Usability Test: Eat Your Greens
Eat Your Greens is an AngularJS web application that performs a plant-based recipe search using terms entered by the user. It returns the top 10 results with basic data and links to full recipes.
Volunteers for a usability study were recruited from among known friends and acquaintances. They were sent a request to visit and use the site followed by the completion of a questionnaire. Volunteers in this first round of testing are primarily non-web professionals.
The questionnaire was created using Google Forms and is stored on Google Drive. A link to the questionnaire was provided in the initial invitation to participate and is also available in the footer and “Contact” sections of the web application.
As of this writing there were 12 respondents to the questionnaire.
Section 1: Overview
Q1. What type of device did you use to visit Eat Your Greens? (check all that apply)
The majority of respondents (50%) visited the site via I-Phone.
Q2. How long did it take to understand how to use the Eat Your Greens web application? (pick one)
- Instantaneous or under 5 seconds
- Quickly or under 15 seconds
- Not too long or under 30 seconds
- Took awhile or under 45 seconds
- Too a long time or under 1 minute
- Took forever or over 1 minute
- Still working on this.
The majority of respondents indicated that they were able to understand how to use the app within 5 seconds.
Q3. Where you able to do any of the following while using Eat Your Greens (check all that apply):
- Perform a search using a name of cuisine or dish.
- Perform a search using an ingredient.
- Find the name of recipe in results.
- View an image of the recipe.
- Read ingredient list in results.
- Read fat and calorie content.
- Read dietary information (e.g. “Low-Fat”, “Low-Sodium”, etc.)
- Click button to visit the recipe’s website.
All tasks indicated received 40% or higher success rate among respondents.
Q4. Rate overall level of difficulty in performing a search for recipes using Eat Your Greens.
Respondents rated difficulty of performing a recipe search on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being most difficult). 75% considered this task to be easy to perform.
Q5. Did you visit any pages other than the home page?
The home page holds the majority of interest for the user, but 8 respondents (66.7%) indicated that they visited other pages of the site. (These 8 respondents where answered the following Q6 and Q7, all others skipped ahead to Q8,)
Section 2: Site Navigation
Q6. Which pages did you visit?
The about page was the most visited page, although all pages received good traffic.
Q7. How easy was it to navigate from the home page to other pages on the site?
Of the 8 respondents who visited pages other than home, 6 rated the ease of navigation as a 1 on a 1 to 5 scale (where 1= easiest to use).
Section 3: Usefulness
Q8. How likely is it that you will use Eat Your Greens again in the future?
Respondents used a linear rating scale from 1 to 5 to indicate their level of interest in future use of this application (where 5=frequent use, 2x/week and 1=never use again). The majority indicated a rating of 4. Some respondents commented off the record that they had bookmarked the app, because they are “always looking for recipes like this”.
Q9. How likely is it that you would recommend Eat Your Greens to a friend?
Using a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being very likely), 50% of respondents indicated it was very likely that they would recommend this app to a friend.
Q10. How useful were the recipes that you discovered while using Eat Your Greens?
Respondents then ranked the overall usefulness of the recipes they found in their searches on a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1=none were useful and 5=I’ve already made one of the recipes). 7 respondents (58.3%) indicated, although they hadn’t cooked a recipe yet, they anticipated they might.
Section 4: Suggestion Box
Q11. Would the addition of any of the following features improve your experience with Eat Your Greens? (check all that apply)
- Ability to save recipes
- Display more search results
- More information and/or resources about plant-based diets
- Site fine the way it is
Q12. Do you have any other suggestions for ways to improve the overall usefulness of Eat Your Greens?
This was an open ended post where some respondents submitted additional feedback. Among them, where the following to be considered to improve functionality:
“Not super convenient to scroll down to see recipes on home page. What about tiles with the name/image of each that you could scroll past horizontally?”
“If an ingredient has no results, a default message would be nice.”
“Great site! It was really easy. The only problem I had was on the search. I expected to be able to hit enter to submit my search. That might be useful.”
“Spellcheck. LOL For the user, that is, typing in an ingredient or recipe.”
Add ability to save recipes. This was a feature that I considered including in the initial build of this application, but from my own experience with similar sites had not found it to be that useful, except in theory. I decided to present the application without this feature, initially, and wait until I had received feedback from the user questionnaire. This feature garnered the most significant interest among respondents as a way to improve their experience.
Add a “No Results” message. This is a suggestion that was made by a user who turned up no results on a search they attempted. The suggestion definitely has merit and will be considered for future iterations of the site.
Add ability to hit enter on keyboard to initialize search. This suggestion would add to the accessibility and overall ease of use for users on the site.
Consider other feedback and evaluate methods to implement them. Other suggestions made, such as:
- Adding spellcheck to the entry box
- Considering a “swipe” presentation of results rather than scroll
- Including more results (or a more results button)
Continue testing. The questionnaire is still accepting responses at this time as there are still several volunteers who have not completed the test yet. Once they have completed I will close the questionnaire until improvements are implemented.
Implement A/B Testing. For future iterations of the site, I would like to create analytics experiments to study usability of specific features.