Assignment 5

Prototype

Prototype, version 1.
The version of the prototype we used to interview test subjects.

Briefing 

Introduction: 

Hi, we’re designing an application to help you organize your outfits according to tag descriptions. You can take or upload a photo to save in your virtual closet according to your tags. Later you can access them by searching for tags according to the desired qualities of your outfit.


Informed consent: 

We are conducting a study to see what potential users think about the application. We will not record or publish any information with your name. This is for our course we’re taking in Human-Computer Interaction from Prof. Sylvan at Northeastern U. Your participation is voluntary and you can stop anytime and ask that your data not be used. It should take about 10 minutes. Are you willing to try it out? 


Explanation: 

Perfect. As I mentioned, we’re working on a new outfit application. The purpose of today’s session is for you to help us figure out how to make this application interface more user-friendly before we finish developing it using a paper prototype. The prototype still has some rough edges—we’re still thinking through how it should work and some parts of it are incomplete. Before we create the next version, we want to get some feedback about how well this design works. We’ll give you three tasks that are representative of what people might do in real life. Your job is to tell us what makes sense, what’s confusing, whether it works the way you’d expect it to. Keep in mind that we’re testing the interface--we’re not testing you—so if you run into any problems it’s not your fault and it means that there’s something we need to change. If you want to do something, you’ll need to interact with the prototype just as you would on a computer. Use your finger to click on buttons. Please tell us what makes sense to you, what’s confusing, and any questions that come to mind. Your questions are especially valuable, but I may not answer them right away because our goal is to change the interface so it answers them.

Scenario Tasks

Demographics

Subject A:

19-year old male, caucasian. A sophomore at Northeastern University, studying accounting.

Subject B:

20-year old male, caucasian. A sophomore at Northeastern University, studying biology.

Subject C:

26-year old male, Eastern European. A graphic designer and professional photographer.

Subject D:

19-year old female, caucasian. A sophomore at Northeastern University, studying Business.


Test scenario:


The test subject was seated on a three-person couch on one side of a coffee table in a large living room area. The interviewer was seated on the other side in an armchair, with an iPad to collect data and user feedback, as well as reading the briefing before the test began. A camera was used in between sessions to take photos of the test apparatus (the paper prototype) for archival purposes.


All interviews were conducted between the hours of 1PM and 4PM. No artificial light was used in the test; three windows were open letting in a cool breeze along with natural light.


The test began with the briefing and was then followed immediately by the first task scenario. Upon completion of each task, the subject was asked two questions: 

1. Rate how easy it was for you to accomplish the task, and 

2. Did you run into any problems completing this task? If so, what were they?


At the end of the testing procedure, the subject was asked two followup questions:

1. Overall, on a scale from one (being impossible to use) to ten (very easy to use), how would you rate the application's usability?

2. Is there anything about the application that you would change?

Observations

While testing all of the users, the most difficult part of the entire application was the location of the "Done" button after tagging a photo. They didn't know they had to press that button after the photo was tagged. 


In addition, users had trouble understanding that the paper prototype was meant to be clicked like a real phone; two test subjects just thought that they had to offer feedback on the look of the application and not the usability. The briefing was updated to re-emphasize that they should use it like an actual application. 


Besides that, each user completed the other tasks with ease.

Results

At the end of the interviews, the usability problems that were most often mentioned were:


      • The "Done" button on the "Tag" screen is not obvious; It's not consistent with the "Use" button on the photo-taking part of the application.
      • I didn't know I could tag an outfit with more than one tag.
      • Since I don't own an iPhone, the interface is very one-sided towards iPhone users. I'm not familiar with iOS so I couldn't find the buttons I needed.

Positive feedback included an average rating of 9.5 on the usability of the application.

Roles

We all worked as designers for this assignment as the protect was mostly design. Then we all worked as software analysts to take into account the users' feedback and improve upon the design.