Today we did some basic usability testing of Apps from QA interns. We wanted to see both the messaging as well as usage pattern. hence we did not tell what is the site about and asked them to visit. We also made them comfortable to give any critical feedback without any inhibitions.
Each of them got machines and one observer from our side. We took notes but did not indulged in any sort of answering questions. Rather we asked questions some times to check the users intention while following certain path.
It was very useful especially because we use our product so many times, we know where to go to do certain things. But user lacks such information and should be able to use any consumer application without a need of any manual or experts help. That too without getting frustrated. So it is important for obseving the usage of App / Site by a new user. You may get surprised!
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