Utilizing Useful Usability Letters

Usability letters serve a very big role in industry. If you want to develop a product, you are going to need testers to collect data on said product. The point of this session is learning how to approach these testers – in letter form – and instructing them on how these tests are to be handled. As always, remember to include an appropriate and formal greeting and goodbye.

The first and foremost thing you should do with the letter is inform the read of what they are getting into. Include any safety information, emergency notes, and any other important information that they should know before anything else begins.

 


Esteemed User,

            Possessing this document indicates that you are currently a hired tester of Beta Testing and Designs co. and understand that you must adhere to the specifications listed in the employee conditions and conduct manual, a copy of which has been included with this document. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our office at: (718) – 445 – 7261


 

 

Here the letter refers to an unseen document, this is okay, as we are solely looking at the letter itself right now, but understand that if the information is being included SOMEWHERE, and that somewhere is mentioned in the letter to the reader, then it can be expected of the reader to handle the rest. *Just don’t separate sections of information unless they are large enough to justify it.*

Onward to the meat of the matter, you should use the next paragraph or two giving the general ideas of what is expected of the client. What are they working with, why are they working with it, and how are they expected to use it?

 


            Thank you for helping with our quality assurance assessment of the Oscarson’s Model III Office Chair. It is our hope that the results of your testing will provide accurate assurance of the comfort, sturdiness, and ergonomic qualities of our product.

            The Oscarson’s Office Chair product is designed with the intent of providing a combination of comfortable seating, while avoiding creating distractions in the working environment, as well as providing convenient, transportable seating. To accomplish that goal, this product is to be tested routinely over the course of several days in various conditions to ensure that all intended functions of the chair uphold to both product quality regulations, as well as the hopes and intentions of our sponsors. Below are a list of recommended tests of how to use the chair, as well as a proper explanation of what this activity is expected to show. If you cannot participate in the recommended activities, please use an alternative that will produce similar data.


 

 

Part two of the instruction section should be where you  put the actual instruction, and finer details of the product. Give a quick description of the product’s qualities adn how to go about testing them. Be sure to keep these tests rational; unless it is for a professional wrestler, there should be no point in testing the aerodynamic qualities of a chair.

 


  • Displacement and Transport – The current model of this product is intended to be easily relocatable. Whether in an office building, living room, or event hall, this product should be capable of transport without difficulty. To accomplish this, our product’s design allows for six legged collapsible support, and a foldable rest. Please properly compact our product every few hours and relocate it to new positions around your environment. The intent is to verify the functionality of our product’s compaction feature, as well as the level of ease this provides in moving between rooms.
  • Weight and bearing Load – A necessary function of any chair based product is the ability to bear substantial loads of weight to fit the varying physiques of customers. We expect that our material composition and frame design will allow our product to support heavy loads without raising concerns regarding its stability. While seated, please add additional weight to your person – by any means you find safe – that will increase load directly to the chair. Intended Minimum: 130kg (300lbs)
  • Comfort – Our product utilizes a combination of high density foam and layered rubber padding in order to limit impact and make prolonged seating experiences more comfortable, lessening the distractions caused by extreme discomfort. Stay seated in the chair for a prolonged period of time (min 1 hour. 30 min), engaged in any activity of your choosing. Attempt to continue this activity until you leave the chair due to discomfort, or have lasted the minimum amount of time or greater seated. Please also include information on whether or not you were able to continuously engage in your selected activity, or if the design of the seat had become distracting at any point.
    • If you have received the package of this product including the arm and leg rest additions, please include information on the product with AND without the additions attached.
  • Recline/Rotate Function – A secondary function of this product that has been considered is the possibility to recline the back of the seat as well as the capability to rotate on point. This function is purely for convenience, but is should be possible with the current design. At any point – while not testing other qualities of the chair – attempt to recline back and/or rotate the chair, but not simultaneously. The folding permissible design of the seat and back frame should allow you to recline at a small, safe angle. As well, the braces of our single-bar leg design should allow you rotate the chair on point in a complete circle without restrictions of any kind. Please attempt to fully rotate the chair at least once per day.

 

The rest of the letter should be the proper closing statements. Include secondary information, relevant numbers or addresses, and potentially a reminder of any emergency protocols they may nee during testing. Again, remember that you should always be open with your client, as they are potentially putting themselves on the line for your product, or at the very least they are investing time for this and wasting it would be rather rude.


If you have any comments regarding the quality of the product, effects the product has had on your personal health or the health of others, or if the product in some way did not include or adhere to specifications included in the assembly instructions, please write these on the attached page labeled “Data/Testing/Concerns/Comments.”

 

We hope that the quality of the product will meet up to standards, and that your two week experience using our product is pleasant and unhindered. We will contact you if there are any changes to testing length or product retrieval.

 

We thank you for lending your support to Oscarson’s Furnishings LTD. and Beta Testing and Designs co.


 

 

Ultimately, the usability letter should not be too complicated to draw up, so long as you follow these three guidelines:

1. Keep the client informed – The purpose of these letters is to let the buyer know what hey are getting into. In the case of this sample, it is a tester collecting data, so they are briefed as such. It tells them how long they will be using the product, a recommended routine for using it, and the kind of uses it was intended for. This keeps the employee without questions or complications.

2. Give contact information – Easy to understand; If you plan to sell a product to an person(s) uneducated with its build or how it operates, then accidents are a factor to consider. In this case, it would be smart to provide the customer with some way of asking for help or voicing grievances.

3. Be formal – You are running a business, and as such you should give an air of professionalism. Be direct with the reader, do not waste time they could be spending figuring out the product, and give them the most efficient instruction you can so as to make the most of their contributions.

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