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Design proposal : pratical toolbox on web usability


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Design proposal : pratical toolbox on web usability

  1. 1. Ruby, Kuo | HCDE 598Design Project Brief v 1.0Create by Ru-ping (Ruby) Kuo | 2012/4/6Project Name: The practical toolbox on web usability and designProject goals: “On the Web, usability is a necessary condition for survival. If a website is difficult to use, people leave. If the homepage fails to clearly state what a company offers and what users can do on the site, people leave. If users get lost on a website, they leave. If a websites information is hard to read or doesnt answer users key questions, they leave.1” (Jakob Nielson, 2003)The importance of web usability is self-evident, however, most web projects still struggle to fulfill usabilitycriteria because the limitation of resources such as time, cost, and skills. Therefore, this project intendsto design a framework for guiding practitioners adopts usability activities and techniques effectively.Meanwhile, I will create a website which provides a serial of usability methods and tools (especially focuson web projects). In addition, and more importantly, since this project focus on assist users who withlimited knowledge and experience of usability to choose most suitable techniques and effectively applythem in their works, the website will provide the following features: 1. An overview of UCD (User Centered Design) methodology in practice. 2. A series of usability techniques (methods and tools) with multiple selection criteria, for example, project phases, type of research goals and problems, and type of limitations (e.g. time, budget, or skills). 3. The summary and the step-by-step guidelines of each technique in order to help practitioners acquired their knowledge through a leaning-by-doing process. 4. Extended reference materials for help practitioners design research tools, accumulate knowledge, and communicate with other community members.Target Users:The target users of this project include: 1. Website planners, designers, developers, PM, and even owners. Especially for those who are working in small or medium enterprises and organizations without ample usability resources or any usability expert.1 Usability 101: Introduction to Usability ( 1
  2. 2. Ruby, Kuo | HCDE 598 2. General end users (e.g. other professional workers or students) who need to adopt and apply a suitable usability method in the right time and right condition. 3. General end users who are interested in this topic.User Goals and Top User Scenarios:According to studies of UCD practice in internet industry, although most of web designers and developersclaim they and their companies consider users as an important issue, most of them lack sufficientknowledge and experience of web usability [1, 3]. Many researches find that informal and discountmethods are accepted widely in the filed [2, 4, 5]. In addition, some usability experts (e.g. Nielson, andKrug) propose the concept of low-hanging fruits in order to claim that the values of discount usabilitymethods.Meanwhile, this project holds the similar point of view and focus on these specific scenarios: User goals User scenarios 1. The need to conduct user and usability research Select a method or a serial of methods but only with limited knowledge, experiences and [1] users attempt to choose a method/methods to solve their problem resource. [2] methods table page 2. The need to conduct user and usability research in users select a method from method table the beginning of project phase (because the time by filtering with “project phase” (or other requirements)/ or use wizard function to pressure of project lifecycle) and prefer to use get the suggested methods/ or refer to case research activities that not requiring users involve study (sharing by other users) section to find a suitable method directly. [3] method Introduction pages users read the content in order to confirm the decision/ users may read the suggestion list to learn other suggested methods or related information. [4] users found the most suitable method/methods. And gather the necessary information for help them conduct the study. [5] users may decide to create a profile in order to save the results. / or users may click the printing button to print out a hard copy./ or users may click the download button to download pdf version. 3. The need to discover requirements and gather Obtain or customize research tools materials (content) from stakeholders. [1] users attempt to obtain/customize a tool (form or template) in order to help them 2
  3. 3. Ruby, Kuo | HCDE 598 4. The need to provide tangible ways to collect data. communicate with stakeholders in order to create [2] tool select page users select a tool from the list /or by a common view before design and development filtering with “purpose” (or other phase. requirements)/ or refer to case study section to find a suitable tool/tools. [3] tool design pages users read the content in order to confirm the decision/ users read the content in order to learn how to customize the tool/form/template. [6] users may decide to create a profile in order to save the results. / or users may click the download button to download the tool sample or template/ or users may read the suggestion list to view related tools that share from other users.Project deliverables: Deliverable Date Phase 1 Discovery (~Apr. 6) Requirement discover and analysis ~ Apr. 6 Project Scope Statement (scope-boundary, high level functions/features list; ~ Apr. 6 milestone & deliverable) Market, competitive research & analysis ~ Apr. 6 User needs research & analysis ~ Apr. 6 Phase II Define (Apr. 9 ~Apr. 24) WBS & project schedule ~ Apr. 10 User case analysis & define / flow design ~ Apr. 17 (~Apr. 6 user case analysis) (Apr. 13 user case define) (Apr. 17 user flow define) Content list (IA) ~ Apr. 17 st Content design & copy writing ~ Apr. 24 (1 check point) Wireframe ~ Apr. 24 Creative concept (tone & manner) ~ Apr. 17 Design style guidelines ~ Apr. 17 Phase III Design & Develop (Apr. 23 ~ May. 15) 3
  4. 4. Ruby, Kuo | HCDE 598 nd (cont.) Content design & copy writing ~ May 7 (2 check point) ~ May. 15 (finalized) Design style guidelines update ~ May. 15 Content list (IA) update & finalized ~ Apr. 24 Prototyping ~ May. 15 Look and feel design ~ May 5 HTML coding and Front-end scripting ~ May. 15 Phase IV Deploy (May. 16 ~ May. 29) Usability testing & finding report ~ May. 15 Revise (if necessary) ~ May. 22 (cont.) HTML coding and Front-end scripting ~ May. 26 Qualitative control / beta test ~ May. 26 Project closure ~ May. 29 Design style guidelines finalized ~ May. 29References:[1] Kuo, R. & Lee, J. (2006). An Exploratory Study of Usability Practice from User-Centered Design View: Meanings, Methods and The Current Situation in Taiwan ‘s Internet Industry. The 7 th Asia-Pacific Conference on Computer-Human Interaction, Taipei , Taiwan.[2] Mao, J.-Y., Vredenburg, K., Smith, P. W., & Carey, T., User-centered Design Methods in Practice: A Survey of The State of The Art. The 2001 conference of the Centre for Advanced Studies on Collaborative research, Toronto, Ontario, (2001).[3] Peissner, M., & Röse, K.m Usability Engineering in Germany: Situation, Current Practice and Networking Strategies. The 1st European UPA conference on European usability professionals association conference, London, UK, (2002).[4] Venturi, G., & Troost, J., Survey on The UCD Integration in The Industry. The third Nordic conference on Human-computer interaction, Tampere, Finland, (2004)..[5] Vredenburg, K., Mao, J.-Y., Smith, P. W., & Carey, T., A Survey of User-centered Design Practice. The SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems: Changing our world, changing ourselves, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, (2002). 4
  5. 5. Ruby, Kuo | HCDE 598Appendix: Competitor Analysis (Methods table)Three examples are selected based on the goals of my project. I choose them because they all focus onthe topic of usability in practice, and the method table created by each product are great reference topresent the key concept of my project. In addition, I could learn advantages from these outstandingproducts by carefully analysis them. Usability Net Product description: A European Union project that provides usability and user centered design resources to practitioners, managers and EU projects. The project started in February 2001 and finished in July 2003, last updated in January 2006. Key Features: Usability methods table (basic introduction, benefits, steps in practice, case studies, extend references of each method) Design guidelines Usability for manger section Extended reference, for example, global organizations, local activities, forums, discussion list, annual conferences, booklist, websites list, courses. Total methods:39Pros1. Plentiful content, clear position and goals. Target audiences including managers level (who have decision-making power) and provide proper and useful content for them.2. Organize methods with 4 filtering criteria: general purpose of methods, limited time/resource, limited skills, and no direct access to users in order to assist practitioners select a suitable method.3. Provide various extended reference (link to other websites).4. Introduce benefits of each method or tool.Cons1. Only provide basic introduction of each method or technique, users who with limited knowledge of usability hardly in practice them by reading the information.2. The overall summary of each method didn’t separate by different application (for example, website, software, or mobile).3. Didn’t provide sample of research tools or provide information about tools design. 5
  6. 6. Ruby, Kuo | HCDE 598 The Usability Methods Toolbox ( Product description: This website create by James Hom (and his professor Lou Freund, SJSU) Hom attempted to compile information about almost all of the methods and techniques (well, ok, a lot of them) used in usability evaluation. The project started in 1996 and last updated in June 1998. Key Features: Usability methods table (categorize by the nature/character of method: inquiry, inspection, testing, and related techniques) Extended reference. Total methods: 27Pros1. Terminology, for example the label of category is consisting with HCI professional language.2. Accessibility: Text-based content and well navigation design.3. Provide instruction information of each method. And provide related information by extending links (website, article, research paper, books, and more).Cons1. Only focus on information of usability methods.2. The overall summary of each method didn’t separate by different application (for example, website, software, or mobile).3. Didn’t provide sample of research tools or provide information about tools design. 6
  7. 7. Ruby, Kuo | HCDE 598 Usability.Gov (Research-based web design and usability guidelines) Product description: The Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines, compiled through an extensive process of research and review, bring users those best practices. The document created by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) and University of Maryland, and first published in 2003. Key Features: Focus on web design and usailbity. Each guideline is supported by related research papers, and index with two characteristics: relative importance and strength of evidence. Total guidelines: 197Pros1. Focus on web design and usability.2. Create as a pdf document. Allow users read it on-line or off-line.3. Provide complete list of reference (sources).Cons1. Only focus on web design guideline. 7