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Software Testing >> Usability & Accessibility Testing

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watkis4
stranger


Reged: 08/16/06
Posts: 100
Loc: England
Usability changes on existing Apps
      #495885 - 06/30/08 07:22 AM

I am currently reviewing some planned changes to some apps that have been on the market for a while, but we are now trying to apply some usability standards to. Things like putting buttons in the same place, changing how copy/paste works, etc. While I think these are great, and should have been there from the start, I do have some concerns we are making changes to an app that our customers are already familiar with, and so will have to amend how they use.
Does anyone have any experience with this?

Susan


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Peter RuscoeModerator
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Reged: 03/18/02
Posts: 7686
Loc: Tampa Bay
Re: Usability changes on existing Apps [Re: watkis4]
      #495933 - 06/30/08 09:50 AM

As a user - yes. With a major release of (successful) software, it is unusual but not unheard of to make major functionality changes that affect keystrokes, mouseclicks etc.

I didn't like the changes at the time, but eventually became used to them.

It's a marketing issue - will your customers defect en masse if you make these changes?


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watkis4
stranger


Reged: 08/16/06
Posts: 100
Loc: England
Re: Usability changes on existing Apps [Re: Peter Ruscoe]
      #496554 - 07/02/08 05:25 AM

Peter - not sure but checking with the marketing team is a good idea.

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Inder_P_Singh
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Reged: 06/18/08
Posts: 115
Loc: India
Re: Usability changes on existing Apps [Re: watkis4]
      #496760 - 07/02/08 09:26 PM

Hi Susan,

Although these planned usability changes look good in theory, it might be worthwhile getting a cross section of actual users look at (some of) the changes in the applications using a prototype/ a UI/ documents/ something. The feedback from the users would indicate whether the planned changes would be welcome or not.

We did similar changes to an application in production and the users really liked the changes. But in our case, the changes were suggested by the users in the first place.

Thank you,
Inder P Singh

--------------------
Inder P Singh

For more of my thoughts, visit the blog, Software Testing Space @ http://inderpsingh.blogspot.com/


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snadia
Member


Reged: 06/13/07
Posts: 39
Loc: pakistan
Re: Usability changes on existing Apps [Re: watkis4]
      #556238 - 03/12/09 03:08 AM

Hi,
I used to suggest the usability changes on the application which is already developed.
It is very good approach to implement such suggestions in the application.
what sort of help you need? as i have a standardized checklist, and then go through the process of performing task, and point out the issues which i feel as a new user.
My third focus is on the navigational flow, and consistency throughout the application.

--------------------
Regards,

Nadia


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montgomeryam
Member


Reged: 04/28/05
Posts: 81
Loc: Michigan
Re: Usability changes on existing Apps [Re: snadia]
      #558318 - 03/23/09 06:03 AM

Doing some Usability Testing is definitely a good thing to do with new and existing users. This is the only way to really see if the changes are positive for both sets of customers.

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rob_lambert
Member


Reged: 12/06/07
Posts: 50
Re: Usability changes on existing Apps [Re: montgomeryam]
      #564747 - 04/23/09 08:51 AM

Susan,

I've been in the same situation many times in my career and there really is no easy answer.

I've had usability sessions with customers and some have been a raging success, others haven't. The problem I found was that some products have such a large and diverse user base that you will not get a uniformed answer.

Some products don't. I'm now involved in usability designs and have been studying usability for a while now and the one thing I can suggest to you find out who your audience are.

Find out how technical they are, how familiar with the process they are and plot it. Work out what 'group' of people generate the most income or use your site the most. And make it work for them.

There is no point making a site consistent and appealing to what an internal person believes should be done. If 90% of your customers are using it fine - then leave it alone. However, if the other 10% generate 90% of the income then make it work for the 10%

Only by finding out your customers, their purpose and the context in which they use your site will you really be able to make it truly usable to *them*.

Hope this helps. And good luck with it - it's a tough challenge.

Rob..

--------------------
http://thesocialtester.posterous.com/


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