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A Virtual Environment for Designing User Interface Prototypes with Accessibility Requirements


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Students and the instructor discuss the use of Second Life for prototyping and evaluating user interfaces in a CS 820 Usability and Interaction doctoral class.

The projects featured accessibility projects, including a news stand for low vision users, a refrigerator for users in wheelchairs and an electronic voting machine. The students designed low fidelity prototypes, then conducted usability tests with subjects from class and from other schools.

Presented at the CCSC Rocky Mountain Regional Conference 2008, October 17, 2008. Authors: Cynthia Calongne, Dawn Frankovich, Steven Endorf and Johnny Sandaire. See for additional information.

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A Virtual Environment for Designing User Interface Prototypes with Accessibility Requirements

  1. 1. A Virtual Environment for Designing User Interface Prototypes with Accessibility Requirements Cynthia Calongne Steven Endorf Dawn Frankovich Johnny Sandaire Colorado Technical University CCSC Rocky Mountain Regional Conference October 17, 2008
  2. 2. Usability and Interaction <ul><li>Interface design in a virtual world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Presence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usability testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Early Skill Development The authors learn to build and texture their class projects
  4. 4. Modeling in Second Life A self-guided tutorial for building a 20-minute project
  5. 5. Using Second Life for UI Design <ul><li>Self image </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Mentor, feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Class projects </li></ul><ul><li>Roleplay </li></ul><ul><li>Tool integration </li></ul><ul><li>Immersive design </li></ul><ul><li>Build simulations </li></ul><ul><li>Empirical testing </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of presence </li></ul><ul><li>Attend classes, collaborate </li></ul><ul><li>Office hours, facilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Applied learning activities </li></ul><ul><li>Immersive learning </li></ul><ul><li>MSN Live Meeting, phones </li></ul><ul><li>Inside the organism </li></ul><ul><li>Create prototypes </li></ul><ul><li>Observe user behavior </li></ul>80% of the world’s Internet users will be in a virtual world by 2011 (Gartner, 2007)
  6. 6. CS 820 Win 08 Class Projects Newsstand, Electronic Voting Machine, Refrigerator
  7. 7. Design for Accessibility <ul><li>For vision and mobility impaired users </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Asynchronous and synchronous design activities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3D graphics, sounds, gestures and interaction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Models, textures, sounds, animations, scripts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on user characteristics and task performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration in class and among students </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Students new to a virtual world create low fidelity interface designs and conduct usability tests in a virtual world
  9. 9. Interaction and Empirical Testing <ul><li>Observed behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Test plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test procedure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measurements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul></ul>Interface with rezzable objects
  10. 10. Evaluating Interface Prototypes Conducting usability tests of the accessibility projects
  11. 11. Tasks and Skills Required <ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1st self or ideal self? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Move and look </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Arrow keys or Navigation menu </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Camera controls </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice, text, gestures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Group Notices, IMs </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Project Prototypes Newsstand for the low vision users; selecting option 4 to hear Refrigerator for wheelchair users; shelves move out and down
  13. 13. Behavior and Task Performance Studying interfaces from a wheelchair Testing the Electronic Voting Machine interface
  14. 14. Student projects on display at the TCC Online Worldwide Conference
  15. 15. Experimental Design Space Fanciful classrooms created by a powerful simulation tool
  16. 16. Virtual Office Hours Rather than view the tank in the office, get inside. The water’s fine!
  17. 17. SL Research Links 1 <ul><li>Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cynthia Calongne’s Classes in Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research in Second Life presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Artificial Intelligence in SL </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TCC Preconference Wiki -- SL from a Flash drive tips </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Edumuve </li></ul><ul><ul><li> and </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. SL Research Links 2 <ul><li>National Public Radio’s Science Friday in SL </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NMC Campus Observer </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NOAA’s Traffic Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Best Practices in SL </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Annotated Bibliograophy of SL Educational Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. SL Research Links 3 <ul><li>Second Life as a Virtual Learning Environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An Educational Tour of Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A View from Second Life’s Trenches: Are you a Pioneer or a Settler? </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leveraging the Affordances, Minimizing the Barriers of Virtual Worlds </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LearnScope in Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. SL Research Links 4 <ul><li>Using Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beyond Course Management Tools: Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual worlds in Online Education: Are You Ready to Teach in Second Life? </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What Can We Learn from World of Warcraft & Second Life? </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SL Podcast by Bayne, Walker and Calongne </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. SL Research Links 5 <ul><li>Who’s on Second? Educational Podcasts </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Second Life Development -- VITAL Lab </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suffern Middle School in Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Second Life Library 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li> and </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Second Life Education Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LSL Wiki -- programming tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. SL Research Links 6 <ul><li>Secondary Worlds </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reuters -- Doors to open on Google Virtual world(s)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SL and Google Earth are Transforming the Idea of Architectural Collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Timeline - History of Second Life Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UberNoggin: Big Brains - Big Ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. SL Research Links 7 - News <ul><li>Reuters in Second life </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The SL Newspaper </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Second Life Herald </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Metaverse Messenger </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SLNN </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. SL Research Links 8 <ul><li>New Worlds Notes </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SL A Virtual Universe for Real Engineering </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Just Virtual </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Seifert Surface - Math in Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Eric McLuhan in Second Life - Playing Media Ecology </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. A Virtual Environment for Designing User Interface Prototypes with Accessibility Requirements Cynthia Calongne Lyr Lobo in Second Life [email_address] For more information (left to right) Johnny Sandaire,Steve Endorf , Dawn Frankovich and Lyr Lobo Lyr Lobo