[OSM-dev] User Testing OSM.org
lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk
Sat Dec 7 20:30:01 UTC 2013
Ian Dees wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I'm working with a Chicago organization called CUTGroup  to set up a user
> testing event for the OpenStreetMap website and the iD editor. The goal of
> this testing is to get feedback on the experience of navigating, signing up,
> and editing data from users that are new to OpenStreetMap. At the end of the
> day we'll generate a list of observations and actions that the OSM community
> can take to improve the new user experience.
Sounds like an excellent idea. A few things spring to mind, but what
you'll be able to measure depends on the volume of people you get
through the door - too few and any "big picture" results may be
statistically insignificant (although any common anecdotes that you get
for particular parts of the site might still be useful). Didn't someone
have a go at this a few years ago (either at a London meetup or driven
by some academic research) - it'd be interesting to see if you can try
and measure some of the same things and see how the results compare.
One thing that I'd definitely consider asking before anything else is
"what they think OSM is, and what use they think it will be for them".
Another thought, but one that would only really work if you've got
sufficient volume, is to divide a portion of the testers into 3 - one
group to use iD, one to use Potlatch 2, and one to use JOSM. What does
each group manage to accomplish? How frustrating did they find the
experience? How likely are they to try and add something to OSM again?
There's been lots of talk in the past about "users of editor X causing
problems such as Y". Usually the observations are valid as individual
observations, but there's been little attempt to measure anything
statistically significant. After iD went live but before it became the
default for for most users I did try and tot up some numbers for
but that doesn't measure mapper frustration, or how much they achieved
compared to what they had wanted to.
With regard to testing the usability of the site (and iD), it would be
useful to try and get some sort of measure of how much of the available
functionality they were using, and how much they just didn't find.
Taking a specific example, I know in iD which is the "help button"
because I've pressed them all and seen what they do, but I really don't
know what the icon is supposed to represent. Obviously in a desktop
browser you've got tooltips, but that's not the case on a tablet or phone.
In iD, can they figure out what the options on the radial menu are and
can they figure out how to have the radial menu appears somewhere else
if they need it to? For example, if there's an L-shaped hedge that goes
from the southwest to the northeast, and then turns left toward the
northwest, can they figure out how to split it in the middle and add a
piece of hedge that runs from the middle to the southeast? Also, can
they work out why some items (e.g. "make this line go in the opposite
direction" might be needed?).
More information about the dev