I have to perform an end-user evaluation on a console application.
- the application is a sort of a software library, i.e., a series of commands that a programmer can use to perform some specific tasks
- the commands are a sort of command-line interface: instead of pressing buttons, the users can assemble the commands to perform complicated things (as a composition of the results those commands generate)
I was thinking about a usability test, but I have some doubts. In the following, I try to exemplify it.
Let's make an example.
Suppose that my library is composed of two commands, i.e.,
computeRectangleArea(B, H)computes the area of a rectangle
computeTriangleArea(B, H)computes the area of a triangle
If I were to perform a usability test, I would:
- define a use case, e.g., compute the area of a rectangle
- define a goal for such use case, e.g.,compute the area of the rectangle
Rhaving height=8 and base=3
- define the set of actions needed to perform the goal (which in this case is just calling
In this case, if the user guesses the right sequence of actions to be done (which is just one), then the usability test succeeds, otherwise I have increased the failure rate.
I see the possibility of making the user perform actually a usability test with this library, but I am worried that:
- use cases could become very complicated, requiring a lot of steps, a lot of commands to be written and launched
- such complicated use cases may be difficult to be validated, because I am worried that users may not guess which is the right sequence of actions and commands, and thus this may increase a lot the failure rate
This said, I do not know how to make my users evaluate such software library. The library was written according to a set of user requirements, and I see that I need them to test it and see if it covers the user requirements they specified at the beginning, if they are happy with it, if it needs refinements and so on. But I am worried a usability test would not be feasible.
Suggestions on how to perform this end-user evaluation?