Communicating Usability Problems   Dr. Davide Bolchini University of Lugano - Switzerland
Relevance <ul><li>Discovering usability breakdowns is just half of the work </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating problems  effe...
Overall Communication Goals <ul><ul><li>Stakeholders are  convinced of the gravity  of the usability problems </li></ul></...
Usability Problem Lifecycle
Some Guidelines <ul><li>Separation of concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Abstraction level </li></ul><ul><li>Extendibility </li></...
Separation of concerns <ul><li>Decouple a usability problem into the various  design dimensions  it is concerned with (con...
Abstraction Level <ul><li>Keep a consistent level of  granularity </li></ul><ul><li>Moving  from general to specific </li>...
Extendibility <ul><li>Describe each problem as a  representative of a class of problems </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a  gener...
Authority <ul><li>Give  reason  of your findings </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing on elements which can gain  credibility </li></...
Technicality <ul><li>Avoid usability jargon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dot not talk “usabilish” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adapt yo...
Prioritization <ul><li>Communicate your findings in order of importance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gravity  for the user experi...
<ul><li>Targets:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developers (engineers, Graphic Designers, Interface Designers…) </li></ul></ul><ul...
<ul><li>Structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive Summary  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ta...
Usability Report <ul><li>Document Structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive Summary  </l...
Cover <ul><ul><li>Title (and subtitle) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Author(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Name and logo(s) of...
Executive Summary <ul><li>It is addressed to people that does not have time to read the entire report </li></ul><ul><li>It...
Table of Content <ul><li>It is the index to the main sections of the document and the corresponding page number </li></ul>...
Introduction <ul><li>It may describe: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(explicit) goals and spirit of the report </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Results of usability analysis <ul><li>It may consist of different  subsections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. according to the...
Results of usability analysis <ul><li>Present  problems by dimension  (content, navigation, semiotics) </li></ul><ul><li>I...
Requirements for improvement <ul><li>Describe your  recommendations  for improving the application in close relation to th...
Synopsis of usability problems <ul><li>It shows the main usability problems found the corresponding requirements for impro...
References <ul><li>Bolchini, D., Colazzo, S., Guidelines for Describing Usability Problems in Proc. HCII 2005 Internationa...
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Communicating Usability Problems

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Guidelines on how to communicate your usability analysis findings.

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  • Communicating Usability Problems

    1. 1. Communicating Usability Problems Dr. Davide Bolchini University of Lugano - Switzerland
    2. 2. Relevance <ul><li>Discovering usability breakdowns is just half of the work </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating problems effectively to the relevant stakeholders is crucial for the success of the mandate </li></ul><ul><li>An excellent usability analysis may fail if the communication fails </li></ul>
    3. 3. Overall Communication Goals <ul><ul><li>Stakeholders are convinced of the gravity of the usability problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They can gather all the necessary elements to orchestrate the proper strategies for fixing them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HABIT CHANGE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ I thought it was good, you convinced me we have hard problems to work on”. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Usability Problem Lifecycle
    5. 5. Some Guidelines <ul><li>Separation of concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Abstraction level </li></ul><ul><li>Extendibility </li></ul><ul><li>Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Technicality </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritization </li></ul>
    6. 6. Separation of concerns <ul><li>Decouple a usability problem into the various design dimensions it is concerned with (content, navigation, semiotics, graphics, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguishing between problems which are requirements-independent and problems depending on the purpose of the application (e.g. scenarios supported). </li></ul>
    7. 7. Abstraction Level <ul><li>Keep a consistent level of granularity </li></ul><ul><li>Moving from general to specific </li></ul><ul><li>Do NOT abruptly mix details (easy to fix) with strategic issues (re-think, re-engineering). </li></ul>
    8. 8. Extendibility <ul><li>Describe each problem as a representative of a class of problems </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a general statement pointing to specific examples . </li></ul><ul><li>Do NOT suggest a fixing by scenario or by example </li></ul><ul><li>Show you analyzed it really in depth </li></ul>
    9. 9. Authority <ul><li>Give reason of your findings </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing on elements which can gain credibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience: expertise of the analysts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consequences: impact on the user experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anomalies: compliance with the standard and conventions. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Technicality <ul><li>Avoid usability jargon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dot not talk “usabilish” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adapt your concepts and wording to the target audience you are communicating with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.G. You are communicating in front of the project managers and design team </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Prioritization <ul><li>Communicate your findings in order of importance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gravity for the user experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimated effort needed to fix the problem </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>Targets: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developers (engineers, Graphic Designers, Interface Designers…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing Managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication Managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate usability problems (give an overview of the main problems, rate the emerged issues…); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggest the requirements for the improvement of the application </li></ul></ul>Usability Report
    13. 13. <ul><li>Structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive Summary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Table of contents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results of Usability Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Synoptic of usability problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requirements for improvement </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Usability Report <ul><li>Document Structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive Summary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Table of contents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results of Usability Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Synoptic of usability problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requirements for improvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Appendix): methods used </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Cover <ul><ul><li>Title (and subtitle) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Author(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Name and logo(s) of the Institution(s) performing the evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Date: day, month and year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Version of the document; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright information; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other information (e.g. URL of the institutions involved, Addresses, Report number…) </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Executive Summary <ul><li>It is addressed to people that does not have time to read the entire report </li></ul><ul><li>It should present the key findings in a very clear and convincing way </li></ul><ul><li>1 page is usually enough </li></ul><ul><li>It is NOT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the table of content in prose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the description of the work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the organization of the team </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Table of Content <ul><li>It is the index to the main sections of the document and the corresponding page number </li></ul><ul><li>Salient titles are key to convey the overall flow of the report </li></ul><ul><li>Is not a detailed outline </li></ul><ul><li>Max 1-2 pages </li></ul>
    18. 18. Introduction <ul><li>It may describe: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(explicit) goals and spirit of the report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>expected results and how they can be used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It cites the methodology and tools used (pointing to an appendix) </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Results of usability analysis <ul><li>It may consist of different subsections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. according to the type of findings and methods used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inspection vs user testing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Illustrate in detail the usability problems found </li></ul><ul><li>Ground them properly and demonstrates their importance </li></ul><ul><li>Use (commented) screen shots to vividly show the problems </li></ul>
    20. 20. Results of usability analysis <ul><li>Present problems by dimension (content, navigation, semiotics) </li></ul><ul><li>Insert also positive findings </li></ul><ul><li>Distinguish among expert opinions, user opinions and user findings </li></ul><ul><li>User testing Results – Include quantitative data </li></ul><ul><li>Express your annoyance tactfully </li></ul>
    21. 21. Requirements for improvement <ul><li>Describe your recommendations for improving the application in close relation to the usability problems illustrated. </li></ul><ul><li>Your are not (yet) in charge of the redesign </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let designers do their work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Express requirements (what need to be reflected upon) and NOT design solutions (what should be replaced with what) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your suggestions should not be felt as mandatory by the designers </li></ul><ul><li>This content can be highlighted while describing the usability problems or in a section apart </li></ul>
    22. 22. Synopsis of usability problems <ul><li>It shows the main usability problems found the corresponding requirements for improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Table formats are preferred </li></ul><ul><li>Show priority and gravity for the problems here </li></ul><ul><li>Organize them by dimensions </li></ul>
    23. 23. References <ul><li>Bolchini, D., Colazzo, S., Guidelines for Describing Usability Problems in Proc. HCII 2005 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Las Vegas, USA, 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>Jakob Nielsen, www.useit.com </li></ul><ul><li>Bruce Tognazzini, www.asktog.com </li></ul>

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