WordCamp San Francisco User Testing Results

WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. San Francisco, @johnbillion and I conducted some user tests.  We focused on three feature plugins planned for 4.1: Focus, Author Select, Session Manager.  When possible, we created an editor account for users and had them participate on there own device.  When they didn’t have a device, they participated on one of our laptops.

Below are the notes.

Dan – developer. using a macbook

“Wow” was first reaction to focus. Kind of felt like it was shocking and he needed some frame of reference. Maybe keep 5px or so of menu so you know you can go back to it. Fading of buttons kind of make it feel like they are disabled.
Author select – Immediately knew what to do. super natural
“Where are you logged in” – knew to go to profile page, found the panel right away.

Michelle – designer/developer. using a macbook

It’s disconcerting not to see all the things. “If the point of things is to be distraction free, it’s weird not to see publish since that is what people want to do”. Fading of buttons seems a bit weird. Not sure she like automatically going into distraction free. It’s jarring.
Author select -didn’t search, just selected.

Janneke – Developer. using an iPad mini

Author select on iPad mini – Super hard to use. Can’t really scroll down. Not at all intuitive.
Profile manager – Looks horrible on iPad mini
Focus – She is building it, so I didn’t test it 🙂

Josh – Developer. using a macbook

Likes not having the sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. menu. Losing the metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. boxes seems odd. Might be weird for some people.
Author select. Select 2. Using display name instead of user name. Seems odd.
First looked to tools to find where he was logged in.

Joe – Developer. using a macbook

Lag on the editor screen makes things feel slow and confusing.
Author – Not used to to having it enabled by default is different. Seems to be able to use

Cory – WP business owner. using his macbook

Loves the focus. Seems super natural.
Author – Very usable.
Profile – Didn’t quite understand question at first, but once he did, made it and found that info right away.

Mel – designer. using our laptop

Focus – It’s weird that it’s not centered. Less things on the page makes it harder to focus.
Author – “I heart Select2”

Jen –  Freelance writer and photographer. Has her own blogblog (versus network, site), using a MacBook.

Initially wasn’t enthusiastic about the fact that the meta boxes and menu disappeared, “oh, what’s going on?”. Was confused about how to get them to re-appear, erroneously clicked an unrelated button in the browser in an attempt to get the UIUI User interface to reappear. After figuring out that the UI re-appears when you move your mouse or tab away, actually very much liked the behaviour.

I mentioned that we were considering adding a feature pointer pointing to the DFW button. Jen said she thinks this will be important. User has no other idea of what’s going on otherwise.

Couldn’t find where the user sessions may be listed. Mentioned that she is the only user on her site so she would have no interest in it. Expected it to be on the dashboard, or on the same screen as Jetpack analytics.

Christen –  blogger

“Create a new post” – First went to quick draft. When I sent her to the regular draft screen, it seemed natural to her. She liked the “Distraction free writing”. It felt natural to her. Once it was in place though, she didn’t really look for anything else on the page.

Andre – Theme Builder. Design and build.

Focus Was natural. Really liked and it seemed 100% natural to him.
Author – Select two was a natural choice and he really likes it.
Went to tools page to find sessions.

Matt – developer and project manager

Not enthusiastic about using the editor focus improvements himself, but said he would leave it enabled for his clients who write more long form content than he does. Suggested that some form of A/B testing may be desirable if we have the time. No other feedback.

User session list will be of interest to him as a project/site manager, not so much use to his clients themselves. Suggested that we could implement a dashboard widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. which displayed the “last accessed” time for the current user, or listed other current sessions if there is more than one. Also suggested adding an “active sessions” column to the user list screen, visible to site admins.

#user-testing, #wcsf2014

Omnisearch User Testing

Howdy, all!

Sorry for the delay, been a chaotic week or so. Just got the results of some user testing back thanks to the assistance of @lessbloat.

View Results: https://www.usertesting.com/videos/dQBRyueQ9EsMAv1OsQrQmg%3d%3d?back=%2Fdashboard%3Fnew_study_id%3D%23study_905321

Here’s my notes:

  • User remarks that there is no obvious intermediary way to search things. Seems frustrated about having to go from the current page, to the archive page, to search.
  • Unrelated Bug: (possibly due to browser extension?) For some odd reason, when the user selects the search box, it jumps below the list table. Really odd behavior in IE 10.
  • Dislikes native WordPress functionality of the “Search” in the adminbar expanding when selected (native is only on front-end, Omnisearch expands this functionality to adminadmin (and super admin) ui as well) — believes it should be natively expanded. Reiterated several times. Perhaps look at making it drop down a search box on hover (kinda like twentyfourteen does), rather than expanding on click and shifting things about? Unsure.
  • Found Bug: Reply hoverlink in comments list [in omnisearch] doesn’t function properly (missing JSJS JavaScript, a web scripting language typically executed in the browser. Often used for advanced user interfaces and behaviors. hook).
  • “Overall, I would say that this is a much better tool, much better layout.”

The user seems very positive, seemed to consider it a great win for usability. Pointed out a few bugs (as noted above — only notable one I caught with Omnisearch itself being the hoverlinks in the Comments to reply didn’t work), which I’m about to patchpatch A special text file that describes changes to code, by identifying the files and lines which are added, removed, and altered. It may also be referred to as a diff. A patch can be applied to a codebase for testing..

Our weekly meeting will be as usual, Thursday at 22:00 UTC (6pm Eastern)

#omnisearch, #user-testing