Last November I did a small research in context of my module “Applied Research”. This research was about evaluating the changes we made to the carpooling user interface.
We did these changes to the user interface to improve the usability of the application. After the Beta test in September we found out that many users had problems in understanding the terminology used. It turned out, that applying a pulled taut terminology is a hell of a job. Finally, we agreed on a new wording and minor Graphical User Interface improvements.
During my research of observing different user groups with alternative versions of the graphical interface, it turned out that the new terminology had nearly no effect on the usability. Most of the participants were struggling to use the application efficiently. Furthermore I observed some problems which we did not think about in advance.
The most misused feature of carpooling is the ability to specify your own car. Nearly no participant, regardless whether they faced the new or the old interface, managed to use this feature correctly. Therefore we have to improve this in the future to make it more intuitive.
The second big issue was how the users handled their home address. Nearly everyone typed in his home address manually into the address field over and over again instead of saving it to the profile.
Finally I concluded that the problems we thought that they affect the usability turned out to be not as important as assumed. In return there are some other important issues which we should address in the future.
I want to thank everyone who participated in this research and helped to improve carpooling.