The stupidest usability test I've ever done

try to confess By blogging like this, I want to change my mistakes from tacit to formal knowledge so that it can be knowledge for myself and others.

My confession is about the stupidest usability test I've ever done.

The stupidest usability test I've ever done was to tell me to hover over a tab to select it.

The story goes like this:

Among the proposals brought for usability testing, there was a tabbed design.

Like any other tab interface, clicking on a tab selects the tab. A way to go to the home of the tab should be provided within the tab, but there was no link to the home of the tab. Among the drafts I saw before the usability test, there was a link to the home, but the link to the final one was missing.

But one of my concerns was how to get to the home of that tab.

Where is this stupid interaction design and usability testing?

Without providing a link to that home, it makes sense to test how to get there!

We had already been recruiting, and the development schedule was tight, so we tested it first.

Participants couldn't figure out how to get to the tab's home page from the tab, and, desperately, clicked the tab and clicked it again on the tab they were viewing. Of course, there was no action.

It was easy for people to find hints. Looking at the name of the tab, I got a hint to go to the home of what the name refers to.

Tabs are used to provide more information (links) in the same space. However, as it has been shown in other usability tests, people don't often click on other tabs other than the one shown. Therefore, the probability that the information of other tabs will be exposed to people is inevitably low.

So the solution I came up with is this:

“It’s the first time I made it, so if it’s important to expose the contents of other tabs, let’s change the tab’s interaction method.

By hovering over a tab selection, you can accidentally see the contents of other tabs. And move to the blemish of each tab, as the participant tried to do, if you select the tab, let's go to the home of the corresponding service. And to keep the home experience, let's hover over the tab selection for this kind of tabbed interaction in another service.

However, since this method is to change the basic interaction method, people's lives are exhausted later on because it is at a standstill. Let’s make a menu that goes to home.”

However, rather than the fundamental design, the solution, which was a dilemma, was reflected.

As a result, the contents of other tabs could be exposed more easily, and the results were good. It will open when you mouse over it.

And I changed it to the same interaction in other services.

Moreover, there is a tab in the home of other portals, and when you select a tab with the mouse over and click, it goes to the home.


When you click a tab on some sites, it goes to the home page without being clicked, and in some places the tab is selected. If you mouse over, you may not be able to move between the tabs with the keyboard.

One of the things I hate the most is that they look similar but behave differently, so you have to be careful each time you use them. This will be the case not only for interface elements, but also for any other object or person.

It looks the same, but it works differently I don't know if page 11 or page 2 will come out if I click 'next' of the page numbers. You have to take care of each site every time.

Anyway, isn't it convenient for people to be able to easily view the contents of other tabs with the mouse over? This may be the case.

yes it seems like that

But what I was suggesting was to change the way the elements of the basic interface called tabs interact. It is used not only in the portal home but also in numerous web sites, and before the web site was used, it was used for operating systems such as Windows and Mac and applications running in it, and is still being used.

Still, people have adapted well, so when viewing from a portal home, a tab is selected with the mouse over, and when a tab is selected in the option dialog of the browser displaying the page, the tab is selected by clicking well.

In some ways, it may not be a big problem, in other ways it may be a big problem.

By the way, my foolishness is in proposing a consensual solution in a situation that is already a problem, rather than talking about a solution to the root cause of the problem while testing something that already contains a problem.

How foolish I was!

Usually, we talk about fundamental solutions and immediate solutions whether we do consulting or research, but it seems that more solutions that can be done right away and can be effective immediately are adopted rather than fundamental ones.

As a suggestion for my stupid solution, the pages of the links in the 2nd and 3rd tabs were exposed and clicked right away, but in the long run people will be confused. Other portals and websites will follow suit, and people will keep getting confused.

For page navigation, Yahoo! When you click 'next', the next page is standard (I don't know if it's still a Yahoo! standard), but 11 pages are displayed in some service pages. If you click Next on the Naver search results page, page 11 appears. Someday the next page comes out. However, Naver's pages with many page numbers still have 11 pages.

People can only get confused. Still, there is an alternative in this case. Just ignore the 'next' or 'next page' and click directly counting the page numbers.

However, there is no alternative to tab interface mouseover. Because we changed the basic interaction.

Mouse-over taps cause another problem in terms of usability.

If you look at a link in the current tab and drag the mouse to click it, then touch another tab, that tab is selected and the link you were trying to click disappears. How annoying!

Not only portal home, but many web sites now use tabs like this.

I'll have to change it somehow, but I blog after years of guilt.


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