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Architecture of Learning Environments  E19.2017 Usability Research
Why is Usability Important? <ul><li>Technologies are changing very rapidly and usability assurance needs to keep pace. </l...
Definition: Usability as a Dialogue <ul><li>“ (a) system’s usability is the extent to which it supports the potential for ...
Nielsen’s Definition of Usability <ul><li>Usability is a  quality attribute  that assesses how easy user interfaces are to...
Forms of Usability Testing <ul><li>(Nielsen, 1992) </li></ul><ul><li>1) Testing a close-to-finished interface to check whe...
When to conduct Usability Testing? <ul><li>During the DESIGN phase through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>low fidelity prototype t...
Heuristic Evaluation <ul><li>According to Nielsen (1992), we can conduct simple evaluations with  9 usability heuristics  ...
3 Main Components of Testing <ul><li>Get hold of some  representative users ,  </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the users to perform ...
Usability Testing Plan: <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are you conducting the tests? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pro...
Usability Testing Plan <ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Details how you will run the test </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Task...
Setting Usability Objectives <ul><li>Created during user/task analysis  </li></ul><ul><li>Must be measurable </li></ul><ul...
Selecting Test Participants <ul><li>Define the user groups you are interested in (can segment by age, gender, etc.) </li><...
Methods and Testing Scenarios <ul><li>The “Think Aloud” </li></ul><ul><li>Card Sorts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for user i...
Methods and Scenarios <ul><li>Questionnaires  (with Likert type scales) </li></ul><ul><li>Pretests  for user’s prior knowl...
New Usability Scenarios <ul><li>Emerging technologies present new challenges to usability testing,  </li></ul><ul><li>Tech...
Emerging Technologies <ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapidly changing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technolog...
New Usability Testing? <ul><li>More emphasis on context of use in testing </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on new terms such as “co...
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Usability

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  1. 1. Architecture of Learning Environments E19.2017 Usability Research
  2. 2. Why is Usability Important? <ul><li>Technologies are changing very rapidly and usability assurance needs to keep pace. </li></ul><ul><li>Productivity- poor usability hinders productivity </li></ul><ul><li>The user becomes frustrated, will go elsewhere </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definition: Usability as a Dialogue <ul><li>“ (a) system’s usability is the extent to which it supports the potential for people who work with it to understand it, to learn, and to make changes… </li></ul><ul><li>The technology itself, even when it is not intended as a communications product, serves as a communication medium between user and user, and between designer and user … </li></ul><ul><li>this communication is embedded in every kind of artifact.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Adler and Winograd, 1992, pg. 7) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Nielsen’s Definition of Usability <ul><li>Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. It includes 5 main components: </li></ul><ul><li>Learnability : How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time? </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency : Once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks? </li></ul><ul><li>Memorability : When users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency? </li></ul><ul><li>Errors : How many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors? </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfaction : How pleasant is it to use the design? </li></ul>Jakob Nielsen, source: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030825.html
  5. 5. Forms of Usability Testing <ul><li>(Nielsen, 1992) </li></ul><ul><li>1) Testing a close-to-finished interface to check whether usability goals have been achieved </li></ul><ul><li>2) Formative evaluation of a system still being designed to see which aspects of the interface work or not </li></ul>
  6. 6. When to conduct Usability Testing? <ul><li>During the DESIGN phase through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>low fidelity prototype testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>high fidelity prototype testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>heuristic evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>During the Development phase </li></ul><ul><ul><li>formative evaluation </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Heuristic Evaluation <ul><li>According to Nielsen (1992), we can conduct simple evaluations with 9 usability heuristics (guidelines): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use simple and natural dialogue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speak the user’s language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimize user memory load </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be consistent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide clearly marked exits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide shortcuts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide good error messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevent errors </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 3 Main Components of Testing <ul><li>Get hold of some representative users , </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the users to perform representative tasks with the design. </li></ul><ul><li>Observe what the users do, where they succeed, and where they have difficulties </li></ul><ul><li>with the user interface. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Listening to what people say is misleading: </li></ul><ul><li>you have to watch what they actually do.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Image source:http://www.infodesign.com.au/usabilityresources/evaluation/usabilitytesting.asp) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Usability Testing Plan: <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are you conducting the tests? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Problem Statement/Test Objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What usability objectives are you testing? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User Profile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are your users and their defining characteristics? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Usability Testing Plan <ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Details how you will run the test </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Task List </li></ul><ul><ul><li>List of the tasks to be completed, projected times for completion, required state of system to test tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test Environment/Equipment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>List what you need to conduct the test </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Setting Usability Objectives <ul><li>Created during user/task analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Must be measurable </li></ul><ul><li>Should indicate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Type of user </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Task to be performed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific performance criteria </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Selecting Test Participants <ul><li>Define the user groups you are interested in (can segment by age, gender, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Target 3-5 test participants from each user group </li></ul><ul><li>Best if users come from the real user population rather than internally </li></ul>
  13. 13. Methods and Testing Scenarios <ul><li>The “Think Aloud” </li></ul><ul><li>Card Sorts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for user input on the information architecture or taxonomies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write topics or categories on cards and ask people to sort them into related concepts or groups </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Methods and Scenarios <ul><li>Questionnaires (with Likert type scales) </li></ul><ul><li>Pretests for user’s prior knowledge and skill levels </li></ul><ul><li>Usability Lab testing : where they clicked, what they clicked, how long did it take? </li></ul><ul><li>Hallway testing : conduct testing with internal participants </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile testing : testing participants in their own work contexts </li></ul>http://www.nngroup.com/reports/prototyping/video_stills.html
  15. 15. New Usability Scenarios <ul><li>Emerging technologies present new challenges to usability testing, </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies are moving beyond traditional office-based personal computer applications. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Emerging Technologies <ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapidly changing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology is increasingly embedded into environment (ubiquitous computing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapted to many more out-of-office contexts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is more integration among devices (e.g. wireless keyboards, wireless headset, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More global “market” for products </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. New Usability Testing? <ul><li>More emphasis on context of use in testing </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on new terms such as “consumer experience” rather than merely “ease of use” </li></ul><ul><li>More mobile, ad-hoc, observation based? </li></ul>
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