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Storytelling: Rhetoric of heuristic evaluation


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Keynote at symposium on Usability and Communicating Complex Information E. Carolina University

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Storytelling: Rhetoric of heuristic evaluation

  1. 1. How to tell the storyThe Rhetoricof HeuristicEvaluationCarol BarnumDirector of Graduate Studies and The Usability Center @ Southern Polytechnic
  2. 2. Heuristic Eval is popular pickUPA survey results for HE/expert review % of respondents Survey year 77% 2007 74% 2009 75% 2011 UX Workshop, ECU Slide 2
  3. 3. Why so popular? Fact or myth? Fast Cheap Easy Effective Convenient UX Workshop, ECU Slide 3
  4. 4. Care to comment? Workshop, ECU Slide 4
  5. 5. HE output• A list of usability problems• Tied to a heuristic or rule of practice• A ranking of findings by severity• Recommendations for fixing problems• Oh, and the positive findings, too UX Workshop, ECU Slide 5
  6. 6. Nielsen’s 10 heuristics1. Visibility of system status2. Match between system and real world3. User control and freedom4. Consistency and standards5. Error prevention6. Recognition rather than recall7. Flexibility and efficiency of use8. Aesthetic and minimalist design9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors10. Help and documentationJ. Nielsen and R. Mack, eds. Usability Inspection Methods, 1994 Workshop, ECU Slide 6
  7. 7. What would Aristotle do?• Audience• Purpose• Context of use Workshop, ECU Slide 7
  8. 8. What do you do?• Do you do it (or teach it)?• How do you do it?• Why do you do it?• Do you do it alone or with others?• How do you report it?• How do you charge for it? UX Workshop, ECU Slide 8
  9. 9. What do I do? A brief history• Phase 1: Nielsen is my bible UPA 2011 9
  10. 10. CUE 4 Hotel Pennsylvania• Comparative evaluation of reservation process• 17 teams— – 8 did expert review/HE – Only one team used heuristic evaluation• Rolf’s conclusions – Findings “overly sensitive“—too many to manage – Need to improve classification schemes. – Need more precise and usable recommendations CHI 2003 Results available at Rolf Molich’s DialogDesign website, Workshop, ECU Slide 10
  11. 11. HEsamplefindingspage UPA 11 2011
  12. 12. What do I do? A brief history• Phase 1: Nielsen is my bible• Phase 2: loosely based findings from Nielsen; tables, screen captures, recommendations UPA 2011 12
  13. 13. Hyperspace, Shock, and Cardiac Arrest all require more clearly defined goals and objectives. H = Hyperspace; C = Cardiac Arrest; S = Shock SeverityFinding Description Recommendation H C S RatingObjectives/goals for Reason content is being Develop a consistent structure that    3the modules presented defines what’s noted in the Conciseness of presentation bulleted points, above. Definitions required to work Avoid generic statements that with the module/content don’t focus users on what they will bethat defines what’s noted in the    Objectives/goals for Reason content is being Develop a consistent structure 3 Evaluation criteria and the modules presented accomplishing. methods Conciseness of Advise that there is an assessment bulleted points, above. presentation Direct tie between content Avoid generic statements that used for evaluation and indicate if Definitions required to don’t focus users on what they and assessmentwith the work measure it’swill be accomplishing. at the end or interspersed in Sequence of presentation module/content the modulethere is an Advise that Evaluation criteria and follows logically from assessment used for evaluation Connect ideas in the goals and methods and indicate if it’s at the end or introduction Direct tie between objectives with outcomes in the interspersed in the module Quizzes challengeand assessment content users assessment in the goals and Connect ideas measure Follow thewith outcomes in the objectives order of presentation Sequence of presentation assessment follows logically from defined the the beginning Follow at order of presentation introduction Develop at the beginning defined interesting and Develop interesting and Quizzes challenge users challenging questions challenging questions Re-frame goals/objectives at the Re-frame goals/objectives at the end of the module end of the module UPA 13 2011
  14. 14. UPA 14 2011
  15. 15. 35 page report UPA 15 2011
  16. 16. What do I do? A brief history• Phase 1: Nielsen is my bible• Phase 2: loosely based findings from Nielsen; tables, screen captures, recommendations• Phase 3: screen captures, UX terminology UPA 2011 16
  17. 17. UX Workshop, ECU 17
  18. 18. A unique password between 6 and 16 characters was required.What “unique” means is not defined. This is a problem withterminology. Usually, passwords must be a combination of letters and numbers for higher security. An all-letter password— Heuristics—was accepted. A dictionary term is not a secure password and contradicts accepted conventions. The ability to input a dictionary word may be a component of trust for users.The username and security question answer were rejected onsubmit. This result is confusing as the name was confirmed on the previous screen. This relates to establishing conventions for the form of names/passwords on the input screen. Input formats need to be defined on the relevant page. Differences in spelling “username” vs. “user name” are subtle but are consistency issues.The red banner is confusing as the user chose the gold (FreeEdition). This is a consistency issue. UPA 18 2011
  19. 19. What do I do? A brief history• Phase 1: Nielsen is my bible• Phase 2: loosely based findings from Nielsen; tables, screen captures, recommendations• Phase 3: screen captures, UX terminology• Phase 3.1: user experience emerges UX Workshop, ECU 19
  20. 20. State Tax Reviewer comments: I wanna click on the map, not the pulldown. WAH! Also, I’ve got no idea what the text on this page means. UX Workshop, ECU Slide 20
  21. 21. What do I do? A brief history• Phase 1: Nielsen is my bible• Phase 2: loosely based findings from Nielsen; tables, screen captures, recommendations• Phase 3: screen captures, UX terminology• Phase 3.1: user experience emerges• Phase 4: tell the story of the user experience UX Workshop, ECU 21
  22. 22. Persona-based scenario review• Ginny Redish and Dana Chisnell• AARP report—58 pages, 50 websites – Two personas—Edith and Matthew – Evaluators “channel“ the user via persona and tasks/goals – Their story emerges Available from Redish &Associates Workshop, ECU Slide 22
  23. 23. While the clickable area is very large in the navigation blocks, Edith expected to click on the labels, so she was surprised when the menu appeared When trying to click an item in the menu above, Edith had trouble selecting because her mouse hovered close enough to the choices below to open that menu, obscuring the item she wanted to clickChisnell and Redish, Designing Web Sites for Older Adults: Expert Review ofUsability for Older Adults at 50 Web Sites, (for AARP)
  24. 24. Steve Krug’s approach• All sites have usability problems• All organizations have limited resources• You’ll always find more problems than you have resources to fix• It’s easy to get distracted by less serious problems that are easier to solve . . .• Which means that the worst ones often persist• Therefore, you have to be intensely focused on fixing the most serious problems firstRocket Surgery Made Easy, New Riders, 2010 Workshop, ECU Slide 24
  25. 25. Krug’s maxims• Focus ruthlessly on a small number of the most important problems.• When fixing problems, always do the least you can do. Workshop, ECU Slide 25
  26. 26. Conversation, Story Telling• Ginny Redish – Letting Go of the Words, Morgan Kaufmann, 2007 – Engage in conversation with your reader• Whitney Quesenbery and Kevin Brooks – Storytelling for User Experience Design, Rosenfeld, 2010 – Stories can be a part of all stages of work from user research to evaluation Workshop, ECU Slide 26
  27. 27. Report deliverable options No deliverable Quick findings Presentation Detailed reportJim Ross, “Communicating User Research Findings,“ UX Matters, Feb. 6, 2012 Workshop, ECU Slide 27
  28. 28. Why report?Big honkin’ report—courtesy Steve Krug Workshop, ECU Slide 28
  29. 29. What’s a writer to do? Rhetoric to the rescue!Rhetorical Question Rhetorical principleWho are my readers? AudienceWhat is my purpose in writing? PurposeWhat is their purpose in reading?How will they use the report? Context of use Workshop, ECU Slide 29
  30. 30. What have we learned today?• Things to keep• Things to change• Things to think about Workshop, ECU Slide 30