Formulating new design alternatives for future prototypes
Conclusion of project & groupwork</li></li></ul><li>Communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding <br />P<br />RECAP<br />
The first phase of design involves ascertaining the user requirements.<br />Gathering User data helps in establishing these requirements.<br />There were several methods used in gathering quality user generated data:<br /><ul><li>Participant observation
Focus Group Interviews </li></ul>Focus on the user…<br />
Data yielded results, who knew?<br /><ul><li>Asking the right types of questions guarantees informative answers.
Constructive and innovative solutions can be formed by simply observing the needs, wants and habits of the target group.
Using triangulation, we were able to transcend the limits of simply postulating theories, observing users and trying new methods.
Triangulation allowed us to accomplish more than the sum of its parts.</li></li></ul><li>The first phase of design involves ascertaining the user requirements.<br />Gathering User data helps in establishing these requirements.<br />There were several methods used in gathering quality user generated data:<br /><ul><li>Participant observation
Focus Group Interviews </li></ul>User Requirements<br />
What have we learned…?<br />Participant observation:<br />Group members observed users overnight to pick up their habits, obstacles, needs and wants.<br />Questionnaires:<br />Questions were asked regarding lifestyle, occupation, number of people and activities. <br />Focus Group Interviews:<br />A relaxed group interview was conducted and a discussion commenced regarding communication gaps, technology handicaps and usability. <br />
This is what they want…<br />Users wanted a system that could do the following:<br /><ul><li>Enable smooth communication between members.
Can expedite menial tasks.</li></li></ul><li>Creation of personas…<br />
CREATING SCENARIOS<br />The next stage after acquiring the user requirements was to create scenarios from the personas.<br />These scenarios offered various challenges that the HomeMess system needed to overcome, augment and facilitate for the benefit of the user.<br />Scenarios included family members leaving messages for anything from picking up groceries to allocating user tasks.<br />
APPROACH IN PROTOTYPING<br />J. Nielsen distinguishestwolevels of prototypingaccording to the level of interaction.<br />Horizontal Prototype<br />A surface interface of sorts that allows one to get the feel of a prototype.<br /> Physical layout of things such as screen and buttons help in outlining possible future hurdles.<br />Vertical Prototype<br />Implementation of functionalities allows for a simulation of scenarios to occur, also allowing for the prototype to undergo user testing.<br />
When all is said and done, test again…<br />Creation and evaluation of a prototype reveals many factors overlooked before.<br />The prototype performed admirably in some cases and poorly in others.<br />Scenarios that should have been easy to implement proved confusing when used by a new user.<br />E.g: <br />Lack of help menus.<br />Lack of a satisfying system response to tasks.<br />PROTOTYPE EVALUATION<br />
Heuristic Evaluation<br />Expert users evaluate the system based on Jacob Nielson’s Heuristics. These allow for design improvements to be suggested.<br />User Testing<br />User centric approach requiring that a user be observed in their own home, where the system is being employed.<br />Cognitive Walkthroughs<br />Collecting empirical data to measure a prototype’s usability by following a path a user could take.<br />What sorts of tests, you may ask…<br />
RESULTS OF EVALUATION<br />One walkthrough, a test and an evaluation later…<br />Through rigorous testing, improvements made held fast and the same problems tented not to occur.<br />With newer tests came even newer problems and changes were thus implemented:<br /><ul><li>Difference in buttons from text to icons.
RESULTS OF FIELD STUDY<br />The simplest measure is to count up the number of times a word was chosen by participants. In our studies, we find that we get a fair amount of consistency in the words chosen.<br />Using‘word cloud’<br />
“The buttons are so colourful! It looks more like a game device”.<br />USER QUOTES & SUGGESTIONS<br />Think-aloud protocol<br />Adding a customizable setting <br />“The text size is huge. Is there a way I can change that in the settings?”<br />Allowing font changes from settings <br />“How do I add the person I’m sending the message to?”<br />Creating a button for directory of contacts<br />“ Oh that was direct! I thought it would take more time to find the option.”<br />