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Recommendaton Report

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  • 1. To: Patrick Rodriguez From: Eric Anciso Date: August 9, 2009 Subject: Recommendation Report "Financial Aid Tutorial" Enclosed is the recommendation report in which I evaluated your set of instructions for Financial Aid. This report contains a review on your tutorial along with some analysis I did and a couple of recommendations. I have reviewed your set of instructions by conducting a usability test and explaining how that event occurred and what I found out about using your tutorial on actual students. In the end I made recommendations according to the results I received from the usability test. I hope that this report provides some incite on how effective your tutorial is, as well as the needed information to revise the tutorials. If you have any questions or concerns, please just let me know so we can discuss them. I can be reached at (956) 225-6962 or by e-mail at BlueEyedMillaFan@aol.com
  • 2. Recommendation Report for "Financial Aid Tutorial" Prepared by Eric Anciso Report Distributed August 9, 2009 Prepared for Patrick Rodriguez
  • 3. ABSTRACT This report identifies and dissects the information given in the financial aid instructions, whether the instructions are ready to be given out to users. Are the instructions functional and can they be easily used by users? This report will provide the answers to this question and also provide some needed information in order to improve the quality of the instructions. A usability test was conducted and the analysis was reviewed and visual representations are provided. The recommendations are (1) Slides should be looked over and revised. (2) Break up heavy text into different slides. (3) Clarify photo as examples/ e-mail slide iii
  • 4. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................................iii EXECUTIVE SUMMARY............................................................................................................................1 INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................................................................2 What is a usability test and how can it help?................................................................................2 METHODOLOGY.........................................................................................................................................2 Steps....................................................................................................................................................3 ANALYSIS......................................................................................................................................................4 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................................................................................5 REFERENCES................................................................................................................................................6 APPENDICES.................................................................................................................................................7 Appendix 1: Test Plan......................................................................................................................7 Appendix 2: Observational Notes..................................................................................................9
  • 5. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report identifies and dissects the information given in the financial aid instructions, whether the instructions are ready to be given out to users. Are the instructions functional and can they be easily used by users? This report will provide the answers to this question and also provide some needed information in order to improve the quality of the instructions. There was a usability test done on Sunday, July 18 between 1:00 pm to 5:00pm at my residence. I conducted this usability test to analyze the "Financial Aid Tutorial". I made observational notes during this test which helped me with my analysis. I included graphs to visually show the results of the usability test and to support my recommendations. These are the following recommendations: * I recommend that the slides be looked over and revised. * Break up heavy text into different slides * Clarify photos as examples (e-mail slide) 1
  • 6. INTRODUCTION This report identifies and dissects the information given in the financial aid instructions, whether the instructions are ready to be given out to users. Are the instructions functional and can they be easily used by users? This report will provide the answers to this question and also provide some needed information in order to improve the quality of the instructions. These set of instructions have been tested on a couple of users, conducting a usability test, in order to test their efficiency. I have recorded some observational notes which will help examine the instructions functionality. I have also noted some recommendations which I believe will improve the quality of these instructions. What is a usability test and how can it help? A usability test is a full scale test which records data about everything from what the user is feeling to how efficient was the information they were provided. It is very helpful to run a usability test because without one it would be difficult to understand if the set of instructions being given, in this case the financial aid instructions; are ready to be distributed to the users it targets. A usability test is important to use in this type of situation, it can greatly expand the necessary changes that need to be made on the instructions. One dilemma from the usability test is if the instructions in question are ready to be tested. A usability test is expensive and requires time from the subject its being given to. (Mauerer 2002) I have to be convinced the set of instructions are ready to be tested on. METHODOLOGY I specifically tested the users on learnability and efficiency of use. These two are a part of the M.E.E.L.S. which stands for: Memorability Efficiency of use Errors Learnability Satisfaction I chose learnability because I wanted to find out exactly how much of the instructions the users would remember. I believe that if a user can remember the majority of the information provided, that the tutorial is doing its job correctly. 2
  • 7. I chose efficiency of use because I wanted to see how effective the test was. I watched how the users preceded through the set of instructions and I made some analysis on how fast the user progressed through the instructions and where would they stop and hesitate on the information. Steps These are the steps to the method I used to examine the users, the test was conducted on Sunday, July 18 between 1:00 pm to 5:00pm at my residence. * Everything was clean and ready for the user to take the test. * The user arrived early enough so they won’t have to rush for the test. * I had the computer with internet ready for them to use. * Once the user took the test, they had to be taking the test for at least 20 minutes before allowed to take a break. * When the user had trouble, I waited about 10 minutes or until they ask for help before helping them. This gave them enough time to make sure they didn't know what to do next and it also gave me time to make some observational notes. * I asked them questions during the test so I could understand what the users were going through when taking the test and to see when they start to get confused during the test. I would let them try to figure it out on their own. (Kaufman 2006) * After the test asked the user if they would desire something to drink or snack on as a thank you and I thanked them for helping me with the usability test. The test went very smoothly. The two users I used for the test were selected from a list of requirements needed. Both users were: * Entering college students * Needed help with financial aid * Access to a computer * Access to the internet * Basic computer knowledge Its very important, for the test, to have the right users to test. It is very important to see the test through the users eyes. (Spool 2005)) It would be invalid if i used someone who didn't fit this criteria. 3
  • 8. ANALYSIS After completing the usability test, I created a graph showing, specifically in what sections the users had problems in. Chart Description This chart (shown above) provides a visual aid to which slides the individual users have problems with. Both users seemed to have difficulties with the same slides, just one more than the other. Both users expressed to me how there was too much text in slides 2 and 10. User 1 seemed to have some trouble interpreting the information on slide 9. 4
  • 9. This slide explains how the user must go to their e-mail address so they can continue the tutorial. The problem is, the user looked at the image provided and didn't know whether they should make an e-mail account with yahoo. They had an e-mail account on google but not on yahoo. This is a problem area which the user encountered, so the solution to the problem was the user ended up creating a yahoo account. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS I recommend that you look over the slides the users had problems with and refine them. Try to break up the heavy text into more slides or provide less text. I understand how the information is very important but if there is a way to make it easier to process it should be done. Also the user who had a problem with the e-mail account slide, I think you should just provide some information explaining how it is an example. Such as on slide 4 where you clearly state its an example. After this i believe this will be the result of your tutorial. Chart Description The chart above expressed 100% success through the slides. In conclusion, I believe you will have 100% success on your tutorial if you use these recommendations. Overall it is a very well processed set of instructions and I enjoyed testing it. 5
  • 10. REFERENCES Kaufman, J. (2006). "Practical Usability Testing". Digital Web Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.digital-web.com/articles/practical_usability_testing/. August 3, 2009 Mauerer, R. (2002). "Usability Testing". University of Colorado System. Retrieved from https://www.cu.edu/irm/stds/usability/index.html. July 27, 2009 Spool, J. M. (2005). "Seven Common Usability Testing Mistakes". User Interface Engineering. Retrieved from http://www.uie.com/articles/usability_testing_mistakes/. August 3, 2009 6
  • 11. APPENDICES Appendix 1: Test Plan To: Janie Santoy From: Eric Anciso Date: July 19, 2009 Subject: Usability Test Plan for Financial Aid Tutorial This is a Test Plan for the Financial Aid tutorial. I will use this plan to run a usability test on the specific users that match my target audience. This plan will provide information on the project goals, test goals, user profile, scenario and tasks, test materials, and testing protocol. Project Goals The goal of this tutorial is to ultimately help TSTC students apply and knowledge themselves with going through financial aid. This will be very beneficial to them because when a student wants help paying for college they would need to apply for financial aid. The users for this tutorial are new students incoming to TSTC. Students who have no prior knowledge in knowing how to apply for financial aid. The user should have basic computer skills and access to the internet. The majority of the work will be done by the computer, the only thing the user needs to concern themselves about is filling out the blanks that are necessary. Testing Goals During the test, I will be making observations and focusing on Learnability and Efficiency of use. I have chosen these certain measurements because I believe they will be very beneficial. Observing these two specific measurements will help me discover how effective the tutorial is and how much a user actually can learn from it. I am hoping to learn how exactly this tutorial works with everyday users and how they deal with the entire concept of the tutorial. User Profile The users who this test will be performed on are entering college students. These users know that financial aid will help them with college so they need to apply for it. From this tutorial they can learn how to apply for college for future financial aid assistance. All these users need to do is have access to a computer and the internet. These users would have never applied for financial aid before, but they know they need to if they want help. They also have basic computer knowledge and know how to navigate through the internet. 7
  • 12. Scenarios and Tasks I will give my user a scenario that will feel like an actual “real-life situation”. The tasks in the scenario will mimic the steps in the financial aid tutorial. This is the scenario I will be giving the user: “You are fresh out of high school and are going to college at TSTC. You need to apply for financial, so you need to go onto the internet and receive a pin and then send in your application but you don’t know how. You have never applied for financial aid before and you don’t know how to go through the process.” Testing Materials These are some of the material that the user will need in order to take the usability test: * A computer * Internet access * Printer * Paper and pen The user must also have a parent present. Testing Protocol The usability test will be conducted at my home, where we will both have access to the internet. The test will take place on Sunday, July 18 between 1:00 pm to 5:00pm. This is the protocol in list form: * I will have everything clean and ready for the user to take the test. * The user will arrive early enough so they won’t have to rush for the test. * I will have the internet ready for them to use. * Once the user takes the test they have to be taking the test for 20 minutes before allowed to take a break. * If the user has trouble, I will wait about 10 minutes or until they ask for help before helping them. This will give them enough time to make sure they don’t know what to do next and it will give me time to make some observational notes. * I will ask questions during the test so I can understand what the user is going through when taking the test and to see when they start to get confused during the test. * After the test I will ask the user if they would desire something to drink or snack on as a thank you and I will thank them for helping me with the usability test. 8
  • 13. Appendix 2: Notes from Test User 1 Name: Alfredo O. Position: Student at TSTC Date Taken: Sunday, July 19 Place Taken At: My house Time: 2:00pm. Notes: The user did not seem to struggle through the process of using the tutorial. It took him a little time to read through all the heavy test (Problem) but other than that it seemed to go smoothly. When the user came across the section where they needed to check their e-mail, they didn't know whether they needed to have yahoo mail specifically. They ended up making an e-mail account with yahoo because they did not want to fall behind. User 2 Name: Joanna D. Position: Student at TSTC Date Taken: Sunday, July 19 Place Taken At: My house Time:4:00pm. Notes: This user seemed to skim over a lot of the information because it was too much. (Text Heavy=Problem) Overall she seemed to understand the tutorial. She seemed to get the process fairly quick but she ended up skimming over a lot of the information. She seemed to take a little less time using the tutorial than User 1. 9