Usability testing and feedback!

We are in the last phase of Outreachy and to be more specific,the last week of the internship. Time has flown by since my last post and I have no idea how it went by so fast. Anyhow,we have progressed a lot more since then.

Post working on the mockups in Inkscape,we started working towards usability testing of the mockups we had done so far. While it is easy to keep iterating the current designs,it is important to get feedback from real users. I was hoping to get more insight into the workflow and the elements that weren’t as obvious as we expected them to. And it worked like a charm. While working on any project, we get so invested in it and sometimes need a new unbiased perspective to move forward.

I did the usability testing with a few people I know from my college and also a couple of team-members from Cockpit. While I used paper prototypes to get feedback from the users in my college,we went with sharing images of the UI for remote testing with the users from Cockpit team. We did run into a bit of issue since screen-sharing the images of the UI would not work and we had to ultimately resort to sharing images via GitHub. I wish the screensharing worked since it might have led to easier access.


Users were asked to perform the following tasks after I gave them pre-defined scenarios:

1.Allow new ports through the firewall.

2. Close ports from the current firewall rules.

3. Control the traffic log and infer data from it.

An example of the scenario was,”You are hosting an instant messaging app on your server, but you are unable to access it from the other computers in the network. It is probably due to the firewall settings. See if you can find out the port number and allow it through the firewall.”

User Feedback:

I gathered the user feedback and have listed them in their order of frequency ( from high to low):

  1. Need to see more filters ( especially, blocked traffic) in the traffic log.
  2. Include names of common services and ports to choose from instead of having to enter the port number.
  3.  Confirmation dialogue before port rule is removed.
  4. Add access rules for particular subnets.

Implementing the feedback:

From the above listed issues,number 3 is a very obvious issue and something that should have been included in the earlier iterations too! While we are working on the mockup to add more filters to the traffic log and a “Suggestions DropDown” for the port number and services,adding access rules for particular subnets has been kept for further iterations of the UI.

The final tasks for me is to implement the UI from start to finish and perform usability testing with the working prototype to get more feedback.


( I know I always say this,but there is definitely a new post next week. Meanwhile,check Outreachy’s website for applying to their next round of internships.)