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    Usability Usability Presentation Transcript

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