😠 She saw me as the Mango Killer. I cannot say that she does not love me, because she does. When I looked back I could see the anger rushing through her eyes. I still remember the running shadow in the crop field as the sun is at the highest peak. There I was, my grandmother chasing me with a stick. If she caught me I knew I was going to get it , but I was not worried. I have been in this position many times, since I had a habit of climbing trees and plucking mangoes just for the fun of it. The green mangos are not ready and that is what pisses my grandmother.
🌴 When software does not have good usability, you also get that same feeling. It is the same as eating a green mango expecting a sweet taste. When I design a Graphic User Interface (GUI) for On-call Ma SMS delivery, the first principle I think of is “don’t make me think”. The fact is people do not want to think. Making people think is the same as creating pain and users will try to run away in the face of pain.
However, that is not the case for my grandmother. My grandmother could simply tell my mother not to visit her, leading to me not visiting her. She wanted my company, but not my bad behavior. My grandmother wanted me to visit her for sure. I can see that in her eyes when she makes food for me in the morning time. Sometimes it can be difficult to see from someone else’s perspective. When it comes to usability, there is nothing wrong with just asking the user instead of guessing.
Arriving at good UX for SMS
👩💻 According to Google Senior UX researcher Jenny Gove, it does not take a lot of money to do some usability testing. In fact, you can pick a family member like your grandmother. I am sure my grandmother prefers me interacting with her instead of picking mangoes. To help me with usability testing on On-call Ma SMS messaging I asked my wife, two sisters, my brother in law, and my college friend. I picked these users because they have a job. SMS module was designed for business-to-business customers and I want to make sure my test subject is closest to the end user.
My goal was to leverage existing user behavior such as WhatsApp or Skype to handle the navigation of the GUI. The goal of usability testing is to understand the thinking process of the user as they do a certain task. An example would be “I clicked on the “Message (SMS)” tab because I want to send a text message and the word SMS meant I was in the right place. Then I clicked on “Send a new message” with a plus icon next to it so I can send the message.”
📂 As I was doing my usability testing, I have realized that using a template to send a message is uncommon and requires education. Regular users did not have enough existing knowledge to navigate. Therefore, I have added a help section within the template GUI “Need help? Click here to learn how to use a template.” There is nothing wrong with giving a helping hand just like my grandmother spending time explaining why bad behavior gave her stress.
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