot more suc­cess­ful if there was a divi­sion of the city map in areas or neigh­bor­hoods. A more visual search refine­ment would be fun and engag­ing to use.

4. Check in and check out

If check in and check out dates are not on the home­page, those fields will need to be present in the prop­erty page. It is not enough to have them at the search results page. And either they will be pre-filled with sug­gested dates or the “Book Now” but­ton won’t be active until user chooses the dates.

5. Review page before booking

Users were con­fused about the book­ing con­fir­ma­tion page. It is not clear if the book­ing was done of if there is  still a chance to change book­ing details. There should be a “Review page” between the book­ing page and the book­ing con­fir­ma­tion page.

6. Exclu­sive Host­ing Feature

Users who rep­re­sent prop­erty man­age­ment com­pa­nies or that use the web­site exclu­sively to rent out their prop­er­ties can turn off the “guest” fea­tures of their account by choos­ing to “Turn on Exclu­sive Host­ing” on the pro­file sec­tion of the dash­board. That way fea­tures like the wish list and my book­ings won’t be a dis­trac­tion on the dashboard.


Bel­low is the com­plete report writ­ten after the con­clu­sion of the 2nd round of usabil­ity testing:

 


In class

  • Stu­dent pre­sen­ta­tions of wireframes.

Feed­back

  • Eval­u­ate www​.room77​.com.

Due next week

  • Fin­ish “Host” part of the prototype.
  • Com­pet­i­tive analy­sis for www​.room77​.com

I was absent to the classes on 03/30/2011 and 04/06/2011.

UX Design Notes: Revised Prototype

User test­ing scripts and tasks revised after 3rd test dur­ing the sec­ond round of user testing.


Pro­to­type revised after 3rd tester of 2nd Round of Usabil­ity Testing


Notes:

  • Cre­ated pages to sim­u­late “com­pose new mes­sage” flow since there is a pos­si­bil­ity that on user task 3 the user might send a mes­sage to host from dashboard.
  • Minor revi­sions of prototype.
  • Caen​.canada​.travel has a tool to iden­tify dif­fer­ent types of travelers.

In class

  • Mind map presentations.
  • Videos about new social net­work based user expe­ri­ences (World Park, Table Turntable, Ideo The Future of Book, Ideo ATM Machine)
  • SSNiF (Stake­hold­ers, Sce­nario, Need & Features)

Feed­back

  • Keep work­ing on the visual design. Try dif­fer­ent type­face combinations.
  • Using only slab ser­ifs make the visual look old west’ish.

Due next week

  • SSNiF Analy­sis of my project, focus­ing on user needs and fea­tures for hosts and prop­erty managers.

UX Design Notes: Information Architecture

Here’s the revised ver­sion of the infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture diagram:

Information Architecture Revised Spring 2011

Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture Revised Spring 2011


Bel­low is the User Test­ing Script and Tasks revised after the pilot test for the sec­ond round of usabil­ity test­ing to be con­ducted in the next few weeks:


Notes:

After pilot test was done, the fol­low­ing changes were made to the pro­to­type to allow a more con­sis­tent and real­is­tic expe­ri­ence for users being tested:

  • The sign up and log in flow were fixed.
  • List Your Prop­erty is now List a property.
  • The map on prop­erty page reflects the map on search results page.
  • Prop­erty details were fixed to reflect the details on the tasks.
  • Prop­erty list­ings were changed to give a more real­is­tic impres­sion of the search results.
  • Email mes­sage from host to guest was changed to bet­ter reflect the sce­nario pro­posed by the task.
  • Fixed task 5 instruc­tions and pages on pro­to­type in order to be con­sis­tent to the over­all sce­nario pro­posed by the task.
  • Fixed task 8 instruc­tions so it does not tip the user about what must be done (can­not use the term wish list, the user needs to guess that).
  • On the Your Pro­file page the add a pic­ture fea­ture was cre­ated to sim­u­late the real feature.
  • The search details sec­tion of the Search Results page was fixed to reflect the details given by the user task.
  • Details of the Book­ing page were changed to reflect the details of the user task 2.

In class

  • Lec­ture and video about mind maps.
  • User test­ing with Kathleen.

Feed­back

  • User test­ing text needs gen­eral revi­sion to improve clar­ity, use a more user friendly lan­guage, and improve cre­ation of a con­sis­tent sce­nario for the users.

Due next week

  • Revised User Test­ing Plan
  • Book­ing can­cel­la­tion sequence for guest side prototype.

UX Design Notes: User Testing Plan

Bel­low is the User Test­ing Plan for the sec­ond round of usabil­ity test­ing to be con­ducted in the next few weeks:


In class

  • Lec­ture: Con­tent, User Gen­er­ated Con­tent, Con­tent Inventory
  • Indi­vid­ual feedback

Notes:

  • User reviews should have the but­ton “Report this” to stim­u­late self reg­u­la­tion of user gen­er­ated content.
  • User gen­er­ated con­tent: how to engage users into par­tic­i­pat­ing, how to reg­u­late the con­tent being generated.
  • Con­tent Inven­tory can be done in con­tent maps: info­graph­ics describ­ing con­tent, includ­ing where it will be used, where it comes from, how it will be dis­played, where it fits in the over­all website’s database.
  • Divide con­tent inven­tory in two parts: user gen­er­ated and sta­tic content.
  • Make a big map of the user gen­er­ated con­tent color cod­ing it by where each piece of infor­ma­tion comes in and where it is displayed.
  • List non user gen­er­ated con­tent and whether it is ready or not.

Feed­back
After pilot test of the user test­ing pro­to­type, change the following:

  • Improve log in and sign up inter­face and flow (it’s not work­ing right now), as well as improve the word­ing of those sec­tions on the tasks.
  • Change neigh­bor­hood on prop­erty infor­ma­tion on the lit­tle boxes that appear on the map.
  • Change label “List Your Prop­erty” to “List a property”.
  • Change log in fields on top to a sec­ondary nav bar con­tain­ing Log In, Reg­is­ter, etc.
  • Fix pro­to­type so that on the prop­erty page when the user clicks on “Book Now”, it goes to Sign Up page.

Due next week

  • Refine exist­ing con­tent inven­tory, includ­ing con­tent maps and con­tent descrip­tion of each page.
  • Refine pro­to­type after pilot test.
  • Go to Usabil­ity Lab and set up user test on Moray.