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  • Typical day walkthrough: What kind of personal and public devices do you encounter in a typical day?

    • If needed prompt with examples: phone, tv, microwave (?) etc.

    • What do you do on these devices?

    • How long do you spend on these devices?

  • Set-up: Did you or someone else set up the personal devices before using them? How about the public devices?

    • What was that process like?

  • OS and application settings: Do you have any system or application settings on your personal devices? What are the settings?

    • If needed prompt with examples: screen reader settings, text settings, volume settings, contrast settings

  • Web settings: Do you modify settings on web services - such as mail, social networks, etc. - to make them easier to use?

  • What, when, why,  where: How often do you change settings on your devices?

    • What settings do you need to change most frequently?

      • If needed prompt with examples: video volume, zoom level

    • What circumstances prompted you to modify those settings?

    • Where do you go to modify those settings?

      • If needed prompt with examples: hardware buttons, application settings, toolbars, shortcuts, etc.

  • Experience reflection: How comfortable do you find modifying settings in [ tools user mentioned in above ]?

    • What makes the experience [ comfortable/uncomfortable ]?

  • Future: Have you come across any devices that you wish to use but can’t?

    • What prevents you from using those devices?

    • Is there any settings you think would benefit you, but are unavailable?


  • WHAT (else) to test?

  • HOW to best structure the testing to answer these questions?


  • when presented with items we define as preferences how do users  categorize them?
    • include items we don’t define as a preference? e.g. hardware options, ‘no ads’, etc.
  • do users distinguish between an ‘ephemeral/temporary preference’ vs a ‘ permanent preference’?  (this relates to saving - when and how)


search bar ease of use

  • with label ‘search all preferences’
  • with label and good example (e.g. eyes tired)
  • with label, good example, and recommendations


  • auto-save
  • auto-save with option to apply last auto-saved set on new device
  • explicit save


* any device a user encounters responds to their preferences


preferences automatically transfer between tools? (e.g. what happens when user is making adjustments in both spaces?  how are they prioritized? how will common terms vs non-common terms be handled?)



a user's preferences represent all transformations or enhancements possible on a device


  • keeping the tool as simple as possible
  • avoid creating barriers to access by limiting availability
  • realistic use cases


* a user has different preferences set depending on the context and the device responds accordingly


i.e. does user have to be in a given context to make preference adjustments for that context?


any modified setting is a preference (autosave always across all devices)