How Research, Experimentation and Feedback Helps Improve User Experience

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Any online software is only as good as its users perceive it to be. Ease of use, efficiency, and simplicity are some of the most important things to keep at the forefront of your mind when considering user experience. Over the past two years, Meazure Learning has invested in growing a team essential to the satisfaction of our users. While not directly connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth of our user experience/user interface team has contributed greatly in the effort to adapt to the ever-changing needs of online learning.

With a specific focus on the test-taker journey, it was apparent that research needed to begin with first-time test-takers in mind. After executing the research on first-time test-takers vs. repeat test-takers, the data suggested that we could improve satisfaction scores, and reduce the amount of time it takes for a test-taker to begin their exam. But how?

Below are a few examples outlining how Meazure’s user experience team has transformed research and experiments into tangible improvements for our test-takers.

Promoting Preparedness Through Technology

ProctorU offers a feature called “Test It Out”, which allows students to test their equipment at any time in efforts to ensure they’re prepared for exam day. The goal is to ensure that we provided a way for test-takers to know what they need from a technical perspective for online proctoring, and a sure-fire way to mitigate the risk of a technical issue prior to an exam.

In 2019, we significantly upgraded the Test It Out functionality – expanding the technical aspects tested from 4 to 15. Although this was a vast improvement, the value of this feature was masked by an undesirable user interface. Based on user feedback, the following upgrades were made throughout 2020-2021:

  • Documentation was re-written from the student’s perspective 
  • Minimized technical jargon in warning messages 
  • Added visual indicators for warning messages of importance vs. informational messages 

Improving the Student Experience Through the Proctor’s Eyes

While our focus during this research period was directly related to the test-taker experience, it was important to explore all avenues related to the test-taker journey. In early 2020 – prior to the pandemic, a research project was started with an effort to increase proctor efficiency. Consequently, we found via the results that increasing proctor efficiency also had a positive effect on the test-taker launch process.  

For context, the launch process is defined as the amount of time it takes for a student to enter their exam once connected to their proctor. 

After several rounds of inclusive research where proctors of different countries and experience levels were able to bring their insights, we ran an experimental interface against one of our support lines and were able to save 8 seconds per launch. 

Scheduling Made Simple

Scheduling an appointment for anything seems like a simple enough task, right? Choose your day and time. It’s more complex than you think, and when brought into an online world it’s important to provide users with a useful and desirable experience.

In June 2021, the team noticed that user behavior when scheduling an exam appointment wasn’t quite lining up with their hypothetical models. Thus, research ensued. After several rounds of experimentation, we were able to pinpoint a few steps in the process that contributed to confusion. While these results are still being analyzed, we hope to reduce the friction around scheduling an exam appointment and contribute helpful solutions in the near future.