Mark Richman - Can create usable, effective, and engaging applications - Able to complete large projects on schedule - Advocate ease of use while promoting innovation - Always open to suggestions
Georgia Tech - MS in HCI: John Deere projects for Human Factors and Aging Lab How would you enter text while driving a tractor? John Deere asked my lab to help them design their on-board mobile text entry system for tractors and combines. Why? Workers need to enter limited amounts of text such as workers' names How? Deere selected a rotary knob as the input device for stability on rough terrain My Work: Developed tasks to test Visual Scan (target acquisition) and Motor Control - On four keyboard shapes - Using three alphabetic arrangements, including an English-tuned alphabet that I developed based on existing research - Tested 24 younger adults and 24 older adults Results: A paper based on this study was published in Human Factors in August,2008 John Deere used this research as the basis for its Green star text entry system, now in production Also for Deere: Conducted contextual inquiries to gain tacit knowledge from lawn care workers
Zoomology: First Place in 2003 International IEEE InfoVis Contest Our 4-person team won first prize (student) in this competition to develop an information visualization application to compare 2 large hierarchies: in this case, variations of the classification database, the tree of life Among my contributions was a key insight that resolved an issue that had caused our work to stall. I wrote the conference paper and presented the work at the InfoVis conference
Blue Marble Media – Usability/Redesign of HR Intranet for Major Utility The Solution: Guide users to category headings rather than link items. When the mouse moves over an item on the category bar, text appears below describing the contents of the destination page. On category pages, headings are subtly emphasized so they can be read at a glance. Category headings are shaded and rendered in 14-point type, larger than the 11-point link items, which themselves are large enough for older adults. Other changes, such as repositioning and resizing elements, were made as well. The Problem: The site’s front page tried to be a one-click shop with dozens of links to various features. Although these were grouped under category headings, users tended to ignore the headings and instead searched through the links one by one. The problem was compounded since 40 to 60 links appeared on category pages. Users ignored the subheadings and sequentially searched the links, often giving up after reading through 10 or 15 items and failing to find the information they wanted. - Developed protocol and facilitated tests for 24 users from across the company; user success rate was poor - Reported on results; my design recommendations were adopted - In follow-up tests one year later, participants successfully completed 100% of tasks
Enterpulse: Information Architecture and Interaction Design Wire Frames Interfacing with BAs Interaction Design
Heavy Lifting: IA and Interaction Design for School/Day Care Management System - Interaction Standards and Models to speed wireframe creation - Personally designed over 200 wire frames and approved another 100 – in 5 months - Standards for representation of common data and interaction elements – dates, times, widgets, etc - Documented and enforced usability standards
Designed protocol for two rounds of usability tests: managers and call center operators Facilitated usability tests for 11 users Executive summary (Power Point) for both rounds of tests Provided design recommendations developed from usability testing 45-page usability report detailing test results and extensive design and usability recommendations Following this assignment, the client hired me to redesign another of their systems. Usability Evaluation for Health Care Call Center
Quick visual test… On the next slide: When glancing, what number do you see first? What number do you see second?
Screen Position: Outside the Area of Visual Focus
Conception, interaction design, information architecture, supervision of visual design and programmers. Flash-based drag-and-drop application helps the small business owner conceive, create, and activate an AutoAttendant. A wizard directs the process, including: - Adding extensions - Announcements - Menu Repeats - Scheduling - Recording and Updating Prompts - Activation May view entire attendant or drill into a single menu Intelliverse: AutoReceptionist - allows small business owner to build own automated answering system
AutoReceptionist: One of the more than 80 wire frames comprising the product definition
callEverywhere Softphone: Redesign Mark Richman UX Designer, Intelliverse
Functionality of the Soft Phone
Allows dialing from phone book or call log, clicking or typing numbers
Transfer and forward calls
3-way calling (small conference)
Two lines, allows one call on hold
A-Z widget helps narrow phone book
Heuristic Evaluation to identify usability problems
Consult research papers in this area
Conduct a competitive analysis of similar products
User and company interviews
Address the problems
Test the prototype
Identify specific issues
Refine the prototype, test again
Repeat until done
Some User Interface Heuristics From Neilsen: Visibility of system status The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time. Match between system and the real world The system should speak the users' language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Recognition rather than recall Minimize the user's memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Aesthetic and minimalist design Dialogues should not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed. Every extra unit of information in a dialogue competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility. And also, Avoid actions that require fine precision The interface should not require precision mouse or pointing skills that interfere with the person’s goals.
Research-based Soft Phones
Cooper Design (Alan Cooper is the creator of Visual Basic) created a desktop phone with computer capabilities.
The keypad was off to the side, while a soft display screen occupied center stage.
The soft screen’s display changed depending on the task. It was a phone list, a call log, a voicemail repository, and gave feedback about call transfer, conference calls, and the like.
Cooper Soft Phone: Feedback
37 Signals, a software company specializing in user interfaces, offered up the Cooper Phone as a springboard for comments. Here is some of what users (probably developers and designers) wanted from a softphone:
Easy transfer and conferencing, even even though these features are not universally used.
Transfer to voicemail and 3-way calling (is this different than conference?)
Better visual feedback. ‘How-tos’ such as how to conference, transfer, tec.
Email access: easy access to caller’s emails, quick send to caller/person of a short email
Automatic recording of calls
Transcribing calls via voice recognition
One comment suggested:
* While on a call, press “Transfer” * Prompt appears: “Enter the phone number of the party, then push Transfer again”
* Prompt: “Jeremy’s phone is ringing. You may hang up or make another call.”
I rarely use Hold and Transfer, but I do need them often enough that I can’t have a phone without them.
Phone numbers make a convenient shortcut for many, so rather than take them away, have keypad dialing available with an easy shortcut, possibly with a hardware extension to the keyboard (since the numeric pad has a different layout from a traditional telephone keypad).
Research-based Soft Phones
Microsoft Real-Time Collaboration’s soft phone eliminated the keypad altogether:
Microsoft Enhanced Telephony Microsoft’s phone was adopted by 7300 employees, who used it for up to eight months. Included in their (CHI 2004) conference paper is a survey-based table of features that users liked or disliked. Least liked was ‘Calling from the Dialpad Tab’ Calling from the Dialpad Tab 1.8 Feature N Avg Std dev Med-ian Receiving an e-mail when you miss a call 238 3.3 0.7 3 Automatic call forwarding based on your status 137 3.1 0.7 3 Incoming call notification window 235 3.1 0.7 3 Manually transferring a call to another phone (like your cell phone) while your phone is ringing (a.k.a. “Quick Transfer”). (Typically used on a PC away from the desk phone, like a laptop or home PC). 100 3.1 0.9 3 Muting computer’s audio while on the phone 148 3.1 0.8 3 Calling by searching for someone in ET and clicking their phone number 183 3.0 0.7 3 Call forwarding based on who’s calling (see  for more results regarding ET’s advanced call forwarding features] 93 3.0 0.8 3 Setting instant messenger status to “on the phone” while on the phone 152 2.9 0.8 3 Being able to search across the corporate address book and your Outlook contacts at the same time 164 2.9 0.7 3 Calling from Outlook Smart Tags 86 2.8 0.7 3 Calling from ET’s Recently Called tab 198 2.7 0.7 3 Seeing people’s free/busy calendars 145 2.7 0.8 3 Calling from ET’s Favorites tab 205 2.7 0.8 3 Call history 185 2.7 0.8 3 Initiating conference calls using ET 36 2.6 0.8 3 Transferring the call while on the phone 70 2.5 0.8 3 Taking notes while on the phone 93 2.3 0.8 2 Seeing people’s pictures 156 2.1 0.8 2 Having ET play a sound when someone calls you (ring tones) 93 2.1 0.9 2 Sharing screens 44 2.1 0.8 2 Calling from the Dialpad tab 156 1.8 0.8 2
Some of the Usability Issues
First Pass: Redesign of the Phone Panel
Strategies for Improvement
Enlarge items for clearer visuals and easier interaction
Reduce the prominence of the dial pad; promote click-to-call
Make use of the contact list to simplify transfer, forward and other tasks
Reduce the number of buttons …
How? Group less-frequently used tasks under a single button
Place buttons near the information that they act upon
Make effective use of in-house knowledge: meetings, on-phone, etc
Prototype Built for Testing
Test of Paper Prototype
Participants were questioned about their computer usage, what software they use frequently, web pages they like, etc.
They were given 8-10 tasks to perform. People attempted to complete tasks on the paper prototype, and the facilitator ‘played computer’ to show the results of each action.
Participants were given a list of people who were in their ‘personal’ phone book for the test
Facilitator asked for impressions of the interface, how certain tasks ought to work, how often the participant might use each feature, etc.
Call Bill Clinton from your personal phone book
Purpose: Can they identify the phone book tab? What action they use to initiate the call
You need to create a conference call at number 800-488-3232. Include
Make a call to Marilyn Albert, who called you two weeks ago.
Purpose – will they search the call log? Will they use the scroll bar to browse dates?
Goals of the Test
Formative usability tests point out obvious problems in interaction style, wording, item placement, and to find confusing areas in the interface. They also help generate ideas for improvement.
Will people naturally type the first letters of a name in order to search?
Will they understand the wording of the tabs and buttons?
Were items placed properly?
How did people actually call someone from the phone book?
They searched for a name, highlighted it, and pressed ‘Enter’
Last Round of Testing: 16 participants
1: Can we eliminate the A-Z widget? Benefit: If people prefer the text box we can simplify the interface.
A software prototype was used to determine whether people would use the text box or the clickable A-Z mechanism to search. Paper prototypes were used for other questions,
Tested to determine whether participants preferred using the keyboard or the mouse
Varied the order of the text box and A-Z widget on the screen
Varied the order that the participant was taught about the A-Z widget or text box
Both mouse users and keyboard users frequently used the A-Z mechanism
Significant effects were found for:
Whichever object was shown ABOVE the other
Whichever object was learned LAST by the participant (recency effect)
Implication : We kept the A-Z widget, but enlarged it for easier clicking.
2: How did people switch between phone calls? They tended to click on the tabs
3: What happens to an existing call when an incoming call is answered? 12 of 16 people thought it would be placed on hold.