INTRODUCTION

 

 

METHODOLOGY_

 

 

PARTICIPANTS

 

 

DATA

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

 

SUMMARY

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

 

REFERENCES

 

 

 




















INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                     

The B.O.B. Revolution is a popular jogging stroller developed by B.O.B Trailers, Inc.  It is described by the manufacturer  as a “lightweight, high-quality stroller that you could still take running, hiking or off-road and also fold up easily and compactly”.
A usability assessment test will be performed on the B.O.B Revolution to determine if the instructions and labeling for the stroller assembly, handling and folding are adequate and easy to follow by anyone using the stroller.

Purpose

The focus of this test will be on the interaction between human and product (Bevan 2003)  and whether during product development the emphasis and focus have been on developing the machine or system and not on the person who is the ultimate end user.

(Rubin, J. (1994)  According to the B.O.B. Revolution manufacturer rigorous laboratory testing was conducted using their kids in stroller prototypes on the driveway. Manufacturers placed emphasis on testing by children which ride in the strollers, but made no mention of the adult users who assemble, handle and fold the stroller. Participants in this usability assessment test will be both male and female adults of various ages to represent young and old parents plus extended family members and friends. 

Background

The necessity for this test arose from reviews and complaints. In addition my family owns a B.O.B. Revolution Jogging stroller and during several vacations we have experienced confusion folding it down along with no simple way to secure it closed. Removal of the front wheel, plus the weight and bulk of the stroller also make it cumbersome for other adult family members and friends to lift and store for travel.

 

Figure 1

     Click Instruction Manual Above To Enlarge

 

METHODOLOGY                                                                        

 

This Usability Test will be conducted as Think Out Loud. Ergonomics and anthropometrics are key factors, so notes regarding physical actions are important. The Principals of Universal Design including "simple and intuitive design" and "low physical effort" best highlight why the physical aspects of handling a B.O.B. Revolution Stroller are important to the test.

Test Setting

The test was conducted in the driveways at the homes of the Participants.

Equipment

We used one B.O.B. Revolution Jogging Stroller and the-two page manufacturer instruction manual which is included at the time of purchase.

Script

I am asking you to to read the two page assembly and handling instructions for the B.O.B. Revolution Jogging Stroller.

Following that you will be asked to do several tasks including folding down the stroller for travel or storage, securing the stroller closed and the removal of the front wheel. Then you will be asked to lift the stroller into a car trunk.

During the tasks your verbal comments will be written down. After the tasks you will be asked a series of questions. 

This should take about 15 minutes not including your reading time.

Just to clarify I am testing the B.O.B. Stroller and not you. There are no right or wrong actions, comments or answers.
If you have any questions or feel that you are stuck please ask for assistance. Otherwise I will remain silent.

Consent

Please sign your name on the line below giving your consent to take part in the Usability Assessment Test for the B.O.B. Revolution Jogging Stroller. You agree not to hold Gregory Hendricks or the Manufacturers of B.O.B. Revolution Jogging Stroller or Ball State University and any of it's staff and associates responsible for any injury that may take place during the test.

 

Name:___________________________________________________Date________________

 

Test Questions

1) Do you feel the instruction manual was easy to understand and follow?

2) Would you make any changes to the instruction manual?

3) Were parts on the B.O.B. Revolution Jogging Stroller easy to identify?

4) Were labels on the B.O.B. Revolution Jogging Stroller easy to find and follow?

5) Were there any difficulties folding the B.O.B. Revolution Jogging Stroller?

6) Were the instructions clear as to how to fold the stroller?

7) Was there any difficulty securing the stroller closed?

8) Were there difficulties removing the front wheel

9) Was the stroller cumbersome or bulky to handle?

 

 

PARTICIPANTS                        

 

Six test participants were chosen rather than a larger group due to the "Cost and diminishing return of information with larger groups" (Jase Chugh, M.Sc. (1997) Although Nielson recommends as few as five test subjects (Nielsen, J. (2000).

To avoid any bias based on gender there were three women and three men. All participants reside in the greater Chicago area. All of the participants either have children or spend a great deal of time around children. All of the participants have operated some type of stroller other than the B.O.B. Revolution. None of the participants has owned or operated a B.O.B. Revolution Stroller.

The participants chosen are the authors neighbors and co-workers.

 

1) Female 33 years old. Elementary school teacher, single, no children.

2) Female 44 years old. News reporter married, 8 year old son.

3) Female 62 years old. Retired flight attendant, married, two children, two grandchildren ages 4 and 6.

4) Male 51 years old. Auto parts delivery man, divorced, no children, 5 nieces and nephews ages 2-14.

5) Male 29 years old. Salesman, married, 1 year old daughter.

6) Male 38 years old. Pilot, married, no children, 7 nieces and nephews ages 1-11.

 

DATA                                                                                             

 

Participant #1 Notes

Read instructions quickly and had no problem locating the release for the front wheel. She did crack a fingernail though. After several tries and a second look at the instructions she folded the stroller. She was never able to secure the stroller closed. Lifting the stroller was no problem. She did mention it was heavy. She like that there were instructions on the stroller, but mentioned they were too hard to get to.

 

Participant #2 Notes

She looked briefly at the instructions and focused on the diagrams. She removed the wheel on the first try. After three attempts to fold the stroller she re-checked the instructions. She also read the instructions on the stroller itself. She is able to fold the stroller down, but is not able to secure it with strap. Stroller is too bulky for her to lift. She declines lifting.

 

Participant #3 Notes

She read the instructions slowly. Thought the print was too small.  The stroller kept rolling away from her, so she asked me to hold it for her. She had trouble removing the wheel. She was able to fold down the stroller on the first try, but the bulk and weight prevented her from lifting it. She did not secure the stroller closed. She wouldn't use the instruction lable on the stroller because it was wrinkled and hard to read.

 

Participant #4 Notes

Read directions quickly. Liked the pictures. Had no trouble removing the front wheel. Was able to fold the stroller down on the first try and secured it shut with the wrist strap provided. He commented that the stroller was bulky when lifting, but he felt it was a lighter weight that it looked.

 

Participant #5 Notes

He glanced at the instructions briefly and removed the wheel. It took three tries to figure out how to fold the stroller closed. He didn't bother to secure the stroller shut, but he easily lifted it into the car trunk. He did not notice the instructions printed on the stroller.

 

Participant #6 Notes

Read the instructions slowly. Found them confusing. He had no difficulty removing the wheel, folding the stroller and securing it closed. He did find it cumbersome and awkward to lift. He like the styling. Mentioned that the labeling on the stroller was hard to see when the stroller hood was folded back.

 

CONCLUSIONS                                                                                     

 

Question #1                       Two of the participants found the instruction manual was difficult to follow. Four of the participants mentioned the instructions were not always near the diagram in the manual.

Question #2                              All of the participants felt that the instruction manual print was too small. They agreed the diagrams were good. There was some confusion with two of the participants regarding what the frame release handle under the seat does.

Question #3                             All six participants felt the parts were easy to indentify either by common sense or by completely reading the instructions. Two participants felt the frame release handle under the seat was somewhat confusing until they used it a few times.

Question #4                           All six of the participants agreed the label on the stroller was in a place that could easily be covered up or it was lost in the fold of the stroller hood. The wording and diagrams were difficult to read on the stroller lable.

Question #5                         Two of the participants felt it should be mentioned that the stroller folded easier when they swung it into a folded postion. One of the participants mentioned the stroller rolling while trying to close it. Three of the participants mentioned that the stroller needed to be unloaded before folding.

Question #6                           All six participants agreed that folding the stroller was easier on each subsequent time. Only two participants folded the stroller on the first try.

Question #7                          Only two of the six participants were able to secure the stroller shut with the strap. All six found that step confusing.

Question #8                           Two of the participants were not able to easily remove the wheel. The other four said it was easy.

Question #9                           Five of the participants felt the stroller was cumbersome or bulky when folding and lifting. Three participants felt it was too heavy.

 

Summary                                                                                                    

After watching all six participants read the instructions and then try to fold the stroller I didn't feel so bad about the difficulties we have had when traveling with the B.O.B. Revolution. It was apparent that the bulky nature of the stroller contributed to a feeling of difficulty when folding the stoller. Removing the front wheel was easiest according to the male participants. Perhaps a conclusion could be made that they were more mechanically inclined or perhaps the women were protecting their fingernails. Participant #1 did suffer a nail fatality. All of the participants felt the instruction manuals needed larger print and the lables on the stroller needed some type of improvement. They were not sure what type of under seat frame release handle would be best, but they felt the current design allowed for too much swing and less control when folding. All of the participants agreed that the folding process was somewhat confusing the first time. After that they had no trouble remembering the steps needed. Finally, the weight of the stroller was unappealing to some of the participants. They did not have a suggestion as to what an alternative would be.

 

 RECOMMENDATIONS                                                                                                                                                                           

There does not seem to be a simple fix to the bulk and weight comments on the B.O.B. Revolution Jogging Stroller. To fix this problem may require restructuring the stroller which in turn could directly effect some of the construction features that make it so appealing. There does seem to be a need for a more clearly written instruction manual so as to avoid confusion when a first time user folds it. Creating User Manuals for Use in Collaborative. Some examples of possible changes are larger print and locating the diagrams next to each specific instruction.

REFERENCES                                                                                             

(Nielsen, J. (2000) "Why you only need to test with 5 users” www.useit.com/alertbox/20000319.htm

( Bevan 2003) "Usability Net project" http://www.nigelbevan.com/papers/Usability_methods.pdf

(Jase Chugh, M.Sc. (1997) "Usability Testing" http://grouplab.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/saul/681/1997/jas/

(Rubin, J. (1994)  "How to plan, design, and conduct effective tests" NY: Wiley Technical Communication Library Handbook of usability testing:

Principles of Universal Design Center for Universal Design at NC State

Creating User Manuals for Use in Collaborative Designhttp://www.acm.org/sigs/sigchi/chi96/proceedings/shortpap/Thimbleby/th_txt.htm