It is our constant endeavor to enhance user experience of Zilicus applications. The recent focus has been on ZilicusPM – Online Project Management Software.
During beta phase of ZilicusPM we did significant usability testing with set of users. It improved its usability. After launching ZilicusPM till today, we observed certain pattern of usage of ZilicusPM; and that gave us an opportunity to re-visit its usability aspects.
1. Perform heuristic evaluation
2. Carry out usability Testing
3. Use the insights & learning from above techniques to improve ease of use, intuitiveness thus acceptability of ZilicusPM
- During beta we did significant exercises to understand how users are using ZilicusPM and improved it based on the findings. This time we extended usability testing by inviting another set of project management professionals, program managers, IT administrators as well as junior level users to Zilicus Lab.
Discussion with the Audience:
- In order to test user experience, we discussed with them about the use-case scenario, but they were free to take their own approach (i.e. steps to take)
- As invited users started using ZilicusPM, our team (primarily consist of Product Manger & Product Architect for ZilicusPM) started closely observing
- How are users navigating through the application?
- Where are they looking at?
- How are they figuring out controls button/links?
- Are they noticing (& guided by) tool tips?
- Are they getting confused at any point: Given multiple choices, which choice did he/she opt for?
- Are they getting blocked at any point? If so, what subsequent action did he/she take?
- While all these users were using ZilicusPM, no one from our team interacted/prompted them. We were just silent observers
The Q&A session to gather insights:
- Once users have completed their ‘use-case-scenario’ using ZIlicusPM; we asked him/her about the whole experience
- What were her/his first three things he noticed as he/she logged-in?
- Was he/she able to locate necessary information & click on the buttons- required to complete ‘use-cases’ in consideration?
- Were help tips (tool-tips promoted by system) useful enough to hand-hold him in order to use ZilicusPM?
- At some point if user has appeared as ‘confused’ we asked, what all thing confused him?
- As he/she clicked on few buttons/links/etc controls or entered some values, what minimum information he would have liked to see or change?
- If user appeared to be ‘blocked’ at some point in time, we asked him/her multiple questions and tried getting the deeper understanding of ‘why certain UX elements can appear blocking’
- Just like the exercise we carried during ZilicusPM Beta, this exercise gave us few great insights & certain areas on improvement in ZilicusPM
- What may be obvious to us (as App Provider) may not be equally obvious to all users (we observation this phenomena, in case of few non-technical users)
- In the application, we need to bring consistency in terms of the actions-buttons e.g. buttons/actions related to ‘create’ will appear consistently in a defined pattern across features
- Some transitions & notifications in ZilicusPM are appreciated by users e.g. while user is taken from one information-set to another (e.g. Project Listing to Project Workspace) the transition has been smooth as well as if there are any updates to schedule, user is informed of the implied changes through message.
What it means to US
- This exercise & feedback received from experts’ reviews have given us some great insights. We have already implemented some change in ZilicusPM application
- Upcoming release of ZilicusPM (April 2012) will give you improved experience & performance
We will continue to improve performance & usability of ZilicusPM so that it will become easier to adopt & engaging for continued use. Let me know what are your insights & thoughts about such exercise. I would love to hear if you have something to say about usability of ZilicusPM.
Image Credit: www.jungleminds.com
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