Local Yokel Foods, an online farmer’s market company in Columbus, Ohio offers home delivery of produce from local and organic farmers. Customers can purchase fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, breads, and specialty products via an online shopping cart and checkout.
Because they are a new company with a somewhat innovative approach to grocery shopping, Local Yokel Foods wanted to determine if customers can easily use their website for selecting items and purchasing groceries online. Paper prototyping allowed the company to test these basic usability questions based on their existing website design and make any necessary improvements.
The paper prototype testing team consisted of a facilitator, who directed the user in a series of tasks, a computer, who manipulated the paper interfaces to simulate computer interaction, and a note taker. Study participants were directed to complete various tasks typical of online customers. They were also asked their opinion about the ease of completing the tasks and suggestions for improvements. Between tests, the team made refinements in the interface to improve usability and correct any problems.
A list of recommendations was produced in order to increase the usability of the Local Yokel Foods website.
There were quite a few pieces of our prototype that could be reused in many places. We originally mocked up the search and browse pages individually as whole pages. We realized very quickly that this was a lot more work than it needed to be. So we cut out small pieces of paper for each different product the user would see. This worked well for developing the paper prototype, but it also made managing it during user testing more difficult than it seemed it should.