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The Product
8 Billion Minds is a live learning platform that fosters knowledge-trading around the world at no cost to the user. Users can teach, share or learn subjects of interest in a casual or informal setting. 
The Task
A beta site was created and was in need of testing with real users, this is where I come in. No testing was conducted prior and was needed to validate current design decisions.
The Goal
I wanted to test the current beta site with real users to be able to measure the success rate for important key user tasks. This would uncover problems, discover opportunities, and learn about user's behavior and preferences.
I wanted to assess the learnability for new users interacting with the 8 Billion Minds beta site for the first time on a desktop device. I wanted to observe and measure if users understood the site's basic functions and navigation to access lessons and teachers. Finally, I wanted to identify any pain points and provide recommendations to address the issues.
11 Weeks on part time schedule
Sr UX Designer, PM, Founder & UX Designer (myself)
Key Goal:
Capture user feedback on current user experience of beta site
The Process
Preparation is the key for successful usability testing. My role was to plan, conduct, analyze and present findings along with user-centered recommendations.
Create a Test Plan
Facilitate the Test
Analyze & Synthesize
Create Report
  • Conduct test
  • Observe & record user behaviour
  • Noteate pain points
  • Identify goals & user tasks
  • Create a test script
  • Recruit users
  • Review video & assess user behaviour
  • Affinity map
  • Feature prioritization matrix
  • Provide user centered recommendations
  • Wireframes
Creating the Test Plan
Once the scope of the task was defined and with the goal in mind I defined my test objectives and tasks, followed by writing the test script and finally recruiting participants.
Identify Testing Goals & Tasks

  • To observe how easy users could complete the onboarding and sign up
  • To determine if participants could quickly and easily understand the purpose of the site and the value it provides
  • To observe the usability of important key features
I set three main goals to be accomplished in this usability test.
User Tasks
  • Complete the onboarding steps 1-3
  • Create an account
  • Search for a subject you are interested in learning more about
  • Search for a teacher to learn from
  • Send your teacher a message
  • Request a session
  • Find resources to assist you
I recruited 5 participants
Age of participants: 20 - 60 years of age
Skills: Everyone had experience online learning as a student or as a teacher
Method: Remote moderated testing
  • Age range 40 - 50
  • 8th grade science teacher
  • Likes learning from online platforms
  • Enjoys teaching
  • Age range 40 - 50
  • High school art teacher
  • Likes learning and sharing knowledge
  • Open to online learning
  • Age range 30 - 40
  • Nursing Student
  • Prefers learning in-person but would like online mentors
  • Open to learning not teaching
  • Age range 20 - 30
  • Vocational nurse 
  • Current student
  • Open to online learning not teaching
  • Age range 50 - 60
  • Software engineer
  • Prefers learning in-person but would like online advice
  • Open to learning 
Facilitating the Test
To get started, I explained the agenda for the session and made sure to put each participant at ease by initiating the conversation with general questions.

After they were comfortable, we began the usability test. I directed them to the beta site and explained to them the tasks one by one and encouraged them to think out loud and and had them sign a video recording consent form.

I sat back and observed each user's reactions, identified pain points, and noted valuable feedback as they completed each task. Redirecting the user to the task at hand when needed.

Remote testing was held from June 10 - 14, 2022 using Zoom. Participants were given details about the session including video link and consent form through email prior to the testing date. The time allocated for each session was 20 - 35 minutes, which included; a short briefing before the session, tasks, and a debriefing.
The Results
In total, I observed 35 attempts to perform tasks. Of those attempts, 10 were successful, 20 were partially successful and 5 were failures. For this particular site, I gave partial success half a point.

So the success rate was (10+(20*0.5))/35 =

57% of Success Rate.
  1. Complete onboarding steps
No. Participants Completed Successfully
No. Participants Completed with Difficulty
No. Participants Failed Completion
2. Create an account
3. Search a subject
4. Search a teacher
5. Send teacher a
6. Request a session
7. Find resources
Pain point areas
All users expressed frustration or confusion with the following:
  • Search for a subject - Some users questioned if thier subject was available and were confused with the suggested list. They thought they were limited to the provided suggested list.
  • Completing onboarding steps 1-3 - One user wasn't sure if the example greeting was an example or something someone had typed. All completed steps 1-3 but all expressed some sort of unsureness of the form being used.
  • Creating an account - All users did not like having to figure out their time zone
  • Searching for a teacher - After searching and coming to the matches screen, some users questioned if the cards available were teachers. It was not as obvious. They would all like to see more details on bios and experience. 
  • Requesting a session - 2 users skipped the duration feature and all had to think about thier time zone.
  • Sending a message to teacher - Most users were confused by the button stating message send, close here after they submitted their messages.
  • Finding resources - All users spent time clicking on the about us, chat icon or info button hoping to find help or resources. None found it.
  • Adding thier time zones -  all users expressed frustration with the current experience of figuring out their time zone.
Analyze & Synthesize
After reviewing my findings I carefully laid out the identified pain points in an affinity map to help me analyze and synthesize the data into categories and patterns. Below are my results.
Paint points.png
Pain Points.png
Feature Prioritization 2 x 2 Matrix
To help me prioritize the issues, the founder, ux designer and myself used a feature prioritization 2x2 matrix to help us prioritize the categories of issues based on the importance of the business (x-axis) and the importance of the user (y-axis). We organized each issue in its corresponding area and labeled them in order of importance.
2x2 Matrix.png
I created user-centered recommendations for the top 3 issues identified in the 2x2 matrix above.
1. Sign up - time zone feature
Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.56.00 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.46.31 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.46.56 PM.png
Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.39 PM.png
Pain point: 4 out of 5 users had trouble figuring out thier time zone and questioned parts of the sign up form. I notated other comments the users made and kept those in mind when creating an easier, faster and secure sign up.
Beta sign up form
Sign up form.png
Beta time zone list
Time zone list.png
Recommendation: Remove the time zone list and add a find my location feature and use a more current and familiar form. Improved the UI to compliment current brand.
Sign up recommendation.png
2. Onboarding Steps 1, 2 and 3
Pain point: All users completed all three steps of the onboarding but they all expressed some sort of unsureness about the form being used. 
  • Starting with the introduction screen (step 1), it was a bit intimidating for some users to have to write about themselves so changing the order of steps was our first solution.
Original onboarding steps
1. Introduce yourself to the community
2. What subject do you want to learn?
3. What subjects can you teach?

Recommended order
1. What subject do you want to learn?
2. What subjects can you teach?
3. Introduce yourself to the community

Original onboarding steps 1, 2 & 3
Recommendation: The form was updated to a more common form, the UI was updated to suit the brand, the footer was removed from onboarding screens, and the action buttons were updated.
step 1.png
step 2.png
step 3.png
3. Search/Landing Page
Pain point: All users found the search box on the landing page, but some questioned if their subject was available and were confused with the suggested list that would appear as they input their subject. They thought they were limited to the list.
Screen Shot 2023-01-28 at 11.19.28 AM.png
Screen Shot 2023-01-28 at 11.20.03 AM.png
Insight: Allow the user to be the first user to create a subject category if their subject isn't found
Screen Shot 2023-01-28 at 11.20.46 AM.png
Insight: Give the user options to get engaged and get excited to sign up with a popular subjects area
Original Search/Landing Page
Screen Shot 2023-01-18 at 1.24.14 PM.png
Recommendation for Search/Landing Page
Screenshot 2023-01-15 at 7.47.56 PM.png
Action Buttons
Improved accessibility by adding contrasting colors.
Improved the readability of the title and subtitle by reducing the lines of text, change in font and utilizing the negative space better.
Some users were not sure what to search so to engage them I added an explore button to help them view possibilities.
Next Steps
The continuation of the recommendations and wireframes were created for all seven tasks in the usability tests. Once the prototype is complete with the iterations the following would take place to assess new changes.
Round 2 of Usability Testing

Another round of usability testing would prove how successful our updated iterations will be with our users. 
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