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Sample Usability Studies Projects

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan


The purpose of this study is to gauge traveler sentiment toward loyalty plans and assess the usability of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan sign up process compared to other major airline loyalty plans. Specifically, the study compared Alaska Airlines to Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines.
Alaska Airlines did not have strict demographic requirements for this study besides the following:

  • People who travel roughly 3-4 times a year
  • People interested in airline loyalty programs
  • People with one or more competitive airline loyalty program accounts
  • People without an Alaska Mileage Plan and without airline loyalty program accounts from either Delta or Southwest Airlines.

These requirements were vetted per participant with a questionnaire for in-person testing and a pre-screener on for remote sessions. Alaska Airlines’ focus and goals for this study were to evaluate the clarity of information presented on about the Mileage PlanTM, determine usability problem areas in both content and interface, and establish baseline user performance and user-satisfaction levels of the Mileage PlanTM compared to Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Program and Delta’s SkyMiles program.

Expedia Voice UI


The purpose of this study was to investigate the usability of Expedia’s voice support on the Amazon Alexa. Expedia voice support is aimed to mimic the basic functionalities that can be completed on the Expedia website. The goal is to evaluate whether the Expedia Alexa Skill is effective in supporting travel planning such as review a prior reservation, search for a car, book a car, find a flight and find a hotel.

Our primary usability questions were:

  1. Can users complete a full travel itinerary, including flights, hotels, and car
  2. reservations? If not, why not?
  3. Does the Expedia Alexa Skill support user travel booking patterns and
  4. preferences, or does it impose a task order on users?
  5. Are users satisfied with the conversation flow?
  6. What barriers do users encounter while communicating with the Expedia
  7. Alexa skill?
  8. Does the voice system provide actionable error messages that are helpful to
  9. the user?

Search Functionality for Gmail & Drive
A Competitor Product Analysis For Microsoft


The Search Functionality in Gmail and Drive study for Microsoft was conducted to learn about how users intuitively expected to find an email or document with using the Gmail and Drive search functions. Nine participants completed search tasks at Microsoft Labs. Data was collected by observation and think out-loud protocol. They also completed a Task Booklet and a Post Test Questionnaire.

The participants fell into three categories: the Keyword Searchers, who used 2-3 keywords and took advantage of the auto-suggest feature; the Power Users, who valued the speed of using only the keyboard (and not jumping back and forth with mouse use) and so used search operators as well as keywords and auto-suggestion; the third group opened the Advanced Search box, entering keywords and clicking off boxes.



The Viveport store creates an interactive and immersive environment for customers to preview new games and manage their VR game libraries. The purpose of this testing is to identify any usability issues during a user’s experience when interacting with the store in different scenarios.

Research questions:

  • What usability issues may users encounter in the Viveport store?
  • Can users successfully navigate VR scene previews to purchase a game?
  • What do users think of the VR game previews?
  • Can users successfully use interface components such as ‘filters’ to view different categories of games?
  • How do users feel about shopping in Viveport VR store comparing to purchasing games on the Viveport website?

Microsoft Usability

Test Kit

As people are increasingly using their phones to accomplish productivity tasks, there is a vested interest by companies to improve these mobile experiences. The mobility and convenience afforded by smartphones are providing opportunities for people to be productive even in non-traditional working spaces (eg. not at a desk). Hence, a better understanding of the behavioral patterns and core tasks performed within these spaces is necessary so that improvements can be made. After discussion with our client at Microsoft, we decided to conduct a usability study on mobile productivity usage among college students. Our focus was on mobile word-processing apps that are used on phones.

We had the following main goals for the study:

  • Understand how students use mobile productivity apps in non-traditional working spaces (e.g. waiting in line, commuting, etc.)
  • Evaluate the usability of the Microsoft Word mobile app in performing core tasks and compare the usability with Google Docs mobile app

Mozilla Firefox Listen

Test Kit

Our team partnered with Mozilla’s Emerging Technology Lab to conduct usability tests for Firefox Listen, an app that turns articles into podcasts and reads out to the users. The app aims to power a voice-browsing future.

We focused on testing two main features:

  1. Playlist
  2. Hands-free mode

We designed 7 tasks that tested on whether users can interact with the playlist easily, differentiate podcasts from articles, as well as activate, interact, and exit the hands-free mode.

REI Camping Project Usability Testing


The purpose of this test was to assess Recreational Equipment Inc.’s (REI) desktop website lists feature including the Wish List, Gift Registry, Save for Later list, and Gear List desktop experiences in order to establish baseline usability data. Specifically, REI was interested in learning how users engage with these four distinct lists to garner insights around the possibility of combining the lists. Because the features differ between those who create the lists and those who shop from them, each user was only tested in one of these roles. Usability Study

Test Kit

We designed and conducted an evaluative usability study of, with the goal of understanding how effective this website is in conveying the required information to users in order to give them the tools to ease their commutes, especially through downtown.

We recruited 7 participants who commute through Seattle at least once a week using either transit, bicycle, ferry or a combination of two or more modes of transportation. We asked the participants to perform 5 tasks on the website to interact with specific features. In addition to taking notes on participants’ responses, we recorded their interactions and expressions using screen capturing software. Other data collected included pre- and post-test questionnaires and subjective ratings from the participants on’s features and overall value.

Swedish Express Kit


Swedish Express Care is a collection of three medical care options that provide patients clinical care for low-acuity health problems such as colds, sprains, and skin irritations. The Swedish Express Care website offers information about these options including, but not limited to, scheduling an appointment at their clinics, a video call with a physician, or a house visit with a physician.

The overall goal of our investigation was to find out if users could use the site to determine which Express Care option could adequately serve their needs. In order to explore this question, we aimed to answer the following three research questions with the study:

  1. Do users comprehend what the different Express Care options are (i.e. Clinic, Virtual, Home)?
  2. How easily and successfully do users discover what conditions the Express Care options will treat?
  3. How easily and successfully do users find out what insurance the Express Care options take?