Continuation of an institution’s first usability test

Client: Regional Institution
Project Characteristics: Organization with limited familiarity of usability testing | Multiple user groups | Multi-platform test | Usability testing
Industry: Finance

This was a follow-up study of An institution’s first usability test and the goal was to evaluate additional functionalities such as wire transfers, enrollment, etc. As the project manager, I oversaw and executed the usability test and provided guidance on how to continue the process.

Project goals:

  1. Evaluate the design and provide insight as to how it can be improved for the different user groups (private customers, small business customers, and corporate customers).
  2. Provide insight about potential improvements in functionality across the different platforms (web site, smartphone application, and tablet application).
  3. Suggest improvements to the client’s overall design process.

Challenges:

  1. Delays in development caused us to start testing with a system that was still a work in progress.
  2. Due to delays in development, the external vendor had not been able to incorporate any of the feedback from Round 1, so the issues facing the participants were compounded.
  3. Making sure the report clearly communicated the severe state of the system and that the user experience was not performing up to acceptable standards.

Outcome:

After the first round of testing, the external developers continued to build out new functionality while completely ignoring the issues with the user experience and, in fact, making it worse. After the final presentation, it was clear to the client that the vendor was lacking appropriate expertise in user experience and that they had to reallocate their internal resource to tackle the problem. It also became apparent that the time line would need to be readjusted to accommodate the redesign. After communicating the results of the usability test, we suggested alternative processes that the client could use to achieve a better interface design.