Usability Engineering For OSM - SOTM 2007

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Presentation from State of the Map 2007.

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  • Usability Engineering For OSM - SOTM 2007

    1. 1. OSM and the public - what barriers need to be crossed? Muki Haklay
    2. 2. Content <ul><li>Fundamental challenges with digital maps </li></ul><ul><li>Usability Engineering – few concepts </li></ul><ul><li>A user-centred design for OSM </li></ul><ul><li>Getting to the masses </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why digital mapping hard to use? <ul><li>As Identified by Traynor and Williams (1995) ‘Why GIS are hard to use?’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GIS is complex: it is based on knowledge from Geography, Cartography, Databases, Statistics, Computer algorithms and data structures… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires users to have or acquire considerable technical knowledge in order to operate the computer system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data structures and information also rely on multiple concepts . </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. There are many ‘accidental geographers’… <ul><li>There are around 2m users of GIS in a client server environment, over a million who use it on their desktop computer, and perhaps a further million in other sectors, including software developers. About 4m GIS users, spread over around 2m sites (Longley et al., 2005, Ch.17) </li></ul><ul><li>ESRI (2000) estimated about 500,000 users of its products world-wide </li></ul><ul><li>And add to this the users of sat-nav, GPS mobile phones, users of consumer grade GPSs… </li></ul>Source: Unwin (2005) ‘ Masters of what? Educating the GI labour force’
    5. 5. What do we know about their skills? <ul><li>Guesswork follows: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very heterogeneous, from PhDs in other sciences to what Mike Goodchild calls ‘Google hackers’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivations for working with digital maps are many </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most have no previous contact, formal or otherwise, with academic Geography/Geomatic Engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of the don’t care about this skills and learn about them slowly, or not at all </li></ul></ul>Source: Unwin (2005) ‘ Masters of what? Educating the GI labour force’
    6. 6. The core challenge of usable GIS and digital maps <ul><li>On one side: relatively complex technology, bringing in concepts from many areas </li></ul><ul><li>On the other side – lots of people with interest in everyday Geography, but without the knowledge of ‘technical geography’ </li></ul><ul><li>Many of them with very limited technical knowledge </li></ul>
    7. 7. OSM users now <ul><li>About 8000 users, contribution to the map in various of ways from few segments to a whole city </li></ul><ul><li>About 400 users with higher commitment (OSM Talk, other mailing lists) </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller number of developers (50-100?) dealing with a range of issues (cartography, software, database, ontology) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Potential OSM users <ul><li>Because OSM is about communitysourced geodata and not about programming: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The 2m GIS users mentioned above but also … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tens of thousands of Geographers worldwide (around 12,000 graduate of Geography in the UK and US every year) but also … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Millions of School children worldwide (only in the UK there are over 7,000 Geography teachers) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>So how we get them engaged? </li></ul>
    9. 9. Rogers model of diffusion of innovations Crossing the chasm – move from early adopters to early majority is more tricky and requires adaptation of the product Image source: Wikipedia
    10. 10. Challenges <ul><li>Over time: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More users join with less technical skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The sophistication of the database and the tools (JOSM, Potlatch) Increases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jargon also plays a role (How do you pronounce OSMarender) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to avoid alienating the majority… </li></ul><ul><li>Majority is silent: on wikipedia 99.8% lurk, 0.2% contribute very little and 0.003% are the most active </li></ul>Technical skills Time Users Sophistication
    11. 11. Challenges (2) <ul><li>Also over time: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The scope of technical flexibility diminishes (decisions about tags, data structures) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning curve lengthen </li></ul></ul>Technical skills Time Technical scope Length of learning
    12. 12. Is Usability Engineering useful for this challenge? <ul><li>HCI aims at enhancing the quality of interaction between humans and computer systems within the physical, organisational and social aspects of the users’ environment </li></ul><ul><li>Usability Engineering aims at meeting software users’ requirements so that they can carry out their tasks ‘safely, effectively and enjoyably’ </li></ul>
    13. 13. Usability Engineering <ul><li>Usability engineering is one of the more practical elements of HCI research. It attempts to measure a system’s usability in terms of its: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learnability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Memorability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Error rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User satisfaction </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. User-centred Design/ Development/ Deployment <ul><li>A concept that emerged in Usability Engineering/HCI research in the 1980s. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating systems and tools that take into account the user’s needs, skills, abilities, limitations and wishes. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Types of usability and users <ul><li>Programmer usability : Google Maps API vs. ArcObjects API </li></ul><ul><li>Administrator usability : Linux GUI Control Center vs. cd /etc, vi cron.tab </li></ul><ul><li>Power user usability : Linux GUI Control Center vs. phone a sys admin </li></ul><ul><li>End user usability : Google Maps vs. Streetmap </li></ul>
    16. 16. OSM Task 1 – Getting the data in
    17. 17. OSM Task 1 – Getting the data in <ul><li>Main task: creating the map </li></ul><ul><li>Users: highly computer literate, highly motivated (current cohort) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology is a challenge, not an obstacle </li></ul>Image source: Microsoft and OSM
    18. 18. OSM Task 1a – Getting the data in <ul><li>With the introduction of Yahoo! Imagery, there is the potential to engage new users. </li></ul><ul><li>Potential users: map enthusiasts, got Internet connection (and time) </li></ul><ul><li>However, there are obstacles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sophistication of Potlatch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help and introduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Undo/Redo function </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moderations (future spam) </li></ul></ul>Image source: Microsoft and OSM
    19. 19. OSM Task 1b – Getting the data in <ul><li>N95, iPhone – and the new generation of GPS-enabled phone </li></ul><ul><li>Needs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very easy data entry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic data collection (not more then 2 minutes per item) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy upload and update </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applications exist – but can you give it to a school teacher? </li></ul></ul>Image source: Microsoft , OSM, Nokia
    20. 20. OSM Task 2 – Getting data out
    21. 21. OSM Task 2 – Getting data out <ul><li>Over the web: mashups, API </li></ul><ul><li>End user: GIS </li></ul><ul><li>End user: Geogadgets </li></ul>Image source: Microsoft and OSM
    22. 22. OSM Task 2 – Getting data out: GIS <ul><li>Users profile: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t afford/don’t want to use commercial data. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likely to be in a small organisation (private, charity, commercial). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likely to have basic GIS (ArcView, Mapinfo, Manifold GIS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likely power users to end users, very limited technical support. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Needs: easy to use download area </li></ul><ul><li>Potential source of revenue? </li></ul>
    23. 23. Image source: OSM
    24. 24. Paper maps vs. computer maps Image source: A-Z
    25. 26. OSM Task 2 – Getting data out: Geogadgets <ul><li>Users profile: end users. No technical knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs: easy to use automatic download, in formats that are suitable for their Geogadget </li></ul><ul><li>Require: high coverage, licensing </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation: likely by Geogadgets vendors </li></ul><ul><li>Source of revenue? </li></ul>
    26. 27. OSM Task 3 – updating data and adding additional information
    27. 28. OSM Task 3 – updating data and adding additional information <ul><li>3-5 years from now (well, right now for NL) </li></ul><ul><li>Users profile: end users, discovering errors while using a derived product </li></ul><ul><li>Needs: very easy way to record and inform the change, moderation required. </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe a scope for change intelligence sub activity? </li></ul>
    28. 29. Solutions <ul><li>As OSM gets more sophisticated, ensure that newbies are included in testing of tools – they are the future of the community </li></ul><ul><li>Develop applications specifically to newbies so they can develop their understanding and skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: an application that picks streets information with street name for a start, providing more functionality as the user graduates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who will develop these applications? (they are not necessarily cool and cutting edge) </li></ul>
    29. 30. Summary <ul><li>OSM got an amazing potential for outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Usability principles and user centred design can help in ensuring the long time success of the project </li></ul>

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