A Wearables Story: Testing the Human Experience

Gerie Owen, Eversource Energy and Peter Varhol, Technology Strategy Research

Testing wearable devices is fundamentally more complex than any other mobile device. Wearables become extensions of us, so testing should focus on the total user experience—the emotional, physical, and sensory reactions including the biases and mindset 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. Using concepts from human-computer interaction design, Gerie Owen and Peter Varhol 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 derive value from the wearable. Finally, learn the importance of human-experience testing as Gerie shares her personal story—a tale of two wearables and her 2011 Boston Marathon run.

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