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Usability Report M23CDE

Saud Aljlaoud Saud_gl@msn.com

Usability Redesign

Usability Redesign ................................................................................................................... 1 1. Executive Summary .............................................................................................................. 3 2. Purpose of the Study and Usability Issues. ................................................................................. 3 3. PACT Analysis .................................................................................................................... 5 4. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN .................................................................................................. 7 4.1 User Involvement ............................................................................................................ 9 4.1.1 4.1.2 FINDINGS ............................................................................................................. 9 Possible changes to the application ............................................................................ 10

REFERENCES ...................................................................................................................... 15

1. Executive Summary This Usability redesign report has been written for the management of Coventry

University and in particular the management of the Armstrong Siddeley building so that there can be a more effective application which will help to enable student find their way around the building and more importantly, they should be able locate the offices of their various lecturers and also some of their lecture rooms. There current application has a few faults which have been identified through the use of heuristic evaluation from users of the application that are given in detail in the report. These evaluations have enabled a solution to be set up which will be much more effective for staff and students of the building. The participants of the process have taken into consideration that they are doing this entirely onan experimental basis.

2. Purpose of the Study and Usability Issues.


The purpose of this report is to entirely reconstruct a new application which will be used for the navigation of students within the Armstrang Siddeley building. The application was initially constructed to enable the faculty members an students to be able to find the offices of their lecturers as well as their lecture theatre. The management of the building and the staff of the University had been experiencing problems in managing how to allow students to have access to their lecturers easily as they most times have to ask for information from the front desk of the reception which sometimes is a time wasting exercise for some of the staff working there. In recognition that the fact has been poorly designed and with information from staff and users of the system, some of the issues with the applicaton are listed below:

Using one of the ten Usability Heuristics, which is Visibility :at the head of the page , the part which says Faculty of Engineering and Computing Room/Staff Locator Application is not clear enough as shown below

It can be seen that the heading is the same colour as the back ground and so it will be difficult to read the heading properly except one comes up close. The part that says ROOM/STAFF locator might not be understood properly. The colour of the text should be different so that it can be more visible.

The point on the website where it describes that submission should be in the Academic Office, is not clear enough

The room number or room name and location should be written beside the ACADEMIC OFFICE so as to be able to make it much easier for people to locate. The table with the staff locator, should also include the floor number or level although there are not that many floors in the building. This is equivalent to the usability heuristic flexibility and efficiency of use.

This can be placed between the columns Position and Room or just after the column Room. This way ALL the information required for the location will be central.

Another issue is part of the Usabiltiy Heuristic Aesthetic and Minimalist design .The floors list should a show a range of office numbers by code and also it should be incorproated with a schematic diagram(not too detailed) of the building; this way it would also be easier to navigate which floors to go to when the room number is spotted.

In this case, the ranges of the room numbers should be indicated on each floor. This way a lot of information is put within the schematic diagram to support the table with the information about the rooms. Overall, there is quite a bit of work to be done on the site in order that there is effective usage. 3. PACT Analysis In the design of computer-based interactve systems , it is very important to ensure that the users are able to familiarise themselves with the usage of the systems in the shortest possible length of time. The use of the PACT analysis according to Aurum & Wohlin(2005) is to perform an exploration of the situation of things as they are and the way they should be.It is through this method that more detailed design can be made.

People : The people that are involved in the usage of the application includes first of all the students within the faculty i.e both undergraduates and post graduate, and also for importantly the first time students. There are also members of staff from other faculties and possibly other Universities who are visiting the faculty.There might be students from other schools who are visiting as well that may have been invited for a lecture or also who want to visit a particular member of staff. Staff members within the faculty also find

the system useful i.e within the reception office. Also students that have to submit course work find the application useful as well.The only skill required in the usage of the application will be to have computer literacy and not any programming or special computing skills. The only other people that are involved in the usage are the developers of the system or data entry operators who wish to update the system. Activities With the understanding from Marcus(2011),the activites that are involved in the use of the system, consist of accessing the link which will be open constantly for the purpose of carrying out searches. Except in extreme cases the only activity will involve making searches just by scrolling up and down and not necessarily having to do much typing. Another activity would also involve people queuing up around the system i.e if there happens to be only one at that particular location.

Context Understanding the term Context from Rubin et al(2011),the system is used in the reception of the Armstrong Siddeley building in the main reception area just before entering the building i.e the Ground Floor. The activity is one that is done singly at most times as it would not be right for two people to type on the key board at the same time. There are however times when that area of the building is very busy because of the movement of both students and lecturers and other members of staff and there are times when the movement is minimal such as during the evening periods or of course almost at the close of work.

Technology The technology used is web based and consists of a monitor, keyboard and mouse. It can be seen from the display that a table with the room numbers and the names are shown. However there are improvements which need to be made that have been mentioned in the previous section. The number of problems that have been mentioned means that the entire application needs to be redesigned because the presentation should be easier.

4. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN A new design of the application has been made , based on the issues that were noted about the previous application and also based on new ideas from the developer of this current one. Considering the issues that were mentioned about the earlier application the following are highlighted : The heading which was difficult at first has been redesigned as shown below

It can be seen from this design that there is no contrasting between colours and the words saying Room/ Staff Locator application can be seen properly. There also pieces of information at the heading such that users can immediately know that they have options when it comes to making searches. Another bid to improve the search capabilities is done by the design of the search boxes which are shown

The aim of this is to allow users to have a view of the results from different views i.e Room Type or by the Staff Role. This especially for new students or visitors who might not necessarily know the name of the Staff they are after but they understand the role of the person needed. There have been changes made to the staff locator table which now shows the floor where the lecturers are :

For the issue of the diagram that shows the floors within the building , it has been augumented by the use of a plan view of the building which has a colour code of the types of rooms there are i.e from lab rooms, bathrooms to lecture rooms.The reason for doing this is because of the fact that some of the room numbers have alphanumeric combinations . The alpha in front of the number will give the suggestion of the tyoe of room being entered into. The diagram is shown below

This is an approximate plan view of the building and the color code will be shown below as well .

4.1 User Involvement There were two users involved in the review of the usage of the application both users are computer literate and I set about giving them tasks to do using the application as this was the only I could find out how effective the application was. These tasks included: I asked that the users bring out the results for the list of Senior Lecturers. I asked for them to show me list of Principal Lecturers. The floor where a lecturer R.K Bali has his office located. Type in the name of any lecturer and see what information comes out in the Quick search. I asked that they bring out a list of all lecturers by Floor , for example by the 3 rd Floor. 4.1.1 FINDINGS The findings of this usability redesign were based on the tasks that were set above in the previous section. In order to give some clarity and also to compare the results with some of the usability heuristics, the findings have been placed in a tabular format . Both users although have a reasonable level of computer literacy, had differences involved in the usage.

User 1 Q1 Flexibilty & Ease of use Aesthetic and minimalist design Visibility
Easy to navigate and get results It was not difficult to understand the components in the site Easy to locate

Q2
Easy to navigate and get results Easy to locate the components of the website

Q3
Initial problem with case letters The user felt more information could be given on the map Good location

Q4
Easy to navigate and get results Easy to locate search box from different angles. Good location

Q5
Value enterd in to Quick search box Easy to locate search box without complications. Good location

Good location

the search box. results Consistency The appear in a and standard format standards

of the search box. The results appear in a standard format

of the search box. The results appear in a standard and visible format

of the search box. The results appear in a standard and visible format

of the search box. The results appear in a standard format

User 2 Q1 Flexibilty & Ease of use Aesthetic and minimalist design Visibility
Easy to navigate and get results It was not difficult to understand the components in the site Easy to locate the search box.

Q2
Easy to navigate and get results Easy to locate the components of the website

Q3
Initial problem with case letters The user felt more information could be given on the map Good location of the search box. The results appear in a standard and visible format

Q4
Easy to navigate and get results Easy to locate search box from different angles. Good location of the search box. The results appear in a standard and visible format

Q5
Value enterd in to Quick search box Easy to locate search box without complications. Good location of the search box. The results appear in a standard format

results Consistency The appear in a and standard format standards

Good location of the search box. The results appear in a standard format

4.1.2

Possible changes to the application

The point in the application which has a floors diagram of the building should be

Reordered i.e it should show something like Ground Floor, First Floor,Second Floor, Third Floor and the like. This would be more realistic for the user as that person will be able to know exactly where he or she is.

On the diagram of the map, the ASG15 room would be boldly printed so that it can stand out because this is where the assignments are submitted. A few spell checks would be made.

Redesign Interfaces: 1- The following interface is the main page for the application:

2- the following interface is for the search results interface:

2- The following interface is for the floor map and map description:

REFERENCES
1. Aurum A., Wohlin C., (2005) Engineering and Managing Software Requirements. New York Springer Science. 2. Rubin J., Chisnell D., (2011) Handbook of Usability Testing. 2nd ed USA ; John Wiley& Sons 3. Marcus A., (2011) Design, User Experience and Usability: Theory, Methods, Rules and Practice. In proceedings of First International Conference DUXU 2011.