To:††††††††††††† Laura Thrasher
From:†††††††† Jonathan Konieczny
Date:††††††††† June 19, 2002
Re:†††††††††††† Instruction Assignment Field Testing
I've completed testing instructions on how to use a 3-D computer graphics model building toolkit that was written by me in C++. The instructions were approximately eight pages long, and included a tutorial on how to create a simple colored cube using the tool. They also included an extra sheet on the control scheme. Note that this memo contains only information on the testing of the instructions, not the product itself.
Target Audience for the modeling tools, and thus the instructions, are computer programmers who require a simple tool to build simple 3-dimensional models, without having to learn a lot of advanced features in order to use it properly. The programmers experience with computer graphics or modeling may be little to none, so the instructions should require little knowledge of the subject.
The first subject is my roommate, Matt Blahna. He had little or no knowledge of the subject matter, and was chosen in order to make sure the instructions were simple enough to follow that even a very basic user can follow along and learn the product.
The second subject is my brother, Joel Konieczny. He is a computer programmer with moderate knowledge of the subject matter. He was chosen because he is a potential user of the product, and fits exactly in the target audience.
Each subject was sat in the chair in front of the computer, with the instructions opened.
Although I was there in the room, no verbal instruction was given unless the subject could not continue without my personal intervention.
Each subject was timed to see how long the instructions took to complete.
After the subject completed the tutorial, he was interviewed as to the experience and asked for suggestions on the improvement of both the product and the instruction set.
†Overall, the instructions were a success. Both subjects were able to complete the instructions without intervention from me.
The first subject, Matt Blahna, took 20 minutes to complete the tutorial. This may seem like a long time, but he played around with the controls and options for a while, and did not feel like any part took too long to complete. He did offer several suggestions for grammatical changes, and how to make the instructions clearer. Also, there were a couple of points where he side-tracked off the instructions and got lost, which may indicate that further instructions about the topic he got side-tracked on would be useful. Some of the technical issues with the product also confused him, but did not prevent the completion of the instructions and ability to use the product as explained. Also, he asked for a couple more pictures that had arrows pointing to specific parts of the control interface to be used, rather than just a picture of that part. He lost a minute or two of time due to not being able to find controls. Finally, he had some questions on some of the advanced features not covered by the instructions, so I may add further advanced instructions on those features.
The second subject, Joel Konieczny, took only 7 minutes to complete the instructions. He felt the instructions were easier to follow than the Matt Blahna did, and had less technical questions. Most of his problems were about the product itself, and had quite a few suggestions for its improvement. As to the instruction set, he thought they could have been a bit shorter and to the point rather than explaining exactly how to do everything. He liked the controls document more than the tutorial.
As a result of the user testing, I will re-write a few of the problem sections to make them clearer, and probably add a short advanced tutorial on the programís use. Finally, a couple of minor issues need to be added/fixed:
1. That the enter key needs to be pressed after changing some of the controls
2. Explain loading do's/don'ts, as Matt Blahna crashed the program by not precisely following the instructions - perhaps change the program rather than the instructions
The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.