I was recently conducting a usability test and ran into an interesting dilemma…
My interview participant was an elderly woman who was using a laptop and didn’t have a mouse (because her laptop has a trackpad). I had sent her a Figma prototype link and was intending to test the discoverability of some of the elements within the UI. Some of the activities/tasks I had prepared for our usability test would have required the participant to scroll down the prototype page in order to see/find the tasks in question. Without having a mouse, however, I quickly found out that she was literally unable to scroll the page.
Turns out that she always relies on the up and down arrow keys to scroll pages when browsing the web (which is fair and somewhat common, especially among older folks), and she was trying to do the same during our test to scroll the prototype page down, but nothing was happening and the page wasn’t moving.
I asked if she could use two fingers on the trackpad to scroll like you can do on MacBooks, but her laptop did not support this functionality. Additionally, in prototype views that are scrollable, a scrollbar doesn’t appear on the right-hand side of the screen like on live webpages, so the participant also wasn’t able to click and drag the bar to scroll the page either.
I have to say, this was an occurrence that I wasn’t prepared for or expecting, as I’ve never run into this exact set of circumstances during a usability test before while getting feedback on a Figma prototype. I ended up quickly altering the tasks I asked her to perform so they were only applicable to what we could actually see on screen above the fold, and then politely cut the interview a little bit short acting as if I had covered everything I was interested in asking her about.
This made me realize how useful it would be to enable vertical scrolling in Figma prototype views using the up and down arrow keys so that the scroll behavior mimics real web browsing, and accommodates those users who don’t have a mouse with a scroll wheel, as well as users who are unable/don’t know how to scroll solely using finger gestures on their laptop’s trackpad.
Introducing a scroll bar on the right side of prototypes that users could click and drag to scroll would also assist with this issue as well, and would also give a more realistic look and feel to prototypes in general.
Has any one else experienced something similar before while testing their prototypes with users?
Thank you to the Figma team if you happen to read this; you guys are incredible and I really appreciate your hard work!
Figma for life