Week 3 – User and Product Testing

Tuesday’s class was about the many user/product testing methods and their importance to the final product – through testing, it is possible to identify flaws and minor inconsistencies that might go overlooked by the developers.

There are two ways to collect data for these testings: the developers of the product might opt to collect the data themselves, or use secondary fonts of information already collected to assist in their research. The first method is very useful to gain data specific to the project, but requires time and money that aren’t always available for everyone involved into developing a project. It also requires the people involved not to let themselves be biased towards their product in the questionnaire and its answers. Examples of this method are surveys, online research and experimentation. The second method allows access to a myriad of information already collected and organized, in most cases for free, but it’s important to notice if the information is outdated or is even relevant to your project at all, and, if it costs money, maybe it’s wiser to spend money on the first method.


Our class survey was very helpful in gathering opinions besides our own about our product. Loretta also gave us valuable tips concerning some pieces that could be replaced for cheaper components and help us reduce both our final price and product size. Through the survey, we were able to get a real feedback about the interest in our product and its price, and the different opinions will help us to come with terms with the product’s final price and other minor changes regarding functional design. Personally, I believe both methods of data gathering explored by us are equally useful in their own manner – through the survey, we were able to get a more personal, detailed feedback on people’s views of our project and how engaged they are about it, but it’s also fundamental to use secondary fonts of research, especially to help us get used with this market and product design, since both are quite new to us.


Bad UI/UX example

The most blatant example that comes to mind is Lord of the Rings Online (LoTRO). It can be argued it’s an old game since it dates back to 2007, but there is something truly atrocious about the amount of information at times displayed on screen, how clunky the user interface can be, and, worst of all, how hard it can be to simply control the player character on screen since the controls might occasionally bug and invert themselves out of the blue. The game is dear to many fans around the world and, despite the outdated graphics and terrible UI/UX mechanics, it’s still played by many, but I actually find it nearly impossible to enjoy given how hard it is to get around the menus at certain points. Everything becomes a hundred times harder since the game barely takes its time to explain where everything can be found in the menus and users are forced to stumble their way through the crowded user interface. Some users have even developed alternative UIs to the game’s original buggy one to make things a bit easier.