Here are some edited highlights of the MacGuffin platform alpha test, which was done at MMU’s Digital Lab facility.
The videos focus on the ‘pain points’; parts of the user-journey that some of the participants struggled with, and which flag-up the UX elements we’ll need to improve.
The eye-tracking tool is really useful. You can see it in action in the videos. The orange circle shows you where the participant is looking on screen, so if (for example) they fail to select the correct navigation button, we can tell from the eye-tracking if this is because they just don’t see it (and there’s a great example of this in video 6: ‘Upload Audio’, where several participants don’t clock the 3 upload tabs).
Here are the pain points, in chronological order:
Some participants initially mistook the ‘sign-in’ form for the ‘sign-up’ form. That might seem trivial, but we could loose a high volume of potential users before they’ve even tried MacGuffin.
* Automatic direction to sign-up (rather than sign-in) if user doesn’t already have an account.
* Clearer visual differentiation between the two functions.
2) Tag logic
Some participants didn’t understand that tag searches (rather than free text searches) return better results. And when they did search for tags, the tag matches often weren’t evident in the results (i.e. they remained hidden). In this example, they’re asked to search for a crime story set in Leeds (there is a story on MacGuffin with the tags ‘crime’ and ‘leeds’).
* Give tag matches far more weighting in search rankings than free text, and automatically bring tag matches to the top of the tag field in search results, i.e., if a user searches for the tags ‘crime’ and ‘leeds’, the first result will be a story tagged ‘crime’ and ‘leeds’, and the tags ‘crime’ and ‘leeds’ will be listed first under that story.
3) Add tag
Some participants were confused about where to go to add tags to a story, and whether their tags had been saved.
* A pop-up prompt to add tags at the end of reading/listening to a story.
* A ‘tags added’ notification animation (or save button).
4) Rate Story
Some participants were confused about where to go to rate a story, and whether their rating had been saved.
* A pop-up prompt to rate story at the end of reading/listening to a story.
* A ‘ratings added’ notification animation (or save button).
5) Add author name
MacGuffin prompts users to add an author name before they upload a story. All participants found the form a bit confusing (particularly having to add their password and getting no confirmation of successful completion).
* Move the ‘add author name’ field to the ‘upload text’ form.
* Don’t require password input to add author name.
6) Upload audio
Some participants struggled to grasp that ‘Upload Your Story’ is a 3-stage process. 1) Add text; 2) Upload audio; 3) Add tags.
This paint-point appears to have a couple of contributing factors:
Some misunderstanding about what MacGuffin does on a conceptual level (i.e. that there is a text and audio version of all content on MacGuffin, therefore if you are to upload a story, you must add audio).
Page layout/navigation issue. It may be that there’s simply too much to look at on the page (and much of it is confusing, e.g. the 3 help box topics don’t match the 3 stages).
* Visual design of the upload page should re-enforce the 3-step process more, from top to bottom.
* All marketing and promo material should emphasise the text & audio principle of MacGuffin.
We’ll be returning to these videos as refine the MacGuffin platform, with further iterative guerrilla testing as we move towards the beta release in April.
Next up: iOS alpha test videos.