Lesson 15 - we discuss Client, Classmate, Typical
User and Equipment Testing (7-8) Post Mortem PM (8-8:30)
Post Mortem DES (8:30-9)
course taught in classroom ALL attend
This first testing experience often strikes fear in the hearts
of even the most seasoned web producers. What if after all
your hard work, they don't like it? Not to worry! The purpose
of this class is to provide you with a safe place to make mistakes
and recover. Besides, the user testing most often shows what
a great job you have done. That doesn't mean, though, that
your product is perfect at this point. What seems logical and
clear to you, may not seem so to those who are not as close
to or familiar with your web site as you are.
Here's what you want to find out in the user test-run: What "problems" do
you need to fix in order to have a web site that truly does
for the client what you designed and developed it to do? A
problem could be anything from misspelled words and unclear
navigation to unanticipated user reactions or even the web
site loading so slowly that they user quits and goes surfing
at Yahoo. It also could be something as basic as the participants
hating the whole concept (not likely, but possible).
I wanted to discuss
all testing issues in one lesson, we will be implementing them over the next several weeks.
The sequence I have found most effective is to test it
Testing with Classmates
- conduct classmates test (CD
report due -
- conduct client test (DES)
report due -
- conduct typical users test (PM)
report due -
- conduct equipment test (PROG)
report due -
The first place to start is testing with your classmates. You will each be required to test 3 sites.
Access the list of who tests what.
2. The team will need to develop a "testing instrument" which
is a series of questions which can be used to test the site.
An example of a questionnaire has been provided. Feel free
to modify or create you own original form - sample
3. Next send out the questions to
the class mailing list. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please indicate in the email questionnaire,which 3 groups will
test your site and who the responses are to be sent to. The
responses must to be sent to one of
the CDs on your team. the evaluations should not be sent to
the class mailing list.
4. You also need to set a deadline for
when the evaluations need to be submitted. I recommend you
end all testing 3 days beforeDec. 6thso you have a few days
to prepare the report
5. The team member who is conducting the classmate testing
needs to decide if everyone who was supposed to fill out the
form, has done so. The team assignment
page will let you know
who is on what team so you can make sure everyone did return
the email questionnaire. Five days before the
evaluation is due send any missing students a reminder and
cc me. If a classmate misses the deadline for submitting an
evaluation the CD needs to send me an email reporting this
problem Students who submit their evaluation on time with helpful
feedback will receive 20 points per project evaluated for a
total of 60 possible points.
6. Create a Web page which displays the testing data. This
page can be stored within the CDs Web account, but must be
linked to - from the Web Project site.
Sample Classmate Testing Reports from
former students are listed below:
Harmony Garden Project by
Routes for Youth by
Testing with the Client
The designer needs to arrange for the client to test the site.
Please note that for all SRJC teams Susan Bagby Matthews is also considered the
1. This can be done in a face to face meeting or by email.
You may choose to use the same questions you used with your
classmates, or modify the questionnaire slightly.
2. In addition to the test questions you want to make sure
there are no typos or inaccurate information. I recommend
you print out the Web site as it exists and ask the client
to make corrections and notes on the printed pages. I often
miss things on the screen that stand out in print.
3. Once the client has submitted the testing results the designer
prepares a Client Testing Web page which is linked to from
the Project site. Sample Client Testing Reports are shown
below:Routes for Youth
Client Test by Jason Ellis
Health Care for All Californians
by Marci McNeil
I also need the designers who are conducting this test to
perform a printing test. Please print in color the opening
screen and one second level page from your site. Put these
print outs in my box or give them to me in class so I can make
them into a poster which will be displayed on campus.
Testing with Typical Users
- Recruit (5-10)typical users who are similar to
your intended user. Refer back to the "target market" description.
The important thing here is that the test user should, as
much as possible, be like your "real" user so you get the
most accurate information.
- Have the test-run participants use the web site and answer
questions about the site. Again you can use the same questions
used in the classmate testing when surveying the typical
users.You may conduct the testing online by sending
an email questionnaire and then having the tester send back
the answers, or you may meet with them in person and administer
a printed questionnaire.
- If the test is done in person, observe the test-run participants
as they use your web site. The important thing here is to
try not to interfere. In order to get accurate information,
you must not jump in to "help" as soon as you spot an apparent
problem. Of course, if participants really get stuck, you
do want to work with them so they can continue to test your
- Assemble the typical user testing results and create a
Typical User Testing Report web page. Load it on the Web
and then link to it from the Project site. An example is
shown here: Example
of Typical User Test
Testing under various Hardware and Software configurations
The conditions your site should be tested under includes:
- browsers (Netscape, IE, Modzilla, and Safari (Mac only)
) current version and one version back
- platforms (Windows XP and Mac OS X)
- screen sizes (15"- 21")
- net connection (slow modem, DSL, cable modem, T1)
- use with adaptive devices found in Hi Tech Center (see below)
I need you to view your web site at the High-Tech Center which
contains computers which have adaptive devices for students
with disabilities. Call Richard at 527-4890 and set up an appointment
for 15-30 minutes sometime within the next 2 weeks. You will
be allowed to view your web site using the equipment and determine
how the site looks to the disabled
Take note of any problems including:
- color distortion (is it major or can you live with it?)
- graphics or text that does not fit on the screen
- dramatic changes in layout (look for cracking tables)
- site cannot be navigated at the high tech center
- length of time the site takes to load on a slow modem
Here are samples of well done equipment tests:
Steve Fontaine - Sonoma County Health Department - Equipment
Dennie Ismalov - Sonoma Literacy Coalitiion -
James Foreman - CCAT
For the next few weeks everyone is busy testing each others
sites and presenting the site to the clients. Hopefully the
majority of the work is done, unfortunately the details will
get you every time.
You may be wondering what needs to be changed as a result
of this testing. Here are the class guidelines.
1. Fix cracked tables, broken links, images that do
not load,images that do not have alt test, typos, or content
2. Do not make major revisions to the site content because
the client now has new ideas for what to say. We use the
content which was provided by the client before production began.
3. If recommendations
are made regarding the site
design the team will need to discuss what they want to do. if most folks find
the site easy to read and use and one person thinks the font
is to small then I would not change font size. If, however several
testers say the font is too small and you used CSS I would
recommend increasing font size to accomodate the testing results.
Content for these teaching materials were developed by Linda Hemenway.
If you have questions or comments on the material I can be contacted through
Web site design by Jessica Hirsch - email@example.com
Funding for these notes provided by Project FIVE and Project
PICTS supervised by Doug Garrison - Dean of the Petaluma Center.
This course is a core requirement for several Web Development Certificates.
Learn more at the Web Certification
The CIS Department offers courses in the following areas: computer basics,
applications, graphics, web development, productivity, networking and programming.
Visit the CIS Web site.