This was my off half hour this morning.
This morning, I usability tested myself,
among several other things...
- Get on bus [normally 10-15 minute ride].
- How about a quick email check on mobile phone?
[Motorola CLIQ:Android, 2 weeks and still shiny]
- Open [in GMail] a promotional email from a
certain major book/etc. retailer touting their eReader!
- Specifically touting "Got a BN eReader? Get a Free Coffee!"
- Don't drink coffee, but do like the idea of a BN eReader.
Am trying out 2 different ebook apps already, sure, add a third...
- Text in email that says "Download eReader" is bold and
differently colored. Try clicking that to download. Success?
- Fail. Does not download eReader(or do anything else).
- Irritated and pressed for time, so missed seeing smaller
link farther down page -- after some more promo text -- which says
"Download it now". It? What's an 'it'? I'm skimming for 'eReader'.
- Also ignore link at top saying "Hurry! Offer Ends July 15.
Coffee's On the House - When You Show the eBook You're Reading*"
not expecting it to do anything other than blather on more about
the promotion, how wonderful coffee is, how wonderful ebooks are,
etc. Because I don't care about the coffee, dammit, and I'm not
reading an eBook yet because I don't have your eReader yet. Fail.
- Use a link in email to go to major book/etc. retailer
website home page.
- Search for 'eReader'.
- Search results don't bring up eReader in 4 results,
but do have link to "Download eReader" in footer. Success?
- Fail. Link says "page not found".
- To add insult to injury, it suggests I use search.
- Impatient [bus has turned onto Columbia Pike] I go to
Google and search 'barnes noble ereader'. [I used to be a
librarian, kids, don't try this at home.] Link to [correct]
page shows up 2nd or 3rd.
- Go [back] to BN via Google. Find "Download eReader."
- Fail. Link wants to send me to iTunes to download. WTF?
If I wanted iTunes on my smartdevice I woulda bought an iPhone.
- [Whole rant re: years of me vs. iTunes deleted for time.]
- Bus is now on Hayes St. I have about 3 more minutes of
Internet connection before going into heavy shielding [aka the
DC Metro]. Back to Google and search just 'eReader'... looking
for reviews, maybe, to see if this thing is even worth my time.
- See a result for ereader.com. Ooh! Go there. Success?
- Maybe! Top banner even says "a Barnes & Noble Company"
and in left nav there is a top link for "FREE eReader Software
▪ Download Now!" Click on that.
- Ooh! Nice listing of phones and Android is right there!
Click on "Android", hoping it doesn't route me back to iTunes...
- Adds "eReader for Android" choices at bottom. Extra step,
but I sure feel I'm on the right path now... click on that as
bus turns into Pentagon.
- Android applications manager tells me I'm default set
NOT to install apps that are NOT from the official Android store.
Oops. I know how to fix that, though. Quick detour through Settings
and I'm downloading and installing eReader.
- Launch eReader. Hmm, no obvious BN branding? Sure hope
I have the right app... can't worry about that for the next 5
minutes as I transfer modes of transportation and lose Internet.
- Temporary reconnection as subway crosses above river.
List of ebooks available. Choice for Categories or "View ebooks
by Author". [I used to be a *cataloging* librarian, kids, so I
know how erratic categorizing fiction can be.] Authors! Ooh!
- Nooooo! Search and browse design unthinking! Gives me
a list for 'A' authors, with choices at top for the other letters
of the alphabet. However, it also alphabetizes the middle initial
A. as the start of a last name.
- And, it displays results as 'first name last name'.
- And, should you scroll down to 'Mariano Azuela ' at
bottom of 'A' list, no way to get to 'B' list without scrolling
back up to top of page, which is a royal pain on mobile devices
where the screen is long and thin.
- Back underground and on to work, via a maze of twisty
corridors that all look alike...
Some people debate the 'validity' of usability testing because
it's generally set up to do specific scenarios in a limited
time session with supposedly artificial testing stress added.
I'm now wondering if my usability tests are too nice...