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Usability Test:

Microsoft Excel

A test to establish the ease of use for the simple aspects of

Microsoft Excel 2010

By: Hannah Munson

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The white paper assesses the usability of the Microsoft program Excel. Excel
programs work on both Mac and Windows computers, and on both laptops and
desktops for both types of computers. There is also different versions of Microsoft
office, but I will be focusing on Office 10. The user for this test will be a novice user
for Excel.

This test will be done on November 18, 2015 on a PC laptop while running Windows
10 in collaboration with Microsoft Excel 10. Evaluations for each tasks with be based
on the criteria of it is ease of use by using a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the least
challenging and 1 being most challenging).

The ten tasks selected to test Excels ease of use
1) Insert a table
2) Insert a graph
3) Find Equations/functions to use
4) Insert/delete rows or columns
5) Change background
6) Change size of rows and tables
7) Copy equation to multiple cells
8) Import a table of figures
9) Use multiple cells in function or equation
Format cells in different ways

Task One: Insert a table
This concept is relatively easy for the program. Excel lets you select a section of
cells and convert those cells into a table with titled rows and columns. The row and
column titles can be titled to not depending on my preference.
Excel Function


The table is easy to insert using a
selection of cells

Task Two: Insert a graph

Inserting a graph can become more complicated matter in excel because of the
different aspects in a graph, and the types of graphs. There are a great deal of
Excel Function


Graphs are more difficult to insert because
the different types of graphs and the
aspects of graphs.
different graphs to choose from on excel, however excel does have a recommended
chart option which makes it easier to choose the correct chart.

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Task Three: Find Equations/Functions of use
Equations and functions can be difficult and easy to get to, depending the difficulty
of the equation. Excel gives me the options for sum and average, fairly simple
functions. While some functions like standard error and standard deviation are more
difficult to find in the functions attribute of excel
Excel Function


Depending on the difficulty of the
equation it can be simple and difficult to
find the correct equations.

Task 4: Insert/ delete rows and columns

Inserting and deleting rows and columns are important for different formulas. The
action of inserting/deleting cells is quite simple for in Excel
Excel Function
Rows and Columns


I thought that adding rows and columns
was easy, but I only found one way to
achieve it.

Task 5: Change Background

Changing the background for different areas of the spreadsheet is quite simple,
select cells and change the background color. The background is important in some
ways to separate different set of data in an easy less complicated way.
Excel Function


Background is simple and easy to
establish for different cells

Task 6: Change Size of Rows and Columns

In excel rows and columns have an automatic size set for standard text size. It is
possible to change the row height and column width. There are multiple ways to do
this and they are all fairly simple.
Excel Function
Changing cell sizes


I thought that changing cell sizes in both
the rows and tables is a very simple task.

Task 7: Copy Equation to multiple cells

In excel there is a reason to have the same equation in multiple cells. Now that the
equation is found there is a simple way to make my life easier by copying the
equation to blank cells relating to correlating cells.
Excel Function
Copy Equation


The copying of an equation is as simple as
copy and pasting to a selection of blank

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Task 8: Import a table of figures

This task is very important if I was using excel to analyze data from a different
source. Data from different sources can be imported in excel by either the import
option or just copy and paste.
Excel Function
Importing tables


The importing of data can be simple,
however things can go not as planned and
make the process frustrating.

Task 9: Use multiple cells in function or equation

Excel can use multiple cells in one equation. For instance the sum of one row can be
subtracted from another rows sum. This task is very simple.
Excel Function


Equations are simple to use by selecting
the cells that I wanted to use preform the
action on.

Task 10: Format Cells in different ways

Formatting cells in different ways can be significant in how the data is read making
the formatting important and also fairly simple. The formatting can be percentage,
certain decimal number, and currency Etc.
Excel Function


The formatting is simple, it mostly
requires the decision of which format
choice I want.

Total Scores:
37 out of 50 possible

When finished with the test for Microsoft Excel I calculated the scores and found a
74% success rate for usability. I can conclude that Excel is user friendly even for
novice users. It can be challenging in some areas, while very simple in other areas. I
was able to perform these ten tasks easily by exploring the program, and without
using the help section of the program. Excel does have more tasks that would be
challenging for a novice user, but I just wanted to test for a novice user. All in all
Excel can be used by any user and be helpful in how they use it.