Usability in virtual worlds Making Sense of Business in Virtual Worlds  Karlsruhe, May 27th, 2008
About us ...
The Otherland Group Making Sense Of Business in Virtual Worlds <ul><li>We are offering consulting and professional service...
Full-Service for the Web3D <ul><li>Our Portfolio includes all services necessary for a longterm engagement in virtual worl...
Inworld Advertising Network <ul><li>Since 2007 we are maintaining an advertising network for virtual worlds and conducted ...
Otherland Real Estate <ul><li>The real estate division of Otherland is the third-largest real estate developer in Second L...
The Otherland Archipelago
 
Analytics <ul><li>Tools for measuring and controlling the performance  of  projects in virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
Plus project-driven business
But now ... <ul><li>Usability in Virtual Worlds </li></ul>
Usability? <ul><li>Usability is a term used to denote the ease with which people can employ a particular tool or other hum...
But ... usability in virtual worlds? <ul><li>Isn't this for software and machines, only? </li></ul>
No!
Every system intended to fulfill a certain function or help users reach a certain goal ... <ul><li>... should be designed ...
Examples for  functions <ul><ul><li>Sell stuff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teach visitors something </li></ul></ul><ul><ul>...
Examples for (users)  goals <ul><ul><li>Buy a pair of (virtual) high heels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn how to ... </l...
That‘s why this should be “usable“
... and this should be “usable“, too
... and this
What is the purpose here?
Impress with ‘Sweden‘
The situation today, though: <ul><li>Cool Design rulez! </li></ul><ul><li>(like on the web in the late 90s) </li></ul>
This will (has to) change ... <ul><li>... as soon as the focus is on business ROI </li></ul>
Is this all about Second Life? <ul><li>No! </li></ul><ul><li>Everything said  is valid for all worlds. </li></ul><ul><li>I...
 
 
 
Problems in Second Life  are similar wide-spread <ul><li>(1)  User Generated Content - like in RL (2)  Second Life itself ...
Let‘s have a look at the state of the art!
Whoopsie
Disclaimer <ul><li>I have no intention of dissing the competition.  </li></ul><ul><li>But I can’t avoid some examples of o...
Where am I? What can I do here?
What do I need a flight assistant for?
Cool Architecture!
Where to?
What will a newbie find here?
Is this what I am looking for?
That‘s what the newbie sees on his screen
Design scaled for a human
Design for avatars <ul><li>Not for humans! </li></ul>
Let‘s go party!
The road to nowhere
Where am I?
This looks dangerous
Whaaaaahhhhh
Design for avatars <ul><li>And mind your target audience! </li></ul>
Where am I? What am I supposed to do?
Hmmmmm ?
Great, an overview!
Let‘s try ‘orientation‘ ...
Ooops. Where is the Back button?
But ... unquestionably cool design
Some usability rules of thumb  <ul><li>Always make clear: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where am I? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wha...
Usability is not only about orientation
What do these people want from me?
Aaahh, a panel!
Why don‘t they talk with me?
Why should I do this?
Fulfill users expectations <ul><li>Something that looks like an avatar ... ... should behave like an avatar </li></ul><ul>...
Even successful projects can have issues
Where to?
Where is the stuff I am looking for?
Sometimes the old ideas are the best
Why not hand out a map?
And, while we are at it ... why not quote prices, too? :=)
There is always room for more usability!
So, Usability in SL has ...  „room for improvement“ <ul><li>How to improve it? </li></ul>
Two Ways to Approach Usability <ul><li>Ask the experts </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the users </li></ul>
Ask the experts? <ul><li>Much better than letting designers or software developers anticipate users needs, expectations, t...
It doesn‘t make the process any easier, though
<ul><li>Usability experts are from Mars,  Designers are from Venus  ... and software devs are from Jupiter </li></ul>
Ask the Experts? <ul><li>Experts are people, too. </li></ul><ul><li>So many websites suck today because of the  hippo  - a...
Ask the Users! <ul><li>A much, much better idea! </li></ul>
Enter <ul><li>User Centered Design </li></ul>
User Centered Design. <ul><li>„ You are  not  the Audience“ </li></ul><ul><li>Put the (future) users into the focus. </li>...
Basics UCD | ISO 13407 <ul><li>“ Human centered design processes for interactive systems” </li></ul><ul><li>Principles:  <...
Process model UCD  (simplified) <ul><li>User interviews (8 - 12) </li></ul><ul><li>Mental Model </li></ul><ul><li>Personas...
Step 1: User interviews <ul><li>Developers and experts  can never  have the same attitude towards the end product as the  ...
What we want to find out <ul><ul><li>Needs What are the user’s needs (information, services, performance, features, ...) <...
Resulting in a “mental model”
Personas <ul><li>Mental models describe user’s thoughts, ideas and prerequisites on an abstract level.  </li></ul><ul><li>...
Personas <ul><ul><li>A name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A gender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><...
An example: Holger <ul><li>This is Holger. </li></ul><ul><li>age: 38 </li></ul><ul><li>situation: married, one son </li></...
Scenarios <ul><li>Little stories about the personas (no use cases),  </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How and with what goals,  <...
Testing with paper models <ul><li>VERY useful for web design </li></ul><ul><li>... not really relevant for virtual worlds ...
User tests <ul><li>All tests have to be run in a controlled environment - but not necessarily in a lab. Stay pragmatic.  <...
Testing setup Raum 1 - Testdurchführung Raum 2 - Beobachtung Der „Rechner“ Moderator Proband Video Beobachter 1 Beobachter 2
Tight iteration cycles <ul><ul><li>Test early </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test often (weekly) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ma...
Mental models, personas, scenarios. <ul><li>They are - besides the iterative approach - central for the growing success of...
That is the state of the art ... for achieving better usability
Yes, you can do all of this in virtual worlds! <ul><li>It doesn’t hurt </li></ul><ul><li>It doesn’t cost you and arm and a...
Principles <ul><ul><li>You are Not the Audience! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test often </...
Testing is not “prohibitively expensive“ <ul><ul><li>Small tests are helpful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8 - 12 user tests ...
Rules of Thumb <ul><li>Design for the Avatar, not for a human! </li></ul><ul><li>Do walk-throughs often! </li></ul><ul><li...
Will this still lead to cool projects? <ul><li>You bet! </li></ul>
Discuss ...
The Fine Print <ul><li>The ideas and concepts presented herein have been created by and are the property of The Otherland ...
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Usability in Virtual Worlds (Metaverse08)

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Usability in Virtual Worlds (Metaverse08)

  1. 1. Usability in virtual worlds Making Sense of Business in Virtual Worlds Karlsruhe, May 27th, 2008
  2. 2. About us ...
  3. 3. The Otherland Group Making Sense Of Business in Virtual Worlds <ul><li>We are offering consulting and professional services for companies wishing to enter the Metaverse. </li></ul><ul><li>All of our projects, products and services are developed in a context of integrated brand communication , with a clear focus on return-on-investment and have to have measurable performance indicators . </li></ul><ul><li>“ Lets do it! The competition is doing it, too.” ... That’s so 2007! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Full-Service for the Web3D <ul><li>Our Portfolio includes all services necessary for a longterm engagement in virtual worlds, that makes business sense and operates with of measurable key performance indicators . </li></ul><ul><li>Our business is structured into three divisions which supplement each other but which deliver results independently from each other. </li></ul>Consulting ^ Development Services Consulting for (and before) using virtual worlds in real business Implementation of projects in/with virtual worlds; customers projects and our own Services and products in the realm of virtual worlds; B2C und B2B
  5. 5. Inworld Advertising Network <ul><li>Since 2007 we are maintaining an advertising network for virtual worlds and conducted some high profile campaigns for companies like Deutsche Post, Funny Frisch, Axel Springer Verlag, EnBW, Gothaer Versicherungen or Festo AG. </li></ul><ul><li>Together with nugg.ad AG we developed the first solution for “behavioral targeting“ in virtual worlds. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Otherland Real Estate <ul><li>The real estate division of Otherland is the third-largest real estate developer in Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pure premium / luxury segment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8 Mio. virtual sqm in stock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>400 customers plus project business </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Additional services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Procurement and development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facility management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Otherland Archipelago
  8. 9. Analytics <ul><li>Tools for measuring and controlling the performance of projects in virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>simple log analysis (counter) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>premium analysis package </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>behavioral analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>vCRM Suite </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Plus project-driven business
  10. 11. But now ... <ul><li>Usability in Virtual Worlds </li></ul>
  11. 12. Usability? <ul><li>Usability is a term used to denote the ease with which people can employ a particular tool or other human-made object in order to achieve a particular goal [efficiently, effectively w/ user satisfaction] > Ergonomics </li></ul><ul><li>Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with designing according to the human needs, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. </li></ul><ul><li>> Human Factors Engineering </li></ul>
  12. 13. But ... usability in virtual worlds? <ul><li>Isn't this for software and machines, only? </li></ul>
  13. 14. No!
  14. 15. Every system intended to fulfill a certain function or help users reach a certain goal ... <ul><li>... should be designed with a maximum of usability </li></ul>
  15. 16. Examples for functions <ul><ul><li>Sell stuff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teach visitors something </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep people in my building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present a brand favorably to visitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change their attitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>etc. ... </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Examples for (users) goals <ul><ul><li>Buy a pair of (virtual) high heels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn how to ... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a good time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meet other people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>etc. ... </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 18. That‘s why this should be “usable“
  18. 19. ... and this should be “usable“, too
  19. 20. ... and this
  20. 21. What is the purpose here?
  21. 22. Impress with ‘Sweden‘
  22. 23. The situation today, though: <ul><li>Cool Design rulez! </li></ul><ul><li>(like on the web in the late 90s) </li></ul>
  23. 24. This will (has to) change ... <ul><li>... as soon as the focus is on business ROI </li></ul>
  24. 25. Is this all about Second Life? <ul><li>No! </li></ul><ul><li>Everything said is valid for all worlds. </li></ul><ul><li>Including physical reality, of course ... </li></ul>
  25. 29. Problems in Second Life are similar wide-spread <ul><li>(1) User Generated Content - like in RL (2) Second Life itself is already a usability nightmare </li></ul>
  26. 30. Let‘s have a look at the state of the art!
  27. 31. Whoopsie
  28. 32. Disclaimer <ul><li>I have no intention of dissing the competition. </li></ul><ul><li>But I can’t avoid some examples of other guys works: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is hard to talk about usability without examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We can’t make all the mistakes ourselves </li></ul></ul><ul><li>That said ... besides the small mistakes I am showing here, all those guys are doing a great job and actually build some of the coolest projects in Metaverse. </li></ul>
  29. 33. Where am I? What can I do here?
  30. 34. What do I need a flight assistant for?
  31. 35. Cool Architecture!
  32. 36. Where to?
  33. 37. What will a newbie find here?
  34. 38. Is this what I am looking for?
  35. 39. That‘s what the newbie sees on his screen
  36. 40. Design scaled for a human
  37. 41. Design for avatars <ul><li>Not for humans! </li></ul>
  38. 42. Let‘s go party!
  39. 43. The road to nowhere
  40. 44. Where am I?
  41. 45. This looks dangerous
  42. 46. Whaaaaahhhhh
  43. 47. Design for avatars <ul><li>And mind your target audience! </li></ul>
  44. 48. Where am I? What am I supposed to do?
  45. 49. Hmmmmm ?
  46. 50. Great, an overview!
  47. 51. Let‘s try ‘orientation‘ ...
  48. 52. Ooops. Where is the Back button?
  49. 53. But ... unquestionably cool design
  50. 54. Some usability rules of thumb <ul><li>Always make clear: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where am I? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can I do here? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where can I go from here? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where have I been? (How do I get back?) </li></ul></ul>
  51. 55. Usability is not only about orientation
  52. 56. What do these people want from me?
  53. 57. Aaahh, a panel!
  54. 58. Why don‘t they talk with me?
  55. 59. Why should I do this?
  56. 60. Fulfill users expectations <ul><li>Something that looks like an avatar ... ... should behave like an avatar </li></ul><ul><li>Something that looks like a car ... You get the idea? </li></ul><ul><li>And please don’t overdo “creativity” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it simple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell your users, what you want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell your users, what they can expect </li></ul></ul>
  57. 61. Even successful projects can have issues
  58. 62. Where to?
  59. 63. Where is the stuff I am looking for?
  60. 64. Sometimes the old ideas are the best
  61. 65. Why not hand out a map?
  62. 66. And, while we are at it ... why not quote prices, too? :=)
  63. 67. There is always room for more usability!
  64. 68. So, Usability in SL has ... „room for improvement“ <ul><li>How to improve it? </li></ul>
  65. 69. Two Ways to Approach Usability <ul><li>Ask the experts </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the users </li></ul>
  66. 70. Ask the experts? <ul><li>Much better than letting designers or software developers anticipate users needs, expectations, thoughts ... </li></ul>
  67. 71. It doesn‘t make the process any easier, though
  68. 72. <ul><li>Usability experts are from Mars, Designers are from Venus ... and software devs are from Jupiter </li></ul>
  69. 73. Ask the Experts? <ul><li>Experts are people, too. </li></ul><ul><li>So many websites suck today because of the hippo - as in the &quot;highest paid person's opinion.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist Google, Inc. </li></ul>
  70. 74. Ask the Users! <ul><li>A much, much better idea! </li></ul>
  71. 75. Enter <ul><li>User Centered Design </li></ul>
  72. 76. User Centered Design. <ul><li>„ You are not the Audience“ </li></ul><ul><li>Put the (future) users into the focus. </li></ul><ul><li>Work open-endedly. Don’t have an expert design ready before you start and plan for one big test at the end. </li></ul>
  73. 77. Basics UCD | ISO 13407 <ul><li>“ Human centered design processes for interactive systems” </li></ul><ul><li>Principles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actively involve the users in the design and development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Iterative Evaluation of designs with the end users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-disciplinary staffed development teams </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More effective, more efficient use of the system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved working conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More “Joy of Use” / Flow </li></ul></ul>
  74. 78. Process model UCD (simplified) <ul><li>User interviews (8 - 12) </li></ul><ul><li>Mental Model </li></ul><ul><li>Personas / Scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Paper models / wire frames </li></ul><ul><li>User Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Prototype </li></ul><ul><li>User Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Final Version </li></ul>
  75. 79. Step 1: User interviews <ul><li>Developers and experts can never have the same attitude towards the end product as the real user . </li></ul><ul><li>So ... Let us find out what the user thinks! </li></ul><ul><li>We start with a series of intense user interviews. </li></ul>
  76. 80. What we want to find out <ul><ul><li>Needs What are the user’s needs (information, services, performance, features, ...) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desires What does the user want (rarely identical with the needs)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abilities What can we expect about the user’s abilities and knowledge? In which situations / contexts are the using our systems? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methods How do users solve similar challenges today (without our system)? (steps, order of steps, breaks, phases ...) </li></ul></ul>
  77. 81. Resulting in a “mental model”
  78. 82. Personas <ul><li>Mental models describe user’s thoughts, ideas and prerequisites on an abstract level. </li></ul><ul><li>To really envision our users, we need something else </li></ul><ul><li>one or more persona(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Personas describe a ‘real’ (fictive) person from the systems target group. </li></ul>
  79. 83. Personas <ul><ul><li>A name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A gender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A picture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A private situation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A particular PC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A specific reason for using the system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A goal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual needs/wants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual fears </li></ul></ul>Personas have Stereotypes are good! (“Nerd“, “Yuppie“, “old miser”). Political correctness is NOT the goal. Personas should help the development team, to understand the user maybe even impersonate him/her.
  80. 84. An example: Holger <ul><li>This is Holger. </li></ul><ul><li>age: 38 </li></ul><ul><li>situation: married, one son </li></ul><ul><li>small house, near Munich </li></ul><ul><li>occupation: team leader development with a big electronics company </li></ul><ul><li>web: spends > 3h/day on the web (job related) spends > 1h/day on the web (private) windows based notebook, 1GHz, 2GB </li></ul><ul><li>income: 2.500 EUR </li></ul><ul><li>etc. etc. </li></ul>
  81. 85. Scenarios <ul><li>Little stories about the personas (no use cases), </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How and with what goals, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in which perticular situation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>they use our system. </li></ul><ul><li>Important: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Something might go wrong </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other people might join/get involved </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Typically 3 - 4 Scenarios per Persona. </li></ul>
  82. 86. Testing with paper models <ul><li>VERY useful for web design </li></ul><ul><li>... not really relevant for virtual worlds today </li></ul>
  83. 87. User tests <ul><li>All tests have to be run in a controlled environment - but not necessarily in a lab. Stay pragmatic. </li></ul><ul><li>More important: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Test often </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Document tests properly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyze tests immediately </li></ul></ul>
  84. 88. Testing setup Raum 1 - Testdurchführung Raum 2 - Beobachtung Der „Rechner“ Moderator Proband Video Beobachter 1 Beobachter 2
  85. 89. Tight iteration cycles <ul><ul><li>Test early </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test often (weekly) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many tests (small groups) instead of few big ones </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Short cycles guarantee, that the project can’t run into the wrong direction for too long. </li></ul>
  86. 90. Mental models, personas, scenarios. <ul><li>They are - besides the iterative approach - central for the growing success of UCD. The goal is a deep understanding for the real user . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they want? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they need? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In what terms/concepts do they think about “the system”? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What knowledge and abilities do they have? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What knowledge and abilities are missing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In which situation/context are they using “the system”? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>etc. ... </li></ul>
  87. 91. That is the state of the art ... for achieving better usability
  88. 92. Yes, you can do all of this in virtual worlds! <ul><li>It doesn’t hurt </li></ul><ul><li>It doesn’t cost you and arm and a leg </li></ul><ul><li>It is actually helpful </li></ul>
  89. 93. Principles <ul><ul><li>You are Not the Audience! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test often </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use real users for your tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruit them from your target audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Believe your test results </li></ul></ul>
  90. 94. Testing is not “prohibitively expensive“ <ul><ul><li>Small tests are helpful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8 - 12 user tests usually find all the usability issues in a small system, usually </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ No testing” is expensive! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unusable projects waste your money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fixing issues gets more and more expensive in later project stages </li></ul></ul>
  91. 95. Rules of Thumb <ul><li>Design for the Avatar, not for a human! </li></ul><ul><li>Do walk-throughs often! </li></ul><ul><li>Do fly-throughs, too! </li></ul><ul><li>Always make clear: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where am I? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can I do here? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where can I go from here? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where have I been? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Billboards are not necessarily evil </li></ul>
  92. 96. Will this still lead to cool projects? <ul><li>You bet! </li></ul>
  93. 97. Discuss ...
  94. 98. The Fine Print <ul><li>The ideas and concepts presented herein have been created by and are the property of The Otherland Group GmbH. They are protected by Copyright laws in Europe, the USA and other countries. The reproduction of this document and/or distribution to third parties - as a whole or in part - is strictly prohibited. </li></ul><ul><li>Kontakt: Markus Breuer </li></ul><ul><li>markus.breuer@otherland-group.com +49 [ 170] 807 23 56 http://www.otherland-group.com http://otherland.blogs.com </li></ul><ul><li>The Otherland Group Köpenicker Str. 48/49 (DAZ) 10179 Berlin-Mitte, Germany </li></ul>

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