A Wearables Story: Testing the Human Experience

I became interested in testing wearables in a rather unusual way. I ran the Boston Marathon. What does the Boston Marathon have to do with wearables and the testing of them? Every runner was wearing at least one “wearable” and we all interacted with our wearables and depended upon them to track and record our race results.

From my experience that day, which I’ll share during my presentation, I realized that testing wearables is fundamentally more complex any other mobile device class. Wearables become extensions of ourselves, so testing should focus on the total experience of the wearer; it includes the emotional, physical and sensory reactions, biases and mindsets of the wearer. It involves testing in the “real world” of the wearer; when, where and how the wearer and the device will function together. This is testing the Human Experience

Using concepts from Human Computer Interaction design, I’ll provide a framework for testing the “human experience” of wearables. Learn to develop “Personas”, by delving into the wearers’ personalities and characteristics to understand their expectations of the wearable. Then learn to create “User Value Stories” to test the ways in which the wearers’ will achieve value from the wearable.

Finally, I’ll look at how these devices may respond to different types of human interaction, and how to test those responses to ensure that the device works properly under real world conditions.