A transcript from a think-aloud session
Well, this looks like… it’s not a bad design overall for a watering can, but they’ve used bronze for the sprinkler part here, which is… it’s a sensible choice in terms of corrosion, of avoiding corrosion, but you need to think about galvanic corrosion here, where you, it’s steel, so that would cause problems. Maybe not a big problem for a small domestic item like this, but it’s something that would be a problem in a big industrial application.
What you need:
Tip: Don’t let them see the material until you’ve finished your demonstration, or they’ll start doing the task before you’ve finished explaining.
The timeline below shows which actions occur in which sequence, with each column representing a change in the action being performed. The first column shows that the person is reading; next, in the second column, they hesitate, and then they click an option, followed by swearing.
This is the most basic form of timeline; it shows the sequence of actions, but not how long each action lasts. More sophisticated timelines show duration, but these are difficult or impossible to fill in while the person is performing the task, and usually have to be completed from the recording of the session. The simplest form of timeline can often be filled in during a task.
Timelines are useful for showing where problems occur, and how often a particular action occurs (for instance, if people are repeatedly swearing while trying to use a prototype product, then that usually tells you where there’s a problem with the design).
You can use the outputs from these methods (e.g. concepts identified as important) as inputs for other methods, for instance within visual analogue scales.
These approaches can be used to identify places where hesitations and errors often occur, so that the causes can be designed out of the system (whether the system is a software, bureaucratic, or physical system).
Copyleft Hyde & Rugg 2021