Testing the use of Google Assistant to access the GDL

The last few days, the GDL team has been working on designing new features for the GDL with children in schools in Kibera (Nairobi), the largest urban slum in Africa. It has been a true privilege!

The goal of this iteration of testing has been:

  • Testing new games and interactive content
  • Re-testing navigation on our web app
  • Initial testing with kids that use Google assistant to access the GDL

The most important learning this week is that even a child living in a shed, without water and electricity can be an expert on a smartphone. Praise and Faith (10 years old) in this video showed us how they are using voice to read books with Google assistant.

User testing in Ethiopia and Cambodia

The main objective of the user test in Ethiopia and Cambodia has been to discover weaknesses in the GDL web application. The focus has been on both technical weaknesses and on usability issues. The tests have been performed on both wireless networks and cellular networks in Addis Ababa and in a rural area outside of Phnom Penh Cambodia. Detailed descriptions have been given to test participants on what step to execute. The tests have been recorded using Lookback (https://lookback.io) where both, sound, screen, clicks and face has been recorded.

User test highlights

1) Navigation to find book works well

All test subjects were successful in finding books and navigating to books on their language. All test subject was successful in navigating by using the menu. Som subjects did not understand the meaning of the menu icon.

2) Reading book

All test subjects were able to find a book and start reading by clicking the read button. All test subjects were able to navigate pages using click or swipe. All subject understood how many pages they had read and how many pages were remaining.

3) Close book

Nearly all test subjects had difficulties finding the close-book feature. In addition to this, the subjects who found the button had a difficulty clicking on it due to its positioning and size.

4) Download book

The test subjects did not understand the difference between ePub and PDF. Most of the test subjects selected PDF both for print and for reading later.

5) Load more

Users did not notice the load more feature.

6) Finding a specific book

When users were instructed to find a specific book, it was clear that a need for a search-function is essential.

GDL user testing in Nepal and Ethiopia

Creating a good and engaging user experience is the starting point for any development process in the GDL project. This demands user driven development processes, including a profound understanding of different user situations.

During the initial phase of the GDL project we conducted user tests of the translation tool and the early prototype of a mobile native app. To ensure relevant user feedback we conducted these user tests in Nepal and Ethiopia, two locations where the language represent different challenges for the GDL team developing the platform.

In the user testing of the mobile native app prototype, some of the things we looked for were very practical, including the following:

  • Find an e-book, search, and user categories
  • Download and organize books in “my books”
  • Read a book, including the toggling between pages

We have also conducted user tests of the functionality in Crowdin, a content translation platform that supports crowdsourcing and proofreading. This was the main purpose of our user testing workshop in Addis Ababa in June.

Some of the tests are recorded, to ensure that our development team can go back and look at the user tests at any point in the development process.

Example 1, child reading book on a mobile app

Example 2, proofreading of Amharic.