Keen to understand how the site I have been working on would test to someone who has never seen it before, I invited my mother to be my UX test guinea pig with the promise of dinner in return.
With a brand new website about to be launched, it is essential to have user feedback. My mother perfectly fitted in one of the demographics of users. Therefore, she was an ideal candidate for user experience testing. Knowing she wasn’t the most tech-savvy also meant that most users would also understand if something was easy or straightforward for her.
I warmed her up with some very simple tasks, which she passed with flying colours.
Stepping away from the project and looking at it with fresh eyes, or instead through my mother’s fresh eyes, was enlightening in many ways.
Some elements were easy to navigate around, and some surprisingly not. For example, I asked her to navigate back to the home page when on a sub-page. Instead of clicking on the logo, as would be standard practice for me, she used the back button until she got all back to the homepage. It is not a significant issue as the site is only 3 levels deep, but it made me think about the famous amazon rollover logo, which then included the text home.
When I asked her to find specific information within the site, she navigated to the completely wrong section of the website, and after a while, gave up looking. Now, I’m not saying that some of the problems she found were significant issues. It might just be because she spends little time online. But it was highly informative for me and gave me a good list of issues to be looked at and fixed.
I think UX testing with mothers IS the future. Care to lend me yours?