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Usability of Google Docs

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Usability of Google Docs
Introduction

Google Docs is
A web-based word processor and spreadsheet
similar to Microsoft Office
Introduction

Google Docs has unique features:
real-time collaboration, web-based document
storage, mobile access
Research objectives
Research objectives

Understand
 1.  User adoption
 2.  What Google Docs lacks
 3.  Issues for Mobile Use and Accessibility
 4.  Issues Surrounding Collaboration
 5.  Security and Privacy Issues
Methods

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Usability of Google Docs

  • 2. Introduction Google Docs is A web-based word processor and spreadsheet similar to Microsoft Office
  • 3. Introduction Google Docs has unique features: real-time collaboration, web-based document storage, mobile access
  • 5. Research objectives Understand 1.  User adoption 2.  What Google Docs lacks 3.  Issues for Mobile Use and Accessibility 4.  Issues Surrounding Collaboration 5.  Security and Privacy Issues
  • 7. Contextual Inquiry –  Directed interview + observation –  Provides data on user behaviors •  what features they use •  how they use the product –  2 sessions conducted
  • 8. Usability Tests –  3 users –  10 tasks –  Quantitative metrics •  System Usability Score (SUS) •  Task completion time
  • 9. Survey –  Conducted using Google Docs –  32 responses (20 users, 12 non-users) –  Mixture of open- and closed-ended questions •  5-point Likert scale used for attitude judgements
  • 10. Interviews –  3 interviews conducted: •  experienced user •  functional user •  novice user –  Pre-determined questions and open-ended follow-up •  10-point Likert scale used to quantify attitudes
  • 11. Focus Group –  One online chat room session –  Four participants •  Age 20-30 •  Use Google Docs >=1 year(s) •  Technical professionals and students –  Semi-structured
  • 13. Key Findings –  Used in a variety of contexts: •  home, school, work –  Most likely to use for small, simple tasks “I think it works very well at least for the basic tasks.” 25% of Google Docs users surveyed reported that Google Docs was their primary word processor and spreadsheet.
  • 14. Key Findings (2) –  Treated as a clone of Microsoft Office "It is quite similar to MS office. For me, it is pretty easy to use. Its like working with MS office.” –  Expect features to act the same “It doesn't support "Track changes" like what MS office does.” “Chart and graph functions are very good on MS Office comparing to the Google Doc.”
  • 15. Key Findings (3) –  Most users are comfortable with storing documents online “I can access to that document anywhere anytime.” “When I’m travelling, I don’t have to worry about taking the computer with me” “online free storage of files as my HDD crashed several times.” “I have pdf’s of my tax returns up there, and I also have, for my small freelance business, I have contracts and things up there.”
  • 16. Key Findings (4) –  Collaboration features are used heavily ! “It is easy to share document and have others view and adjust it without sending email back and forth”
  • 17. Key Findings (4) –  Novice users sometimes confused by collaboration features “when I’ve collaborated and there are different versions of things it’s hard to find the specific one I’m looking for.” “So everybody would be making edits at the same time including me and because Google docs do the auto save, all the sudden everything would be different on everybody screen. What is saved wasn’t necessarily what is supposed to be saved”
  • 19. Strengths Collaborative editing No more sending email back and forth Online access Available from anywhere with Internet Familiar interface Similar to Microsoft Office Free No cost!
  • 21. Weaknesses Lack advanced features Compared to Microsoft Office Problem with formatting, printing Loss of fidelity in imported documents No offline access Online only Difficult to discover new features Do not know about new, improved features
  • 23. Recommendations Improve support for collaboration and sharing features. “It would be great if it has ability to track changes made by collaborators.” “I would like it to be able to share documents with somebody who don't have a Gmail account.” …
  • 24. Recommendations (2) Improve feature parity with Microsoft Office, especially formatting “Better formatting - At the moment, it's quite difficult to format the document.” “I need more beautiful graph and charts on Google Docs.” Spreadsheet Macros and Formula …
  • 25. Recommendations (3) Make it easier for existing users to learn about new features Offline service “I'd like to use it offline ”
  • 27. Conclusions Strengths Weaknesses Share & Collaborate Format & Print Available Online Online Only Familiar Not as good as Free New features
  • 28. Conclusions Strengths Weaknesses Share & Collaborate Format & Print Available Online Online Only Familiar Not as good as Free New features
  • 29. Conclusions Strengths Weaknesses Share & Collaborate Format & Print Available Online Online Only Familiar Not as good as Free New features