I conducted user tests of the app on 6 participants, 4 children aged between 6 - 10 years and 2 adults in their twenties. The main goal of the user tests was to evaluate the usability of the lung function data gathering component. We were also interested in their response to the narrative.
The benchmark task was for the users to use the application to submit their lung function metrics. For this, they would have to identify the “Charge Lung Ma-chine” button from the home screen menu and follow the instructions.
Initial results were as follows:
Usability of lung function data component:
Our goal was to verify that children understood the instructions We observed that users failed to hold the phone to their ears when instructed. This led us to consider experimenting further with either a visual cue(a child holding a phone to it’s ear) or an audio prompt(using the phone’s speakers to convey the instruction).Users especially children did not follow instructions about holding their breath in until the second tone and then saying as many ma’s as they could before they ran out of breath. Most took in a quick breath and exhaled before the second tone. Some even took in multiple breaths while saying “ma-ma” multiple times. Users also had different ways of articulating “ma- ma”, some were mumbled, others spoke them too fast. The implication this has on our application is that we need to conduct more elaborate user tests while fine-tuning the audio instructions for the “ma-ma” component. One aspect would be to use a less robotic, child friendly voice and secondly to consider the way the “ma-ma” is enunciated in the audio, giving the syllable more stress and spacing the syllables out more giving the users a clearer idea of how to speak the word.
Findability was good amongst most users. Our 6 year old user required help reading the menu. But, as the target user group is 7-12 years, this was not something we had to adapt for.
Child users reported that they liked the story introduction to the “Charge Lung Ma-chine” activity. A couple of them wondered if they could have a longer story. This could be an additional component to increase the enjoyability of the app. All users found the wait time while the results were calibrated a little too long. We plan to mitigate this in future iterations by showing an animated count meter or animated in-process icon.
Our motivation behind the creation of this app was to create an application for children to use. While we have more insight on the improvements we can make from our preliminary testing, more extensive testing has to be conducted to ensure that the application is easy and enjoyable to use for our target child user group.