OSM User Testing

I’ve written previously about OSM usability studies, and now it’s happening. Nate Bolt from the fantabulous Bolt|Peters is going to help OSM run usability tests and we need your help.

The timeline looks something like this: This week or next we’re going to switch on some javascript on the OSM signup page that invites a percentage of signups to help OSM run a user survey. Those people fill out a form and are invited later to use some simple online screen capturing software while asked to do some simple tasks and this is where you come in. We need to think of some simple tasks for new users to complete, and we’ll put them together over on this wiki page. Add a street? Find a mailing list? Add a point of interest? What should they do? That’s up to you.

Also, if you’re running a mapping party we can give you a super secret link where you can send new users to do the same tasks with screen recording. You mustn’t help them on the first go, as that’s exactly what we’re trying to find out – what goes wrong.

Then on December 8th (tentative) at the Bolt|Peters office in San Francisco, OSMers together with the UX wizards will analyze the videos and make some joint suggestions on how to push things forward. Anyone in SF, or can be in SF around then, please drop me a mail.

4 thoughts on “OSM User Testing

  1. Harry Wood

    By coincidence we’ve just this morning been teaching a room full of students at UCL, how to edit with Potlatch. (<a href="http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/UCL_Masters_Student_mapping_party_Sept_2010">UCL Masters Student mapping party Sept 2010</a>)This wasn’t proper UX test conditions. We were telling them how to get started and intervening when they got stuck, but even so, Me and Andy Allan were finding it really fascinating to witness some of the sticking points. Andy took some notes, and I’ll be blogging about it too at some point (will link from the above wiki page) The "test" was to get registered and then input the data they had been out to capture the previous day. This was paper mapping, mostly POIs, with a similar level of guidance. That’s the ultimate use case. The thing we want new users to be able to do.

  2. Andy Allan

    Let’s make sure we don’t spend too much time testing the fact that p1 is a bit cryptic! Most of the problems I saw today are things that aren’t relevant in p2.

Comments are closed.