Presentation by BBC Head of Audience Experience & Usability, Jonathan Hassell and Chris Rourke, MD of User Vision on the benefits of usability and accessibility research for the web and other digital platforms. Presented at Internet World, London, April 2009.
CR talks the intro, thanks Background - we are one of the co ’ s BBC has used in recent years to research & improve user experience From our POV these are some of the most interesting and challenging projects that we conduct . They are often dealing with very or different new types of interfaces and as Jonathan will explain the whole landscape of broadcast and UX has been changing rapidly so it is sure to be an active area in the future.
Show agenda Jonathan will cover the importance of UX for media broadcasters Then we will move onto the challenges now & in the future for usability and accessibility I will talk through some of the methods that can be applied to research and improve the user experience in this environment and then we will have some time for Q&As Over to Jonathan….
Google images has almost 19million images responding to “ complex website ” … these are just a few…
Compare this to your DVD extras – what ’ s the difference?
Mouse, remote control, finger…
Mouse, remote control, finger…
There are approximately 11 million disabled people in the UK And also many older people who may have degenerating eyesight, hearing etc.
CR - Trying to provide a very simple overview of the keys to success when reviewing in this environment. 2 words often come up in discussions in usability testing: Confidence & control. Users generally have a better experience when they feel \\in control of what the process is they are following and have confidence that they are pretty sure what will happen when they click on something. Our challenge is to instil that even as they are performing new tasks on new devices Often the research method is different than what we have to do for conventional U testing or other research. Why? Recruitment challenge- often have to get very specific people accoring to their TV or media usage, or even types of disability The platforms are varied – not just a PC. We have done new media research on phones, iTVs with remotes and of course computers. Good news is we have plenty of ways to research the UX across platforms Researching UX in this env ’ t Often different than other clients Users often experiencing interactions 1 st time – often heavily geared toward the learnability of interfaces (eg. Things like affordances , access to help can be especially important Researching across platforms Researching users in context Understanding different user types (introduce personas concept) Often exploratory (formative) tests – not necessarily a hypothesis Need to mention somewhere that this is not usability per se – it is more than seeing if people can find the info, perform the task. It is looking at the user experience more widely – do they feel in control, how it reflects the brand values etc
CR - Personas developed for the BBC PoGo Study helped in the iterative development of the service across 3 platforms there is a danger that even the best intentioned designers will design something that is geared a bit more to them than the actual users and often it ’ s a good thing to overtly try to counter that – personas are one of the ways Some orgs are dismissive of them as they are not a technical creation, but used well they are powerful – almost like a prism through which to see your designs Explain there are various ways to develop personas , info fed in from Experience, previous feedback on a current site / system Internal knowledge fo the design team, their informal exposure to the users – Specific research – surveys, diary studies, focus groups Possibly have an image of a focus groups being run to explain one of the methods of building up user profiles & personas??
CR - Usability testing is most straightforward method , perhaps best understood – how many here have seen usability testing on their site ? It ’ s a core method used by BBC & other broadcasters we ’ ve worked with Can see the user, can record what's happening with PIP images –snippets from video are powerful Image Testing iPlayer when more content & functionality added led to important changes some subtle, some less so. Some on IA (grouping / categorising content ie navigation) and some others on the presentation level for a given page. All based on understanding people ’ s natural behaviour when searching for & using TV & Radio Content I have image of testing with a blind user as well in a test lab
CR - Sometimes there is a need for more advanced usability testing Researching the mobile interface can be challenging from the viewing POC To replace the eye tracking image with one of ET on BBC site – have that on another PC . Although UV has not done a tracking study on BBC site others may have and it CAN have a place for when page level issues need research, tweaking
CR - unfortunate that it is a blury picture but that ’ s because it is from a video But it shows the type of research we have done Context of use is a very important aspects and not everything takes place in a simple lab Mention how there are many and various ways UX peopple can research with end users – in home environment on street etc Sometimes we need to research in their own home. Alternatively we have set up a ‘ home ’ environemtn for them to test. Some additional bits such as the special camera to watch what they do on the remote but trying to make it as natural as possible , can get multiple views of the person interacting with the system (EPG)
CR - From the diary study image shows the types of materials we offered people to complete as well as a snippet of the results for media in the morning. Maybe better to enhance it with a picture of an elderly person in their home (from google images?) we did not take pictures of people in this study – they performed the data recording themselves Talk about : Sometimes the best thing to do , especialy with technology, interfaces that need to be learned over time, is to let the person get on with it as they want and see what they think .. Studies such as this can be exploratory , just letting people tell us about their experience using it as they wish, or semi-structured, where we ask them to try out certain key tasks to make sure they are trying out these. Can be followed up by an interview or short usability test to capture a richer picture of their experience. This has been applied by the BBC to better uinderstand the media usage of older people, and especially the level of appetite for the iPlayer, and if any revisions need to be made to accommodate Patterns of behaviour , Context of use, Aspirational designs etc Image
CR - Explain how this is an artefact from IA / card sorting work – eventually people will be seeing this as part of the EPG for the Canvas system of the future – but it needs to be researched first
CR - Talk about how UX researcher need to present results clearly in a way that the BBC team can consider the issues and make decisions about what changes to make, what priorities . Quickly & powerfully convey the most important points Use the images to state how often the most usable deliverable is a highly visual, annotated set of slides. Other things like highlights of video can really help get the message across also especially for people who did not watch any tests live ideally test again after changes made.. .
So to give you an example from a real project, this was some work we did for BBC looking at how to create a more accessible media player 8 users (points from slide)
The study showed many positive aspects The concepts of an online media player as very welcome <Quote some of the quotes>
Equally importantly – we found issues that BBC were keen to address in the development Quote 1 or 2 of these Now what did BBC do with these? Hand over to Jonathan
you can get side-benefits… aging people aren ’ t necessarily “ disabled ” but they have many of the same needs they are one of the largest underserved web audiences… you ’ ll have a better chance of producing products that really give a good UX for all
2009: User experience in action
Jonathan Hassell Chris Rourke Head of Audience Experience & Usability Managing Director BBC Future Media & Technology User Vision Internet World 29 th April 2009 User experience in action
Agenda <ul><li>Why a good user experience is important for media broadcasters </li></ul><ul><li>The main challenges of usability & accessibility across platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Effective ways to understand and improve the user experience through research </li></ul>
Researching the experience in context http://tinyurl.com/6cukzt
Researching the experience in context <ul><li>Diary Studies let users record their experience </li></ul><ul><li>Can enhance other findings </li></ul>
Guide My Stuff/Profile Researching how things are organised
(M) Some people will not know how many days the iPlayer covers. Despite having lots of publicity, it should not be presumed that everyone will understand that the iPlayer covers 7 days. Some of the participants did not know this and the site did not explain it. Recommendation : Tell the user clearly that the iPlayer is for the last 7 days with a clear message on the homepage or even better, in the masthead of the page. Presenting & Discussing research results Facilitator: “ So if you did that and the Radio stopped. What would you think? ” Participant: “ I ’ d be annoyed and think why has it stopped? ”
EMP - Overview <ul><li>BBC wished to test their next generation, accessible media player with disabled users. </li></ul><ul><li>8 day diary study involving </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6 blind users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 physically disabled users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users used a range of screen reader and switch technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Post test debrief of all participants. </li></ul>
EMP - Positive feedback Being blind, I can ’ t read newspapers or TV guides in the traditional sense, I often only realise programmes have been on a few days after they have been broadcast, Being able to go back and watch again is of tremendous benefit to me. Finding programmes using the category system is very easy. I chose FACTUAL then HISTORY. Easy. iPlayer has the opportunity to become the main way blind people can easily access TV content. iPlayer allows you to navigate television programmes using a screen reader. That ’ s a big benefit. I discovered that if switch users want to pause the clip, all they have to do is scan once which gets them on to the Play/Pause button to pause the video, and then scan and select again to resume. Easy. Very good. It was easy to use, on the whole, and very user-friendly. Signposting was logical and clear throughout.
EMP – Negative Feedback Can we have some consistency please? For most programmes you use a Flash based player but to listen live to Radio Scotland I need to download and install RealPlayer which I have had numerous accessibility issues with in the past. Lacks sufficient tab focus highlighting for Switch Users. It is unclear. it took a while for me to find radio programmes on History. I eventually did a search within the Radio Link, where I input “ history programmes ” . This brought up various documentaries on History. Therefore, Switch Users would find it tiresome without a Skip Navigation to jump to the main content. I found the IPlayer Flash controls to be quite inaccessible. I was never able to access controls during playback.
Why doing testing with your users is so important…
Accessibility => usability => user experience <ul><li>whether all your users can get the right value out of what you create </li></ul><ul><li>because this is supposed to be entertaining, right…? </li></ul>
The benefits of knowing how people will actually use it… <ul><li>for example: if you were designing a way of navigating through a 30min - 4hour programme, just using two buttons , how would you do it…? </li></ul><ul><li>is there a best way…? for everyone…? for the programmes that they want to watch…? </li></ul>