Usability Review - Verizon Wireless Family Portal


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  • FROM BASECAMP:If we were to take this approach, we should discuss what our top five recommendations actually are, but here's what I came up with:1. Consider another term to replace "update."2. Improve response time.3. Make "update" functions accessible from the family member profiles.4. Simplify, clarify, and tighten up the procedure for creating a new location.5. Make it plain to the user what the solid and dashed circles on the map represent.Great idea – and I agree with the first four – but I’d replace #5 with either something about the unexpected site expiration or something about hiding those grey, non-functional tabs from view (or at least disabling the coding on them so that if a user clicks on them – nothing happens…)- KBGreat idea! I might quibble with your last 2 choices though. I’m not sure that the solid and dashed lines on the map are a top 5 problem although they are confusing. I would replace the map problem with a global problem of “Over use of text” which I attribute to poor task flow design. If the flow worked better they would not need so many different forms of help (online user’s guide, message center, explanations to the left of of text in dialog boxes, etc.) to explain things.DebI think we need to discuss this. I agree with Kristin about logoff. Also, I am not sure what is meant by response time (locating or UI refresh?) - RW
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  • Usability Review - Verizon Wireless Family Portal

    1. 1. A Usability Review ofVerizon WirelessFamily Locator A. Davis, C. Stern, D. Edinger K. Burgh, P. Raj, R. Waindle 1
    2. 2. Agenda• Executive Summary• Positive Findings• Usability Issues by Severity and Scope• Conclusions and Next Steps 2
    3. 3. Executive Summary 3
    4. 4. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYObjectivesThe primary goals of the study were to: • Evaluate the intuitiveness and overall flow of the interface • Evaluate the effectiveness of the terminology • Gather first impressions of the application from test participants • Determine which features are useful and which are not • Identify additional features that would be useful to users • Evaluate navigation within the application • Identify areas of improvement and make recommendations 4
    5. 5. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYMethodologyWe studied ten participants. For each task, we collected: • Four participants were tested in the • Usability issues encountered during Bentley usability lab execution • Six participants were tested remotely • Whether the participant was able to complete the taskParticipants were asked to complete • Whether the participant neededthe following tasks: assistance from the facilitator to complete the task • Edit profile information (family member’s name and avatar) • Feedback from the participant while “thinking aloud” during the task • Locate family members • Find out how fast a family member is Participants also completed traveling pre- and post-test questionnaires. • Set up a Scheduled Location Update • Results from the post-test assessment • Set up an Arrival/Departure Update questionnaire (SUS) are in the Appendix. • Set up a new Location In addition, we conducted an expertParticipants were asked to follow a review of the application.standard “think aloud” protocol. • Findings and recommendations have • Participants verbally expressed what been incorporated into this report they were thinking as they worked through the tasks.Note: We tested the live version of Family Locator, as the updated version was inaccessible due to technical issues. 5
    6. 6. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYRecommendationsReplace the term “Update.”Users think “Update” refers to software updates, and therefore tend to ignore the Updatessection. Consider using another term, such as “Alert” or “Notification.”Move Update functions to the Family Members section.When asked to create an Update for a particular family member, nearly all users expected tofind this function in the family member’s profile. To be consistent with the user’s mentalmodel, Update functions should be accessible from family member profiles.Clarify and simplify the procedure for creating a new location.Many users had trouble with this task, and the difficulties came in several forms. Considerways to make this procedure more transparent and bullet-proof.Reduce the reliance on wordy instructions.Some tasks, such as creating an Update, rely too much on text to guide the user. Considerways to subtly guide the user with minimal instruction.Consolidate and simplify the help system.Help text is spread across three systems – the Help pages, the Message Center, and the UserGuide. These three systems should be consolidated into one. In addition, the help text shouldbe reviewed for concision and clarity.Label the avatars on the map with family members’ names.Labels would make it much easier for the user to identify family members on the map. 6
    7. 7. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYPositive FindingsThe Concept Itself • Parents liked knowing that their children were safe and could be located easily. • Participants liked the idea of receiving notifications as to their family members’ whereabouts. • Participants liked that they could send an email or text message to a family member directly from the application.Site Customization • The variety of map views accommodates user preferences. • Participants liked the ability to customize the avatar for each profile. • Participants liked being able to view the locations of all family members on the map. 7
    8. 8. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYPrioritization by Severity and ScopeUsability issues are Issues by Prioritycategorized according to: Severity Scope # of IssuesSeverity• High – Prevents or greatly hinders High Global 2 task completion• Medium – Somewhat hinders High Local 5 task completion Medium Global 3• Low – Does not hinder task completion but adds confusion or frustration, or does not conform Medium Local 2 to best practices Low Global 1Scope Low Local 8• Global – Impact greater than a single screen• Local – Impact limited to a single screen 8
    9. 9. High Severity IssuesGlobal in Scope 9
    10. 10. Signed Out and NotReturned to Sign-in PageISSUEThe user is unexpectedly signed out of the application,and is not redirected to the sign-in page.DETAILSThe user is unexpectedly signed out of the application.This can happen due to a system error or the sessiontiming out. The user is then redirected to the FamilyLocator main page and must find the link to the sign-inpage to sign in again.RECOMMENDATIONSWhen the application signs a user out, it should displaythe sign-in page so the user can easily sign in again.Consider adding a session timer. The user should also bealerted a minute or so before the session times out dueto inactivity. Consider lengthening the session time. 10
    11. 11. Updates TabISSUE “ I was thinking Update was anUsers who wanted to set up scheduled and arrival/ update to the technology. I havedeparture notifications did not see the Updates section as an update to every single appthe place to perform this task. on my phone. I don’t need this.” “ Notifications: where do I setDETAILS them?”Participants had difficulty figuring out where they could setup update notifications. Several needed assistance or wereunable to complete the task at all. Most users ignored the“Updates” panel, assuming that it had to do with softwareupdates; several noted that the amount of text dissuadedthem from exploring that area. Many users looked first inthe Profiles area, reasoning that since they wanted to setup a notification for a particular family member, they wouldbe able to do so from the family member’s profile .RECOMMENDATIONSChange the name of the Updates area. Add some pictures oriconography to replace or minimize the text. Allow users toset up notifications from family members’ profiles. 11
    12. 12. High Severity IssuesLocal in Scope 12
    13. 13. “Unavailable” Status ISSUE “Unavailable” status is not entirely clear and “ Sam is ‘unavailable.’ I don’t like that. I potentially disconcerting. Selecting the profile don’t know what that means. . . If one button for additional information on the family of my kids was really unavailable and member results in an error message. couldn’t be found, I would want something to jump out and tell me.” DETAILS The meaning of the “Unavailable” status is not clear, especially for new users. If the user attempts to get more information by clicking the family member’s profile, they receive an error message. With emotions possibly high due to the inability to locate a family member, displaying an impersonal error message can add frustration. RECOMMENDATIONS Take into account the use case (a parent cannot find a child) and provide a better explanation of the reasons for and implications of the “Unavailable” status. Offer more information in the profile on what was last known about the family member. 13
    14. 14. Adding a LocationISSUEWhen adding a location, there is no clear option forthe user to manually enter an address. Also, there isno feedback when the user clicks Add Locationother than a change in the button’s label.DETAILSAfter users click Add Location, there is no indicationas to what they should do next (i.e., click a locationon the map or use the map’s search feature ). Thiscaused significant delay and puzzlement.RECOMMENDATIONSProvide prompts when Add Location is clicked tomake it clear what the user needs to do next. Inparticular, make it clearer that the user has theoption to enter an address manually. 14
    15. 15. Updates: Saved Location RequiredISSUE “ That’s annoying.”While setting up an Arrival/DepartureUpdate, the user is informed that they should “ Adding location was unnecessarilyhave first set up a location. The user must complicated.”cancel the setup process (thereby losing the “ I would say the system is startingsetup data they’ve entered so far), set up a to make me feel dumb.”location, and redo the update setup.RECOMMENDATIONSNotify users before they embark on the setupthat location data is required. Allow users totype in an address from the Update window. 15
    16. 16. Update Request FailureISSUE “If I can’t schedule an Update just because theSetting up an update can fail if the family phone is being used, that is a real problem…member’s phone is in use, off, or out of thecoverage area. After failure, no information is I’d expect it to push out the update evensaved and all must be re-entered when the user though somebody was talking on the phone.tries again. …It would be nice if they gave me a section of things I tried to schedule and couldn’t.”DETAILSUsers expect to be able to add updatesregardless of the phone status. Users may spendtime setting up (through numerous steps) only tofind that their data will be lost.RECOMMENDATIONNotify users that phone status may precludesetup. Add a queue for failed Update requests souser data is not lost, or reprocess requestsautomatically and notify the user whensuccessful. 16
    17. 17. Medium Severity IssuesGlobal in Scope 17
    18. 18. Help Text is Verbose and Not CentralizedISSUEUsers are resistant to reading large amounts oftext in order to understand the features of theapplication. Furthermore, there are too manydifferent locations where help is provided.DETAILSHelp text is spread across the help pages, theMessage Center, and the User Guide. Ingeneral, help and instructional text should besuccinct and centralized.RECOMMENDATIONAvoid presenting users with text-heavydescriptions of options. Centralize help text toone location. Consider using rollover-styletooltips. 18
    19. 19. Access to User GuideISSUEUsers faced challenges when attempting toaccess the User Guide for help with a task.DETAILSUsers had trouble finding the link to the UserGuide. When one user finally found the linkand attempted to open the guide, an AdobeAcrobat error message was displayed. Sincethe User Guide opened in a new browserwindow, the user found it difficult toalternate between the guide and theapplication to follow the step-by-stepinstructions for the task.RECOMMENDATIONSThe User Guide might be more useful if itwere more integrated with the application.Since the application does not fill up thebrowser window, the space on either sideof the application could be used to displaytask-specific help. 19
    20. 20. Saving Changes & ConfirmationISSUEUsers were unsure of how to proceed afterentering new profile information. In addition, nofeedback is displayed confirming that the enteredinformation was saved. Finally, the Enter key doesnot save data.DETAILSUsers had no trouble updating profile information,but did not realize that they needed to click theSave button at the bottom of the input box to savetheir changes.RECOMMENDATIONSProvide user feedback after saving. Narrow thewidth of the dialog box so that the Save and Cancelbuttons are not so distant from the data-entry fields.Allow Enter key to activate Save. 20
    21. 21. Browser Back ButtonISSUEThe browser’s Back button selection automaticallyinitiates the phone location process.RECOMMENDATIONMake phone location a process the user mustexplicitly initiate. Add programming so that whenthe user clicks the Back button, the current state ofthe session is preserved. 21
    22. 22. Medium Severity IssuesLocal in Scope 22
    23. 23. Searching for an Address for a New LocationISSUEThe user was confused by the presence ofmultiple search tools.DETAILSWhen attempting to type in a street address tocreate a location for a notification, the user usedthe site-wide search tool at the top of the pageinstead of the search tool at the top of the map.The user was able to successfully complete thetask using the correct search tool after receivingassistance from the facilitator.RECOMMENDATIONSConsider a popup box to enter new locationinformation vs. entry of information via a themap’s search tool. Change the wording in theinstructions, which prompts the user to use thesearch tool “at the top of the page.” 23
    24. 24. Location Search ResultsAre Difficult to FindISSUEIt is difficult for users to distinguish between savedlocations and the results of a search request.DETAILSThe user identified a location using the map’s searchtool and then moved the mouse pointer onto themap, where it showed a “Click to Place” prompt. Theuser did not understand why after entering anaddress they had to also select a location on the map.In addition, users failed to notice the search resultslisted in the Location panel.RECOMMENDATIONSAfter search, display search results in a moreprominent location. Disable the “Click to Place”feature while the search results displayed. 24
    25. 25. Low Severity IssuesGlobal in Scope 25
    26. 26. Unclear TerminologyAvatarThis term might be unfamiliar to some. Users are more likely to understandterms like “picture,” “image,” or “icon.”HistoryThe History panel displays only location history and not, for example, messagehistory. Change to “Location History.”Message CenterThis feature incorporates frequently asked questions and the user guide. Itsname causes confusion as to its purpose – users tend to think it has somethingto do with text messaging.Refining/UnavailableThese terms are unclear. 26
    27. 27. Low Severity IssuesLocal in Scope 27
    28. 28. Difficulty FindingLocation-Related InformationISSUEUsers didn’t realize that they could usercan click the avatar to find more locationinformation such as speed, currentlocation, etc.DETAILSUsers were unaware that they could clickon an avatar to find additional information,such as the family member’s speed andlocation.RECOMMENDATIONAdd a conventional “i” symbol on theavatar which would prompt the user toclick on it for additional information. Also,display location-related information withinthe user profile. 28
    29. 29. Avatars Are Not LabeledISSUEUsers can forget how avatars are assigned, andsome avatars are very similar.RECOMMENDATIONLabel the avatars on the map with either thenames of family members or phone numbers bydefault, so that it is easy to distinguish familymembers on the map. 29
    30. 30. Edit Profile: Cannot Enter Full NameISSUEThe user cannot enter the fullname of a family member.DETAILSProfile names are limited to twelvecharacters. Users cannot enternames exceeding this limit.RECOMMENDATIONSAllow more than 12 characters forthe family member’s name ornotify users of limit by displaying asample (e.g. greyed text in field orsample text elsewhere). 30
    31. 31. Location Circles “ Now I have yellow circles for someISSUE reason. I think they are here, but it stillThe meaning or significance of the various says Locating, so I am really not sure.”circles surrounding family-member icons onthe map is unclear. Their relationship to theLocate process is not obvious.DETAILSUsers assumed that the yellow circle referredto the possible location, but there wasuncertainty about its significance. Thedistinctions among circles of different colorsand line formats (solid vs. dashed) were notclear.RECOMMENDATIONSOffer some additional cues to explain not onlywhat the circles represent, but also why theyare (or are not) displayed. If the Locate buttonstatus is linked to the display of thecircle, create visual cues to unite the two. 31
    32. 32. Contrast Between Avatar and MapISSUEIt can be difficult to differentiate some avatars from “ It’s trickier to see… It didn’t jumpthe background of the map, especially when the map right out at me initially.”was set to aerial view (e.g. green frog on green map).RECOMMENDATIONSDifferentiate the avatar from the busy map backgroundby adding a halo or drop shadow to separate images.Possibly make map background lighter. 32
    33. 33. Speed and Movement / DirectionISSUEUsers are unsure of the accuracy and timeliness of the “ Taylor is at the same place as a fewspeed measurement – for example, does a 0-10 speed minutes ago, so I am not sure she ismean that family member is moving at all? They going that speed [30-40mph]? …[lexpressed a desire to see the direction in which might would like to see] a track of wherebe traveling. Taylor has been. Breadcrumbs.”DETAILSUsers were skeptical about both the accuracy and thetimeliness of the speed data displayed in the locationinformation. They also expressed a desire to see thedirection in which family members might be traveling.RECOMMENDATIONSProvide better feedback about how current the datamay be (even though there is a timestamp next to thisinfo, users often did not connect them). If possible, alsoshow the direction of travel. 33
    34. 34. Add Update Request:Two-Minute DelayISSUEAdd Update can make users wait up to two minutes.After this delay, the process can still fail.DETAILSUser have to wait several minutes before beinginformed of the status of the update. The user maywait two minutes only to find that the update was notsuccessful and their setup data was lost. While theupdate is being processed, users are prevented fromperforming other tasks. Users expect the process torun in the background and then notify them of successor failure upon completion.RECOMMENDATIONSIf possible, determine whether updates can beconfigured before users spend time on setup. Run theupdate operation in the background. Allow users tocontinue to use the application while waiting. 34
    35. 35. Conclusionsand Next Steps 35 35
    36. 36. Recommendations• Replace the term “Update.”• Move Update functions to the Family Members section.• Clarify and simplify the procedure for creating a new location.• Reduce the reliance on wordy instructions.• Consolidate and simplify the help system.• Label the avatars on the map with family members’ names. 36
    37. 37. ConclusionsOverall, users liked the product. • Many users indicated that they’d be interested in using Family Locator. • Participants liked what the system can do and were sometimes surprised at the depth of functionality.Users were able to learn the product with assistance. • If the most severe and moderate usability issues were addressed, users should be able to set up and use the application without difficulty. • With some simple changes to terminology, users should be able to learn the product without assistance. 37
    38. 38. Next StepsShort-term • Change the term “Update” to “Alert” or “Notification.” • Enable users to add a new location while they are creating a new update. • Add a visible session timer or warn the user when a session timeout is imminent.Long-term • Move “Update” and other functions to the family member profiles section. • Consolidate and simplify the help systems. • Prioritize and address the remaining severe and moderate issues. • Conduct another usability study after changes have been made. 38
    39. 39. AppendixList of Usability IssuesTasks from the Usability TestSUS Scores • By wireless carrier • Graphical representationParticipant Demographic InformationMindBridge Associates Contact Information 39
    40. 40. List of Usability Issues 40
    41. 41. LIST OF USABILITY ISSUESGlobal High, Medium, and Low Severity IssuesScope Severity Issue Slide #Global High Signed Out and Not Returned to Login 10Global High Update Tab 11Global Medium Access to Help Guide 8Global Medium Saving Changes & Confirmation 9Global Medium Browser Back Button 10Global Low Terminology 12 41
    42. 42. LIST OF USABILITY ISSUESLocal High and Medium Severity IssuesScope Severity Issue Slide #Local High “Unavailable” Status 14Local High Adding Location 15Local High Too Much Text to Read for Selecting an Option 16Local High Updates Tab 17Local High Updates: Saved Location Required 18Local High Update Request: Failure 19Local Medium Location Information Difficult to Find 21Local Medium Searching for an Address for a New Location 22Local Medium Location Search Results Unclear 23 42
    43. 43. LIST OF USABILITY ISSUESLocal Low Severity IssuesScope Severity Issue Slide #Local Low Difficulty in Finding Location Related Information 25Local Low Identical Default Avatars 26Local Low Edit Profile Choosing Ariel or Road View 27Local Low Profile Name: Cannot Enter Full Name 28Local Low Location Circles 29Local Low Avatar Background Differentiation 30Local Low Speed and Movement/Direction 31Local Low Update Request: Two Minute Delay 32 43
    44. 44. LIST OF USABILITY ISSUESLocal Low Severity Issues (continued)Scope Severity Issue Slide #Local Medium “Unavailable” Status 21Local High Adding Location 15Local High Too Much Text to Read for Selecting an Option 16Local High Updates 17Local High Updates: Saved Location Required 18Local High Update Request: Failure 19 44
    45. 45. APPENDIXTasks Presented to Study ParticipantsParticipants were asked to suppose they had two Completed, Completed, Unable tochildren: Taylor (12 years old) and Sam (18 years old). Without But With Complete Assistance Assistance 1 Change the name of the “781-879-3290” listing to match your name. Change the picture associated with the phone 10 of 10 0 of 10 0 of 10 and add your email address. 2 Change the name associated with Taylor’s phone (“781- 879-3291”) to “Taylor”; change the picture as well. Do the 10 of 10 0 of 10 0 of 10 same for Sam’s phone (“781-879-3292”). 3 Use Family Locator to find out where Taylor and Sam are right now. 8 of 10 2 of 10 0 of 10 4 You know that Sam is right now driving home from a friend’s house. Use Family Locator to find out how fast he’s 6 of 10 4 of 10 1 of 10 driving. 5 Taylor is taking a special drawing class at 3pm every weekday. To get to the class, Taylor walks by herself from the school to the arts center. You want Family Locator to 6 of 10 4 of 10 1 of 10 notify you of Taylor’s location via text message at 3pm every weekday through the end of the year. 6 Taylor’s soccer team is at an away game. You want to be at her school to pick her up when the team returns, but you don’t know how long the game will last. You want Family Locator to notify you by text message when Taylor is within 10 of 10 0 of 10 0 of 10 1 mile of the school. The school is at 8 Forest Street, Waltham, MA 02452. 45
    46. 46. 46
    47. 47. APPENDIXSUS Results: Bar Chart Average Scores 47
    48. 48. APPENDIXDemographics AT&T Both iPhone No Virgin Mobile Mac Android No Sprint PC Android No T-Mobile PC Android No Verizon PC Android No AT&T Mac Sanyo No AT&T PC Motorola No Verizon Mac Feature phone Yes AT&T PC Dont know Yes Verizon Mac iPhone Yes 48