19
November

Usability Improvements – Round #1

Summary:
How we did usability testing and what usability problems we discovered since we started to focus on it.

For those who don’t know what is usability I recommend reading Jakob Nielsen‘s Introduction to Usability.

Simply put: usability is a measurement for how easy user interfaces is to use.

Usability Testingis something every software development company should study and do well. I have to admit that we had absolutely no clue how to do it properly until recently.

Our usability tests consisted of asking our colleagues from different departments what do they think about this “new layout or feature” we have developed, but as we have discovered this has nothing do to with usability testing.
Since we started doing usability tests properly, we have identified the following issues:
  • Going back to the dashboard was a difficult task to do
  • Editing a topic after insertion was a complicated task to do
  • Inserting new lines in topic titles is not obvious and hard to figure it out

Let’s take it step by step.

Going back to the dashboard
This one was easy to fix, we placed a button “Dashboard” on the top-right corner of the Mindomo Editor, just beside the “Logout” button.
Editing a topic after insertion
After inserting a new topic the users we tested had the tendency to take the mouse and click on the topic to start editing. The same thing could be done just by starting typing, but because there was no visual clue most users did not know that this would work.
Our fix: after a new topic is inserted we enter into edit mode automatically and select the text.
Breaking lines in topic titles
We don’t have a solution for this one yet. We have a couple of ideas, but didn’t test them yet.
What do you think about these changes ? What other usability problems are you being faced with ?
Thank you for your feedback,
Zoltan.

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