My Brain Is Fried

I went and did a *usability test* for a piece of software today. When screened I told them I do not use this software currently. They said wonderful, you are perfect. Well I guess I am perfectly stupid, cause that is what their test made me feel.

It was proto type, no help files, I was there to see how *intuitive* the new features were. It was a group of 10 folks all men and me. Needless to say I felt even more stupid when the testers/engineers all looked 12 and all 4 were male as well.

They asked questions about things I had no clue on, I was somehow in 40 minutes suppose to figure how to cross data from one program to another link it, make a secure relationship and build graphs and charts from it turn it all into html for a website...failure, just shoot me know.

I know access, I know html, and I have some experience with relationships and permissions and such. But I do not know what the hell I was suppose to do with any of this...task number 1.

Golly once that one was done and the guy next to me finished early and others seem to be waiting on guess whom.

So task two...take the data (created earlier) and form tables and parts and throw on style sheets so it is all pretty in the website I am creating. Great, another talent, I seem to have missed.

Finally task three...shoot me know. Take the full website, break it into regional sections and with this new spiffy, no help beta program create permissions for each section which would allow different groups the ability to change one piece and not another. Hence create administration rights for each section (4 total sections), then email each section off to a given website...ROFL, yeah right!

With no help available and no insight to the program which I had never even used earlier versions of it, this was like brain surgery with complications taught through instructions on a cheerios box.

Hence a swell day, my brain and ego are fried.

Hope you all had a better one.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a common reaction to beta software and your input will have helped those developers a hundred times more than than the input of their technical peer group.

Often when developer's begin the task of designing and then building their software they forget that the end user may not have a degree in software engineering, or may not have any knowledge of advanced human computer interaction.

Because of this huge blind spot there are some absolutely brilliant pieces of software available which no ordinary user can be expected to figure out how to use and thus tools that might make workplaces more productive end up on the scrap heap.

You did well Elisa, and the very fact that those developers were tuned in enough to have a mix of testers of varying ability shows that the software engineering industry may be finally maturing.

Posted 9/15/2004 at 4:51 AM by blaize7x

12:49 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Yep, I agree with Blaize. You were the better person to have there as a test because you were so unfamiliar with the software. Hell from what you described I'm not even sure I would have known what to do and I'm moderately familiar with Frontpage.

Posted 9/15/2004 at 7:21 AM by hodgetj

12:50 PM  
Blogger E said...

Well from what I got these are 3 new features in the prototype not to be released til '06, so all this is just beta.

From my experience I would never use Frontpage...it was so NOT intuitive. I know homesite and some others, plus I do most of my basic coding in wordpad...Frontpage hid everything and did not let me code the way i wanted to...it hurt and made me feel very dumb.

Posted 9/15/2004 at 9:06 AM by ElisaH

12:50 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Well you're so far from dumb it's not even funny. So be happy it's over and just think--money and free software will soon be heading your way!

Posted 9/15/2004 at 9:16 AM by hodgetj

12:51 PM  
Blogger E said...

Soon...shit no, you get it at the end of the session. I was in building 32 had to drive to building 21 to get my grutuity.

I already got all that...*grin*.

I now just need to throw it up on ebay and sell the software...brand new unopened office xp pro...legit copy.

Posted 9/15/2004 at 9:43 AM by ElisaH

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

look at it this way, Elisa...I know ABSOLUTELY nothing, nada, and zilch about what you're talking about...doesn't that make you feel better??? LOL have a good one

Posted 9/15/2004 at 11:21 AM by gentleheart

12:51 PM  

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