RMIT Vietnam information technology students were exposed to an increasingly popular industry practice when they participated in a usability test of the Vietnam Works website this summer.
"Now we are in the age where every company is on a website. But the only difference [between websites] is through UX – user experience," said Eduardo Mora, the Head of Product and Engineering at Vietnam Works.
“People remember experiences.
"The only way that a user will choose you compared to many other websites is due to the experience that you deliver."
In a results-orientated industry, a user experience specialist is an important cog in creating a successful website.
After attending a technology masterclass which outlined the theory and importance of usability tests, the students were thrown into a real world user experience test.
Working in conjunction with Vietnam Works, the students were divided into two groups – one tasked with using the application and giving feedback, while the other group of students were observers of the application.
The testers tried out basic functions on the website and documented their ease of use.
Following the usability test, students had to solve issues and suggest solutions to improve the overall experience of the website.
"Our product is very good, but when we learn from real users and we get the feedback, we know that we have lots of errors to improve," said Lanh Le Thi My, UX/UI Leader at Vietnam Works.
Eduoard Amouroux, IT Program Manager at RMIT Vietnam Centre of Technology, organised the user experience testing. An example of Work Integrated Learning (WIL), Eduoard's students impressed while participating in the unique industry practice in Vietnam.
"A usability test is something that is done regularly in any 'proper' IT company in the West and is becoming popular in Vietnam," said Eduoard.
"The students found some bugs and the partners were happy and impressed.
"Notably, one bug which they found has impacted the user conversion rate significantly since the last update of the system (which was a major issue)."
The students involved in the usability test had the opportunity to practice a new skill set and explore a different career path, one that may not have been known to them before.
"We did the test to make sure that we give students practical skills and open their minds to different possibilities," Edouard Amouroux said.
"A user experience specialist is something uncommon in Vietnam and not the main career choice for fresh graduates."
Attend the Technlogy Experience Day on Sunday 16 October to join hands-on workshops to find out what it's really like inside an RMIT classroom.
Story: Daniel Eslick