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Spring 2006 Milestone 6: Usability Evaluation

You have put in a lot of effort designing and implementing the 2D Animation Studio. This last project milestone will have you focus on uncovering significant usability problems with your prototype and suggesting ways to improve upon it.

But there is a little bit of twist in this assignment. You are going to do a usability evaluation of another project team's prototype and report back to them. And when you receive the usability evaluation from the other team, we are going to ask you to reflect on how significant a design and implementation change would be required to address any problems uncovered.

Meet the other team

Your team will conduct a usability evaluation of another team's prototype. The team assignments will be announced during the M5 demo sessions and posted here:

This team evaluates this teams' prototype
blahblahblah OMG-UNITZ!!1`
OMG-UNITZ!!1` Die Mouse
Die Mouse Team Chuck Norris
Team Chuck Norris Flash Gordon Productions
Flash Gordon Productions Group 13
Group 13 We Are Not Picky
We Are Not Picky Team Sleep
Team Sleep WeGLOW, Spring '06 Chapter
WeGLOW, Spring '06 Chapter Team Vim Pride
Team Vim Pride Mus ex machina
Mus ex machina blahblahblah code is here
The First Team Free Prometheus
Free Prometheus Team Hackjob
Team Hackjob Stack Overflow
Stack Overflow Team Quattro!
Team Quattro! The First Team
Team Name Not So Creative
Not So Creative Chowder Powder
Chowder Powder we >u
we u The Cheesy Mice
The Cheesy Mice Team Dirty Packets
Team Dirty Packets extends Good implements Skill
extends Good implements Skill Team Mousetrap
Team Mousetrap Team Modulus
Team Modulus The Lone Gunmen
The Lone Gunmen Team Name

You should make every effort to meet up with the team you are evaluating during the Milestone 5 presentations. Consult to see when each team is presenting.

Passing-on / Getting code

It is essential that you get your code to the team that will be evaluating your project by Monday, April 10. Contact the team you are evaluating ASAP to get their code. Ideally, a person from that team should meet with a person from your team and (1) get you the Squeak image, (2) make sure that you know how to use it, and (3) answer some of your questions. This is advantageous to the other team as the higher quality your understanding is, the more likely it is your evaluation will be informed. A more informed evaluation leads to a better rebuttal. If you are not available to do that, at minimum you need to post your M5 submission to this page: Spring 2006 Team Projects for Evaluation. Teams that do not pass on their code to their evaluating team before or on Monday, April 10, get a 0 for the M6 assignment.

To complete this milestone, you must form a usability evaluation plan, execute it, submit a usability report to the team whose prototype you evaluated, and then react to the usability report you receive on your own project.

Plan your usability evaluation (10 points)

In lecture, you have been introduced to three different usability evaluation techniques: heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthrough and think aloud protocol analysis. We will review these techniques again in lecture on Friday, April 7. You are asked in this milestone to select one of these evaluation techniques and justify why you feel it would be appropriate to evaluate the prototype from the other team. You then need to make sure that you have prepared all of the required inputs to conduct the usability evaluation.

Execute the plan (30 points)

Your team needs to conduct the usability evaluation that you defined in your plan and present the raw results in (e.g., the usability bug reports from h.e., the believability story for one or more canonical tasks for cognitive walkthrough, the transcript and observations done for the think aloud) in a form that can be understood by the instructors and TAs. These results need to be produced in written format, so be sure to plan your evaluation in such as way as to make it easy to collect these results and share them.

Usability Report (30 points)

You need to write a report of your usability findings that will be submitted to the instructors and TAs as well as the team whose prototype you evaluated. This report should be no longer than 3 printed pages and should clearly highlight and explain the top 3 recommendations for altering the prototype to enhance its usability. You are writing this report for the design team to read and react to, so make sure you are clear and constructive in your comments so that they understand what you are asking them to change and why.

These first three parts of the milestone are due at noon on Monday 4/17, to be turned in to the instructors or TAs. You should also provide a copy of the 3-page Usability Report to the team whose prototype you evaluated. This is to facilitate the final part of the project.

Rebuttal (30 points)

We are not asking the design teams to do any additional implementations to the project. Instead, we are asking you to read the report from the evaluation team and respond to the way you would modify your design and implementation to accommodate the recommended changes. This report should be no longer than 3 pages and should focus on explaining how you would adapt your prototype. We also want you to reflect on whether the object-oriented approach to your design makes it easier or more difficult to make the recommended changes.

Checklist of Things to Complete

You are responsible for turning in two separate reports:

Post questions to the newsgroup.

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