UI Testing with Focus Groups

Focus GroupsFocus group a is research method when a group of users is invited to participate in user interface (UI) testing. Users invited to evaluate interface usability are, in fact, potential clients.

Interviews with users are conducted in accordance with a scenario or guide written in advance. A user is asked to answer questions or fulfill tasks when working with the app UI. All users’ actions, attitudes towards certain interface elements, remarks and emotions are recorded in audio and video for further analysis.

The main goal of a focus group is to increase usability level of an app or a site.

A focus group method can be applied when testing prototype UI to collect and analyze initial opinions about interface and improve questionable elements. It is also practised at the UI testing of a ready app. Upon completion, we come up with a list of improvements to be made.

Focus group interviews allow better understanding of end-users’ behaviour patterns, which is not attainable with other methods.

Here is an example of UI testing conducted by our dedicated testing team with a focus group:

When UI testing with a focus group is completed, we create a table of results that shows all problems the users experienced during the testing process. The detected problems are later fixed by changing interface, design or functionality of an app.

As a result of UI testing for XBtrack, the following problems were detected:

Task 1 Enter the application using any generated email for the first step of registration and any domain name for the second step

  1. After login, the system doesn’t offer any further actions
  2. It is not convenient for user to enter his new login and password manually

Task 2 Add any user in the system

  1. It’s not intuitively clear how to create a user
  2. It takes time to find the required functionality
  3. The purpose of the button NEW is not evident
  4. The button to add a new user doesn’t look like a standard button that the user supposes to see
  5. It is not clear what login should be entered to add a user

Task 3 Create/Add a User

  1. The button Add doesn’t look like a button

Task 4 Set the grid view in order to see information that is important and useful for you

  1. It is not intuitively clear where the grid settings are
  2. The user gets lost in the variety of interface elements
  3. The user thinks that settings should be in the user profile
  4. It took 70 seconds to find the grid button

Task 5 Turn off email notifications except changes in statuses

  1. The button to set up notifications differs from other buttons of the app, which causes little confusion
  2. It is not clear for the user whether the settings have been updated and he leaves the profile without saving the changes. Thus, the task is not completed.

Task 6 Add the previously created user to your project

  1. Button to edit the project is not evident
  2. Functionality problem: it is not always possible to do the expected action (drag and drop issue)

Task 7 Add a task for this user

  1. The details form is overwhelmed with options and the user gets lost in the sequence of his actions
  2. It is hard to distinguish the main functionality
  3. Error in program functionality (task displaying in the grid) made the user even more dissatisfied

Task 8 Login the application using the account of previously created user

  1. Profile button is missing
  2. The user was confused that the login of the user he created didn’t match the name he entered

Task 9 Add comment and upload any picture to the previously created task

  1. While adding a picture, it was not evident that upload should start upon a click on the button
  2. System behavior in this part differs from commonly used implementations.

Task 10 View the uploaded picture in the application (using the source of the application)

  1. It was so inevident how to open a picture that the user downloaded it several times
  2. The user spent a lot of time to find a View Gallery button to view the picture
  3. The button View Gallery doesn’t look like a button

Task 11 Log out the appication

  1. The user had no problems with logout

As a rule, we conduct several focus groups (1 or 2 in general) involving users of different levels of proficiency and awareness: experienced users and technical specialists, users of average level, who are somewhat familiar with the program, newbies who are new to the program. There are from 6 to 12 people in each focus group. Minimum time necessary to prepare and conduct a focus group is 4-5 days.

We also conduct repeated focus groups after interface has been updated to ensure the application became more user-friendly and meets users’ expectations.

Примеры кейсов

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