MS Teams Interview

I create a survey for the IDK students about the experience of teams according to my last research about a usability review of MS Team. For this survey, I wrote qualitative questions to answer. First I asked them if they had ever used MS Teams at work or university, and to tell me about their difficulties and apprehensions. Then, I asked them about the different categories of tasks they perform within this software. And finally, I asked them a series of questions about the usability of this software, if it respects the usability criteria of Jacob Nielsen (effectiveness, efficiency, safety, learnability, memorability, satisfaction).


I made sure that the participants were part of my target audience that I had defined just before the survey. So I created it for IDK students. And these participants were between 23 and 24 years old following the Interaction Design, Media Design, and Information Design programs

Before using MS Teams

They have never used MS Teams before the FH Joanneum. This has led to some problems such as problems joining a team, uploading assignments to the platform, or even getting the wrong menus.

While using MS Teams

What kind of tasks are you mostly achieving?

What are the most useful tasks from the list (or not) perform?

Participating to lectures (5X), uploading assignement (2X), screen sharing (2X), easy to collaborate, creating meeting through the call, creating a meeting through the Calendar, download/upload folder.

What are the les useful tasks from the list (or not) perform?

linking application(3X), Creating a meeting through calendar, commenting during lecture, participate to online evaluation, upload folders.

What are the easiest tasks from the list (or not) you perform?

participate to lectures(3X), submitting assignement(2X), Sharing screen(2X), starting a meeting, adding people inside the lecture, writing a comment during a lecture.

What are the most difficult tasks from the list (or not) you perform?

Creating a meeting through the call(2X), Creating a meeting, Sharing screen, writing a message to a specific person, download recent folder.

It appears that the majority of students use the software to participate in classes, upload files and submit assignments. During online classes or other meetings, participants share their screens a lot and have the possibility to write comments. When it comes to the possibility of linking applications within MS Teams, their responses were nil.

Do you use other platforms beside of MS Teams ? Which one ?

So I imagined that if they had the ability to link applications, which ones would be more useful. So I asked them what kind of applications they use next to MS Teams?

After using MS Teams

Is the software perform the tasks you wants to achieve ? and why ?

Mostly yes, The users can perform easily the most basics task like attending a lecture.

Did you get some latency to learn the system and to achieve tasks ?

For some, they got a bit time to learn the system. They had several weeks to get the hang on it.

Did you encountered some problems or errors by navigating inside the system ?

Sometimes the system is a bit confusing (finding the right team for exemple) the user put some efforts to perform one specific task. And some of the errors are due to disfunction of the software.

Can the features make the tasks achievable without time and any effort ?

The answers are a bit middle, they somewhat spend time to realize tasks. Even they memorize the system, time and effort will persist.

Once the system learned, did you memorized how can you perform most of the tasks ?

Yes. After several weeks, they memorize how to perform tasks.

Are you satisfied by using this software ? ( Once using it, also about the visual design..)

They are all satisfied of the software, It is practical to follow course and interact with other people. The fact is that they are some design issues which leads to confusion. Fortunately, they can learn and memorize, but still resides with time and effort. about the design, once like the custom-able part, while the other doesn’t like it very much.


The results of this survey showed that MS Teams is practical and useful for attending online lecture or delivering assignments. All of the participants answered that they didn’t experienced this software, most of them took their time to accomplish task on it. Also, the problem of this software will still residing on time spent and the effort to perform one specific task. After all, the system is still learnable, the users can memorize the tasks they had experienced for a while to perform them. They all said satisfied about this software, it is able to perform tasks and to categorize an amount of information inside. Among the alternative solutions for online course continuity, it would seem that MS Teams meets the essential needs of academics.

MS teams: usability review and analysis

Experts conducted a Usability Review following a user test on three potential users corresponding to the target. The usability review considers the responses from users on how they feel, perceive, and achieve their goals on tasks. The usability review takes account of the different factors to establish an analysis: 7 usability attributes, 10 Heuristics, 20 UX laws, and the expert’s experience.

Before analysis results:

In this user test, the three users have to perform these specific tasks:

  • Share meeting details to invite a person who’s not a part of the current meeting
  • Add a person named “Austin Brandon” to the call
  • Take some notes during the meeting which would be 50 characters long.
  • Share a particular screen along with the computer audio.
  • Stop sharing your screen after you’ve shared your screen.
  • Send a personal message to one of the participants of the video call.

The aim will be to obtain an analysis using the Seven usability attributes:

  • Effectiveness: Can the user accomplish specific tasks through this system? (ISO 9241-11)
  • Efficiency: How does the product help the user to perform tasks with the least amount of resources? (ISO 9241-11)
  • Safety: How does the system avoid undesirable situations so that the user feels safe?
  • Utility: Does the product provide the right functionality to accomplish tasks easily?
  • Learnability: Can the user learn the system as quickly as possible and without too much effort?
  • Memorability: How easily can the user remember how to use a product?
  • Satisfaction: Is the individual satisfied by using this product? (ISO 9241-11)

Analysis of the results:

Effectiveness: The user can perform the most basic tasks during the meetings. But we can notice that the user can make several mistakes by clicking on the wrong options, resulting in breaking some UX laws.

Efficiency: Users can complete tasks in no more than 15 to 20 seconds. But at some points, some tasks are not easy to perform for those who have not used the platform not often, so teams made some changes to the interface, but this did not make it easy for experienced users to get used to.

Safety: The user makes many errors while navigating the system, most of which are due to language design discrepancies, high latency during interactions with the system, as well as some transgressions of UX laws (Fitt’s Law, Jacob’s Law, Miller’s Law)

Utility: The necessary tasks are feasible, but the problems lie in the time and effort to do them.

Learnability: It is sometimes difficult for a novice user to get to grips with the system, which differs from other virtual discussion software. But the various possibilities are more than enough for the user to learn, so he can learn the most basic uses with some latency, due to additional features that add layers of complexity.

Memorability: Once learned the system, it is difficult to forget the navigating process of the system and not make the same mistakes again. The system has a uniform language design that allows for a better mental representation of the system and easy navigation. The system has tips to make it easier to navigate. Error messages are clearer, and automatic suggestions allow us to overcome them.

Satisfaction: The tool at hand is an alternative means for professionals and academics in that it can satisfy the continuity of work through video-conferencing, instant chats, and file exchange. But some learnability and safety details need to be fine-tuned to improve the satisfaction of the user, so to guarantee this satisfaction, the user has to build a mental model of this system to improve the ease of use.


As a whole, MS teams meet the essential needs of the user. Let’s remember that students and professionals had to be equipped with technological means to pursue their activities. The software developed by Microsoft answers the call by proposing functionalities satisfying major active users. Before taking this satisfaction into account, the idea of using this software came in spite due to the pandemic, the majority of novice users were apprehensive about this new system which was unusual compared to other videoconferencing software. This apprehension is mainly due to the vast possibilities in terms of content and functionalities that push the novice user to a necessary learning curve. We have noticed in this analysis that the user can learn the basic functionalities of the software and thus have a mental model of the system. However, we notice errors mainly due to a high latency during interactions and a transgression of the UX laws, which nevertheless allowed Microsoft to make some modifications. Finally, the learning curve will always lie in the time and effort required to remember the system.

However, the software has advanced features that are still not explored yet which are necessary among the basic features we presented previously. For example, the automatic access to other software for productivity or other purposes.

After having dissected the analysis of this software in more detail. I would like to set up a survey at the institute of design and communication to get an overall impression of the software and carry out some user testing with experienced and novice users and compare the results.


Productivity tool: MS teams

Since my studies at FH JOANNEUM University of applied sciences, I have had to use a tool imposed by the University to communicate by video conference with our professors and organize meetings between students on the progress of projects. Since the university imposed the use of this tool, I have been able to explore the many possibilities that the application could offer through its pedagogical use (writing comments, responding to information, delivering documents, etc.). The university has imposed the use of this tool on students and teachers since the covid-19 epidemic to continue the courses in a synchronous or asynchronous. Since the event, the tool is used to its full potential to ensure the continuity of online courses. Before I started using the software, I was a bit reluctant to have to download it to use it daily, because I did not know all the possibilities that this tool could offer. It took me some time to master them after short use. Some of the tasks I performed while using it took a long time to be accomplished, and I repeated the mistakes in a redundant way that sometimes I gave up. After a short week of immersion in this software, it was almost impossible for me to forget the steps to perform the tasks. The tasks to be performed seemed more and more obvious to me, whether for collaboration or document sharing. This allows me to conduct a small usability study of this software.

Microsoft Teams is a collaborative workspace that acts as a central hub for workplace conversations, collaborative teamwork, video chats, and document sharing, to enhance user productivity through a multitude of possibilities.

Since the covid-19 pandemic, there have been 75 million daily active users through this software. It was a boon for academic institutions to continue classes efficiently. Microsoft reported 2.7 billion meeting minutes recording on 31 March 2020. And most of the active time is spent on calls and video conferencing.

persona snapshot

Target group

In a general sense, the software is accessible to everyone. But Microsoft has positioned itself to provide a solution for academic and professional institutions due to the pandemic by bringing new features. The most particular targets for universities are students and teachers who have a regular grip on IT tools, especially students who are, for the most part, born of the Z generation. They are, therefore, digital natives who have a better understanding of the uses and are more likely to adapt to a digital transition.


Productivity tools: Notion usability report

Earlier, we talked about software that has revolutionized the way we organize our jobs and enable collaborative work. We focused on free software that was accessible to professionals and academics. But we discovered that both novice and experienced users have problems performing specific tasks, and these results were discovered through user testing. And today we are going to discuss a user test done by students of L’École de Design, realized by Arslan Sifaoui, Théo Geiller and Raphaël Perraud.

Test process

They started with a test of 5 seconds followed by a survey for a general understanding of the software. They then moved on to a more complete and progressive course followed by a survey to verify the understanding of the actions performed. Finally, they asked users for their impressions using open-ended questions to evaluate the quality of the product, as well as the quality of their tests.

For this preliminary test of 5 seconds (Rapid desirability test), the user will be installed in front of the computer and then be exposed for 5 seconds in front of the system so that he can express his impression. He will have to answer a series of quick questions spontaneously and describe on a blank sheet of paper the elements of the interface that he has retained. They asked for their impressions of the aesthetics of the system, the elements of the system they retained, and the functionalities they identified.

Before moving on to the pathways, they asked a sample of people to complete an introductory questionnaire on their profiles to target those who were interested in the tool and to highlight their uses/behaviors using a comparative table.

The course consisted, first of all, of editing a page where the user will have to operate as follows: write a text, put it in bold, create a checkbox, change the checkbox of place and finally transform it into a smart list. The next step will consist in creating a tree structure which will have to be shared and finally to change the workspace. This path will allow the desirability of this product and also measure tasks success and time spent. This data was compiled into a timeline, a table of numbers of clicks, and a timeline of activities.

They administered a SUS test to the users with ten questions on a scale of 1 to 5 points to determine their views on the system to assess accessibility. The results of this questionnaire will be collected to compare the scores between users.

Finally, a qualitative questionnaire with sentence completions was administered to determine the weak and strong points of the concept, to measure the desirability of the product.

Analysis results

The introductory survey showed that the users were digital natives, so they were among the potential users, but three of them answered that they preferred to take notes on paper. In the five-second test, the users had a rather good impression of the system, they could identify the navigation area, the structure of the page, the content, and the overall functionality.

With this time analysis, they were able to judge whether the user was able to complete a task over a normal (blue), fast (green), or long (red) time spent. The first competitor (Ulysse) is a regular user of Notion and uses it only for note-taking. On the other hand, the other users had more difficulties on some tasks than others and could perform simple actions, but we can observe that the novice competitors could quickly share a document. 

All the tasks were completed, but we can notice that they got stuck on some steps that took them a little bit more time as we had previously seen on the time analysis, such as creating a check-box, changing the workplace, making a tree structure, sharing a document and putting in bold. This time-consuming task is the result of a fairly large number of clicks.

We can notice a correlation between the duration of the task and the number of clicks. The longer the task is going to be, the higher the number of clicks is going to be. That this is remarkable with the creation of a tree structure.

We can notice a clear difference in the user path since the fastest user (blue) serves as a reference among the other users who took time to perform certain tasks because they were exploring the software in depth.

The result of the SUS test qualified the notion software as a good software in terms of its acceptability.

Following the qualitative questions, users reported a good understanding of the system with content creation, prioritization, and work sharing. They were able to experience a tool that breaks the standards of other note software. However, they expressed frustration with the completion of certain tasks, such as the need for time to learn and get used to the system.

They summarized the results using three criteria: desirability (D), accessibility (Ac), and adoption (Ad). These indicators show the interest in the product (5 seconds test), the understanding of the functionalities (user path), and the ease of use of the product (SUS test).


We can notice that with the help of this user test that the users feel satisfied with the use of this product despite the problems encountered through this tool that has affected the accessibility of this product. The uncluttered aspect of the interface can make the user get lost in the very dense windows and feel frustrated when failing to perform certain tasks. The synthesis of the experience could show that the product is understood by the user even if features like workspace and tree structure are sometimes despised.

This could give me a perspective in this research, as the FH Joanneum University is appropriating a multitasking software to perform online courses as well as online assignment delivery. 

I would like to explore in more detail the possibilities that Microsoft teams bring to the daily life of students and teachers. I would also like to investigate the use and usability of this product.


Notion usability Test:

Productivity tools

How far productivity tools can improve our experience and performance for management and collaboration?

This topic is focused on the productivity tools that we use every day and that are more accessible nowadays. It is a revolution in the software market because the productivity tools emancipate themselves from the standards of the interfaces of editions (spreadsheet, text editor, slideshows, blog…) by proposing a hierarchy of more advanced and complex features such as collaboration, management, planning, sharing, and communication. All these interfaces meet the needs of collaboration and management while minimizing their visual importance to make navigation simple.

We find elaborate software such as Notion for note-taking, but which has many features such as task organization, collaborative work, planning, database creation, etc. Trello, a project management software where the user distributes tasks on cards arranged on boards. Or Asana, which is a team communication software that includes features such as workspaces, projects, tasks, tags, notes, comments, and a mailbox with real-time updates. Other productivity applications such as Miro, Harvest, Evernote, Zapier, etc.

How well are these tools designed to allow quick actions?

We can say that these softwares have been designed to break the standards of note-taking, tabulation, presentation, and other software. Their visual impact has great importance in the understanding of the actions related to their functionality. The great strength of these tools is the capacity for quick actions and the extension of the new possibilities offered.

However, is the global understanding of these interfaces allowing the facilitation of these actions? Would a novice user feel confused by some of the interface’s biases? Can we evaluate the accessibility of these interfaces by novice users?

But how to allow potential users to take control of these tools?

Students from l’École de Design Nantes Atlantiques have demonstrated through a usability test of Notion that novice users make redundant mistakes. Furthermore, they must go through a learning phase to get to know the software. Despite knowing how to master some features, the results show that users have difficulty creating a tree structure, creating a workspace, and modulating some elements.

Through these researches, I would like to focus on usability reports of this software to understand their efficiency at the user level and to interview experimented users about their regular use of these tools.

Best Practice: