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Assignment 1

Assignment 1

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Published by: yehman_country on Mar 03, 2011
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Emlyn Kinzett 3111246 106CR Assignment 1
106CR – Designing for Usability Assignment 1
My chosen scenario for this assignment is Scenario 2:
Whilst travelling by train betweenLondon and Edinburgh, Emily finds herself waiting for a connection in Coventry station.It turns out that the connection is not for another four hours. Emily doesn't know Coventry but would like to use those four hours to visit a local museum, have lunch and 'get a feel' for the city, yet there are no leaflets about local attractions in the stationand Google Maps (on her phone) is full of paid advertising links. If you think about it,Emily is in a city of 250,000 experts but doesn't have access to all that expertknowledge. How might we help Emily to find the 'real Coventry' using local knowledgeof what is worth visiting and where it is worth eating? 
PACT Analysis
Firstly, I conducted a PACT analysis of the scenario to determine who would be thepeople involved in the activity, what the activity or activities would involve, what thecontext of use would be (the environment, how the system will be used, acceptability of the system), what the current technology is and what future technology could be used.
The people involved in this activity, wanting to find local attractions and restaurants inCoventry, will be of all ages. They will mainly only be tourists, visiting the city to viewit's war memorials and historic buildings. Despite the diverse age range (6-75 years),only those aged 16-75 will probably use the system to find the attractions. It cannot beexpected of a 6 year old to find the Coventry Cathedral by themselves.Because elderly persons will be using the system, it has to be suitable for them to use.Therefore, an advanced computerised system would not be suitable, as generally elderlypeople cannot operate these sort of devices. The system will have to be easy to use forall age ranges.The tourists visiting Coventry are of all nationalities. I observed, however, that themajority of tourists are from Eastern Asia. But the tourists also consist of Europeans aswell. Therefore, language will be an issue within the system. There will have to be a listof languages to choose from before using the system.
Currently, the activities done by users to achieve their goals (finding and viewing localattractions or restaurants), is mainly done by using a map. The map may include somebrief information about certain interest points, but not much. The process of looking atthe map to find an attraction is not very interactive and can be frustrating. To eliminatethis sort of repetition, a different technology could be used, like a downloadedapplication or a hand-held device.A downloaded application or a hand-held device will make the information gatheringprocess more fun for the user. They could simply click or select the local attraction andthe information about it will 'pop' up. If the device uses GPS to find the user's location,they can set a destination and receive voice directions to it. This will make the activityof finding the attraction more enjoyable and possibly less stressful.
Emlyn Kinzett 3111246 106CR Assignment 1
Context of Use
The current environment, and the future environment, will be noisy, busy, but leisurely.Sometimes, the environment will be cramped, and with the current technology, it canbe stressful to achieve the goal. The users will most likely be in Coventry city centre,exploring the local attractions.Because of the busy nature of the environment, and possibly a time constraint, thesystem needs to be used efficiently. The user most likely doesn't want to be standingaround trying to work out how to use the system. This brings me on to the next point;training. The current system, maps and signs, doesn't really require to much training,just the ability to read a map. The new system should also have this same characteristic,otherwise it will not be more efficient.
Current Technology 
The technology used now to achieve the goals are maps, signs, brochures, books, etc.These are useful technologies in their own ways. They provide the information quicklyon a certain attraction or place. However, the information provided may not beinformation required by the user.A map, brochure or book can act as a souvenir after the user leaves the city. This is theadvantage of the current technology.The language is also a major problem. The majority, if not all, maps, signs and brochuresare printed in English. A tourist from Eastern Europe may not be able to read orunderstand English, so would therefore find it difficult to achieve their goal. They wouldnot be able to understand the information given to them by the maps or brochures.At the moment, maps and brochures are most suited to the older tourists. This is due tothe fact that they have most likely used this when visiting other tourist locations. Theyounger generation, 16-25, tend to use newer technologies for finding out information. Imust take this into account when designing my system. It must not be too advanced forthe older generation tourists to use, but it must be advanced enough to please theyounger generation. I must find a balance to please the two generations.
Future Technology 
To solve the problem Emily, and many other new tourists, experience, a phoneapplication or a separate hand-held device could be created. A lot of tourists, mainlythose from the older generation, may not possess a phone capable of downloading andinstalling applications. If the system were to be a phone application, it could not benefitthis group of people.A pre-built hand-held device could be developed and created to solve the problem. Thisdevice could be purchased from the train station or bus station, or any other place of interest in the city. The hardware, the physical device, must be robust in case it isdropped. Touch-screen technology may not be the most suitable hardware for thisdevice. Younger generation tourists would find it easy to operate, however the oldertourists may find it more challenging. Therefore a hand-held device with arrows andbuttons would be more suitable.The device will use GPS to track the user's position within the city. This will beincorporated into the software, which will allow the user to select interest points which
Emlyn Kinzett 3111246 106CR Assignment 1
are near to their location. Upon selection of an attraction, information about thatattraction will be displayed on their screen, with a back button to return to the map. Onthe information screen, the distance to the attraction will be displayed and directionscan be obtained.The user will also be able to search for a location within the city centre, either by usinga search bar on the main screen or by sorting the attractions by type or distance.This technology will help the user achieve their goal of finding local attractions by beingable to provide directions and information about any attraction in the city. Of course,each attraction will have to be stored in a database.This opens up doors to other opportunities. If a user cannot find an attraction using thedevice but can find one on a map, they could add the attraction to the database.However, this would require database management, to ensure any data added is validand accurate. This would be costly and would take a lot of time.But it would also open up doors to other cities. Instead of just being able to use thedevice in Coventry, it could be used to access information about attractions inBirmingham, for example. However, this would require a larger hard drive in the device,as it wouldn't have access to the internet. But this is another opportunity; allow Internetaccess so users can add attractions. With Internet access, they'd be able to update theiraccounts on social networking sites, etc. This would be more engaging for the user.

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