W3G: Don't make me think!
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W3G: Don't make me think!

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Presentation at W3G conference in Stratford upon Avon, September 28, 2010.

Presentation at W3G conference in Stratford upon Avon, September 28, 2010.

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  • I hate to say it, but many traditional GIS people tend to be bad at usability. We make things too complicated. One of the things that Google and other so-called neogeography systems have done a great job on is simplifying applications. I&#x2019;ve recently been developing an application called myWorld, <br />
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  • MyWorld uses Arc2Earth as its data repository, which syncs with ArcGIS Online, which you can access from ArcGIS for iPad. James Fee had given this a really good review and usually speaks his mind, so being an iPad kind of person I was pretty excited to try this out. <br />
  • So panning and zooming is very nice, same as the standard iPad maps application. But then I tried to do the next most obvious thing, which for me is to view the attributes of a feature on the map. Just tapping on the map didn&#x2019;t work, which is what I hoped for, so then I tried the &#x201C;I&#x201D; icon down here. <br />
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  • So panning and zooming is very nice, same as the standard iPad maps application. But then I tried to do the next most obvious thing, which for me is to view the attributes of a feature on the map. Just tapping on the map didn&#x2019;t work, which is what I hoped for, so then I tried the &#x201C;I&#x201D; icon down here. <br />
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  • This screen contains no additional information compared to the previous compact information bubble, except that there are two features here. <br />
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  • This screen contains no additional information compared to the previous compact information bubble, except that there are two features here. <br />
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  • So here are my top three rules for usability testing: one, do usability testing &#x2026; two, do usability testing, and three, do usability testing. It&#x2019;s incredibly easy to do this ,yet so often we don&#x2019;t. I&#x2019;ve become a real convert to this over the past few years, mainly thanks to my friend Sue Foster. <br />
  • So here are my top three rules for usability testing: one, do usability testing &#x2026; two, do usability testing, and three, do usability testing. It&#x2019;s incredibly easy to do this ,yet so often we don&#x2019;t. I&#x2019;ve become a real convert to this over the past few years, mainly thanks to my friend Sue Foster. <br />
  • So here are my top three rules for usability testing: one, do usability testing &#x2026; two, do usability testing, and three, do usability testing. It&#x2019;s incredibly easy to do this ,yet so often we don&#x2019;t. I&#x2019;ve become a real convert to this over the past few years, mainly thanks to my friend Sue Foster. <br />
  • So here&#x2019;s how you do a usability test: put the application in front of the user, shut up, and watch. It&#x2019;s just incredibly educational as a developer to watch someone use your system. You keep wanting to say &#x201C;press this, do that!&#x201D;. But you really find out that things that are obvious to you may not be obvious to others. <br />
  • So here&#x2019;s an example from myWorld. We were really proud of this home page, we thought it clearly explained the three main options for a user. But the first two users we asked to search for things clicked and tried to type here, which is just a dumb graphic, instead of in the real search box which is up at the top. <br />
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  • So a simple example is a coffee machine. This takes a few minutes to warm up, so I&#x2019;d like to be able to remotely turn it on. I&#x2019;d also like it to remind me in the evening if the coffee bean containers need filling up, rather than finding this out in the morning when I&#x2019;m in a rush and impatient for caffeine! <br />
  • So a simple example is a coffee machine. This takes a few minutes to warm up, so I&#x2019;d like to be able to remotely turn it on. I&#x2019;d also like it to remind me in the evening if the coffee bean containers need filling up, rather than finding this out in the morning when I&#x2019;m in a rush and impatient for caffeine! <br />
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  • May not be such a requirement for public sharing of data in utilities <br /> But think about use of search technologies internally ... how powerful if you could just type a customer address and see a list of related results <br /> Interesting how we can find things on the Internet faster than on our desktop or internal systems <br />
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  • This is a typical utility basemap in Smallworld &#x2013; fairly sparse. But you can see with the raster tiled approach that the data looks exactly like it does in Smallworld <br />
  • Adding in a Google Street Map gives a lot more context. Maintaining base maps is not a core activity for utilities, and is very expensive. It really makes sense to use basemaps maintained by somebody else. There are ways that you can add updates where necessary, for example adding a new subdivision which isn&#x2019;t on the basemap yet. <br />
  • And Google satellite imagery is good for many applications. I hear a lot of people say that Google imagery is out of date but I think they are updating it more and more frequently. <br />
  • What if your data doesn&#x2019;t match the Google landbase? Many utilities have an old and inaccurate landbase and want to transform or conflate their network data to a new and more accurate landbase, for multiple reasons &#x2013; sharing data with other entities, using GPS, and working with external data like Google Maps, or imagery from other sources. This is an example of some data from PNG, who went through such a conflation exercise. You can see here how much better their pipes align with a Google map background after the conflation progress. That&#x2019;s not the main focus of my talk today, but <br />
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  • Google street view can give you valuable extra information about facilities. Often you can see details on pole configuration and so on that may not be stored in the database. We&#x2019;ve integrated tightly with this, so that when you click on a facility you automatically get the right street view displayed. In cases where the data doesn&#x2019;t line up exactly it&#x2019;s easy to adjust the view and save that for next time. <br />
  • A very powerful feature is that you can display icons in the street view itself and mouse over or click them for more information. <br />
  • In this example we can see several poles further away as we look along the street. <br />
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W3G: Don't make me think! Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Don’t make me think Peter Batty, Ubisense @pmbatty geothought.blogspot.com
  • 2. Usability flic.kr/p/kjwKm
  • 3. flic.kr/p/7s6E7Z
  • 4. James Fee “ArcGIS for iOS is a very impressive mobile mapping app.  It really shows the attention to detail ESRI has put into their new ArcGIS Mobile apps.  Compared to the old Windows CE and Windows Mobile crap they used to put out, this was easily used by my son without any direction.”
  • 5. 1
  • 6. 2
  • 7. 3
  • 8. 4
  • 9. 5
  • 10. 6
  • 11. 7
  • 12. 8
  • 13. 9
  • 14. flic.kr/p/GaDFA
  • 15. My top 3 rules for good usability
  • 16. My top 3 rules for good usability 1 Do usability testing
  • 17. My top 3 rules for good usability 1 Do usability testing 2 Do usability testing
  • 18. My top 3 rules for good usability 1 Do usability testing 2 Do usability testing 3 Do usability testing
  • 19. Doing a usability test Put application in Shut up Watch front of user flic.kr/p/7UqPo1 flic.kr/p/53WUkg flic.kr/p/72M6L
  • 20. We don’t read web pages, we skim them flic.kr/p/6Ab8j
  • 21. What the designer sees
  • 22. What the user sees
  • 23. Use conventions
  • 24. Use conventions
  • 25. Use conventions
  • 26. Use conventions
  • 27. Omit needless words Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left Krug’s third law of usability
  • 28. Omit needless words Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left Krug’s third law of usability
  • 29. “But these new systems are just simple web mapping, they’re not GIS”
  • 30. Demo End
  • 31. Raster map tiles Pre-render maps into image files Approach used by Google, Microsoft, etc Very high performance and scalability Easy to integrate with Google Maps etc
  • 32. …/a2e/data/datasources/Pole/90974 REST APIs
  • 33. …/a2e/data/datasources/Pole/90974?f=gjson REST APIs: simple and powerful
  • 34. …/a2e/data/datasources//Pole/search?f=gjson &lat=42.600&lon=-76.1780&d=4
  • 35. “If a dataset available on the web is in a format that can't be indexed by Google, does it make a sound?” Kevin Wiebe Safe Software
  • 36. REST is good!! <Picture of Jason> Jason Birch City of Nanaimo
  • 37. flic.kr/p/nHFSw
  • 38. flic.kr/p/3guaAu
  • 39. ? @pmbatty geothought.blogspot.com peter.batty@ubisense.net
  • 40. Backup Demo screen shots
  • 41. 1
  • 42. Matches Smallworld styles
  • 43. Google basemap gives context
  • 44. Google satellite map
  • 45. Display attribute data
  • 46. Street View gives extra info
  • 47. Street View gives extra info
  • 48. Street View gives extra info
  • 49. Google style one box search Something on “Google style search”
  • 50. Ability to link to maps
  • 51. Autocomplete search
  • 52. Autocomplete search
  • 53. Reports in search too
  • 54. Reports from search
  • 55. Google geocoding very flexible
  • 56. Google local search
  • 57. “Enterprise mashups” Outages Trucks WMS CIS Smart Grid
  • 58. Ability to link to maps
  • 59. Click link, no software needed! Back