This week we needed to create a mock usability test with papajohns.com using screencasting software and a gracious volunteer. I set up my volunteer, software and readings then she bailed on Tuesday. Living in a 24/7 city like Las Vegas everyone has a different work schedule, I work nights and weekends so it makes it difficult to work on group projects. I was scheduled to travel home this weekend so I was able to have family help me. I was surprised by how long it took to get a decent recording because the audio was the most challenging part. Me acting as the moderator and my participant had to speak LOUDLY to have my computer pick up the sound clearly. The other challenge was the free screencast software had a 15 minute recording limit. To meet this limit we recorded several versions and I was forced to cut out parts of the script.
I was surprisingly nervous the first few recordings, I had prepared and read over the entire script and tasks off camera for the past couple of days in anticipation of the video. Having a camera on adds stress to the moderator and the participant. She had me stop so she could fix her makeup (lol)! I was getting very frustrated because of the 15 minute time limit and we had to work through the tasks to make sure it wasn’t taking too much time. If we had no time limit the video would have been very long as the learning curve of this website and my mac computer was difficult for the participant on the first recording.
Remaining unbiased is difficult. It is hard to sit and watch the participant getting frustrated and make mistakes and it is hard not to answer their questions. I found it especially difficult because this is a person I know very well and I was thankful for their help. When she got stuck I used verbiage from the readings such as asking questions (what do you think you should do next?) and moving her along without too much leading. I felt I let the participant speak and talk through the actions, but the difficult part about multiple recordings is she already knew what I was about to ask even though I still wanted to try and follow the script.