Usability And UCD In The SDLC


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Intro to usability talk I gave to a 1st year Software Engineering class at Monash University in Oct 2008

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  • Usability And UCD In The SDLC

    1. 1. Usability and User-centred Design in the Software Development Lifecycle Shane Morris
    2. 2. A Little Bit About Me <ul><li>Uni </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer Science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive Science </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I’ve Worked as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User Interface Developer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User Interface Designer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Architect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usability Engineer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction Designer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I’ve worked on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GUI’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kiosks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive Multimedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive Television </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Now I’m a <ul><li>User Experience Evangelist </li></ul><ul><li>I talk to... </li></ul>
    4. 4. I want to talk about <ul><li>Usability and User-Centred Design in the Software Development Lifecycle </li></ul>
    5. 5. Usability
    6. 6. What do we mean by “Usable”? <ul><li>Easy to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Efficient </li></ul><ul><li>Error-free </li></ul><ul><li>Responsive </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible </li></ul><ul><li>Discoverable </li></ul>
    7. 7. Usability <ul><li>“ the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” </li></ul><ul><li>ISO 9241 </li></ul><ul><li>1998 </li></ul>
    8. 8. Usability <ul><li>“ the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” </li></ul><ul><li>ISO 9241 </li></ul><ul><li>1998 </li></ul>
    9. 9. 10 Usability Heuristics – Jakob Nielsen <ul><li>Visibility of system status </li></ul><ul><li>Match between system and the real world </li></ul><ul><li>User control and freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency and standards </li></ul><ul><li>Error prevention </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition rather than recall </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility and efficiency of use </li></ul><ul><li>Aesthetic and minimalist design </li></ul><ul><li>Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors </li></ul><ul><li>Help and documentation </li></ul>
    10. 10. 4. Consistency and Standards
    11. 11. 4. Consistency and Standards
    12. 12. How do we achieve usability? <ul><li>Understanding users </li></ul><ul><li>Testing with users </li></ul>
    13. 13. User-Centred Design (UCD) <ul><li>In order to design an application that is usable, we need to understand the users. </li></ul><ul><li>What is their... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prior knowledge / training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivation and concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Task and how they want to perform it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools and resources available </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Every user interface design decision should be made with the end-users in mind. </li></ul>
    14. 14. You are not your user!
    15. 15. You are not your user <ul><li>Adelaide Hospital </li></ul>
    16. 16. User Centred Design (UCD) Process <ul><li>iso 13407: human-centered design process (simplified) </li></ul>User
    17. 17. User Centred Design (UCD) Process <ul><li>iso 13407: human-centered design process (simplified) </li></ul>User
    18. 18. Usability Testing Usability testing is a formal method for assessing usability
    19. 19. Usability Testing <ul><li> </li></ul>
    20. 20. Usability Testing – Key Principles <ul><li>You are too close to your own design to see the its inherent problems. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(You are not your user) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Because usability testing is objective , it can be authoritative and powerful. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ask users what they think, observe what they do. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Usability Testing <ul><li>> </li></ul>
    22. 22. During Usability Testing… <ul><li>Individual representative users attempt typical tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Their actions are observed and logged </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Confusing aspects </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mistakes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When the need help </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The sessions may be audio- and video-taped </li></ul><ul><li>Often participants are asked to ‘think aloud’ </li></ul><ul><li>After (or during) sessions, participants are asked for additional subjective reactions, comments and suggestions </li></ul>
    23. 23. Usability Testing in Action <ul><li>http:// </li></ul>
    24. 24. Keys to Success <ul><li>Plan and prepare thoroughly </li></ul><ul><li>Remain attentive and flexible, particularly during testing sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Because you are dealing with people, it’s important to behave in an ethical fashion, and treat participants with care and respect. </li></ul><ul><li>Be open to learning from the results. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Don’t use usability testing as a way to prove you were right) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Any problem a user finds with our software is our problem, not their problem. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Usability Testing <ul><li> </li></ul>
    26. 26. Planning a Usability Test <ul><li>Define the purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are you testing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the success/fail criteria? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What form of results do you need? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Success rates, completion times, error rates, satisfaction ratings?) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Write a test plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Surprises always arise during testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing uses ‘real people’ - it’s rare to get second chances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify, in detail, all materials required </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conduct a Pilot Test! </li></ul>
    27. 27. How many participants? <ul><li>Statistical significance is generally not required </li></ul><ul><li>The first few participants tend to identify most of the major problems </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing the number of participants increases the workload and time required </li></ul><ul><li>Between 4 and 8 is a good rule of thumb. </li></ul>
    28. 28. Choosing Participants <ul><li>Participants should be representative of the target users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Right skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They should not be part of the project team! </li></ul>
    29. 29. Running the Usability Test <ul><li>Introductions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ This is not a test of you” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask participant to “think aloud” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain privacy considerations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Will the session be recorded? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How will personal information be used? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Give user their (first) task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid the temptation to “lead” the participant. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No: “What do you think the Print button would do?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yes: “How would you get a paper copy of this?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Repeat for any other tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Post-test Questionnaire </li></ul>
    30. 30. Task Cards Participants are given a card describing each task they are to attempt
    31. 31. Completion Criteria <ul><li>For each task, define a set of completion criteria – otherwise it’s impossible to report on success rates </li></ul><ul><li>Be very specific. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Completion means that a specific page was reached, or a specific goal was attained. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tasks may be </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Completed successfully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abandoned by the participant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abandoned by the host </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You should also keep tabs on whether assistance was required. </li></ul>
    32. 32. Observers <ul><li>It’s a good idea to have observers </li></ul><ul><li>Observers must be silent and well-behaved </li></ul><ul><li>They are not allowed to interrupt </li></ul>
    33. 33. Test Laboratory <ul><li>Extensive (and expensive) equipment is not necessary, but can be useful </li></ul><ul><li>Lab with one-way mirror (for observers) </li></ul><ul><li>Cameras </li></ul><ul><li>Scan converters </li></ul><ul><li>Mixing and editing capability </li></ul><ul><li>Comfort is an important consideration. </li></ul>
    34. 34. Usability Testing <ul><li> </li></ul>
    35. 35. Reporting the Results <ul><li>To get maximum results, you should spend time analysing and producing a formal report and presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Including video or audio in your report is a very powerful way to communicate the significance of issues found. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to be diplomatic when reporting. </li></ul>
    36. 36. Usability Testing at Monash <ul><li>Usabilty lab: a PC with a webcam that feeds video/audio into another conference room. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently 4 members in Usability and Accessibility services within Information Technology Services. </li></ul><ul><li>Work covers a wide range of products/projects, from designing UIs for custom built applications, to reviewing and redesigning websites used by students, staff and the general public, to improving both desk and web-based applications used by Monash staff to 'run the business'. </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct around 5 usability tests a year, using between 4 - 8 participants. </li></ul>
    37. 37. Usability Testing at Monash continued... <ul><li>Audio/video is captured using Morae and streamed into another conference room so that clients, stakeholders, etc. can observe sessions. Some of the projects that we've been involved in that students may be familiar with are designing the online version of the course handbooks, working on a redesign of the Course Finder search engine and related pages and usability testing the online application tool for international students. </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Sweeney Usability Consultant Monash University ITS Web Centre </li></ul>
    38. 38. Usability <ul><li>“ the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” </li></ul><ul><li>ISO 9241 </li></ul><ul><li>1998 </li></ul>
    39. 39. Usability in the Software Development Lifecycle Envisioning Planning Developing Stabilising Deploying