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Milestone 8 - UI Evaluation

Milestone 8 - UI Evaluation

Milestone 8 was the User Interface Evaluation. Here we were given another team and asked to evaluate this Oregon Trail game and focus on uncovering significant usability problems with prototypes and suggested ways to improve upon it.

The team we evaluated was Team Twenty Three Forty.

It is essential that you get your code to the team that will be evaluating your project by Monday November 10th. . 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 Visualworks image / fileout / Store parcel, (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. Teams that do not pass on their code to their evaluating team before or on Wednesday, November 12th, may get a 0 for the M7 assignment.

If you never got anything to work, pass to the other team UI mockups, or drawings that they can use to evaluate your UI conception. Remember this a usability evaluation, not a functionality one.

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

In lecture, you have been introduced to three different usability evaluation techniques: heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthrough and think aloud protocol analysis. 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. This section should clearly indicate which method you chose, why you chose it and what you hope to learn from it. You should also detail any preparations (ratings scales, criteria) that developed for the evaluation.
Execute the plan

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 instructor and TA. 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. This section has all the details for your plan execution. This section has to convince me that you actually carried out the plan. You should include the raw data, any checklists and other information, and a discussion of the results as deliberated by your team.
Usability Report

You need to write a report of your usability findings that will be submitted to the instructor 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 or 4 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. If there are some things that were particularly good, you can mention them also. Don't be afraid to be honest. Your evaluation has no effect on their grade – regardless of whether their UI is magnificent or horrible.

These first three parts of the milestone are due Friday, November 19th to be turned in in-class in hard-copy. You must 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. Please be sure you get the other team the report in a timely manner.

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. Please do not be defensive. Your grade is not based on how bad the UI faults were, it is based on your corrective action proposals. Don't try to convince me there are no problems with your UI and the other team was just stupid. Instead detail what you would fix and what changes to the design would be required. Remember this is a design class, so be sure and discuss the impact of your design on the ease of incorporating the changes requested.
Checklist of Things to Complete

1. (10 points) Clearly identify the team whose prototype you evaluated and provide a one-page description of your evaluation plan and the rationale behind the plan, i.e., why you chose to conduct that evaluation on this prototype.
2. (30 points) Results of execution of usability plan, providing clearly documented printed evidence that you conducted the evaluation plan correctly. For instance, this includes the actual raw data sheets and evaluator notes in addition to the synthesized data. I need to verify you did the evaluation you claimed to do.
3. (30 points) 3-page usability report highlighting the three top concerns arising from the usability evaluation. The report should identify clearly what each usability concern is and the evidence you have to support this problem being a real problem that should be corrected by the design team. One copy of this part of the report goes to Bob, and one copy should be given to the team you evaluated.

1. 3-page response of the usability report submitted to your project team. Be careful not to get defensive in this report (resist refuting that the findings of the evaluation team are incorrect). Make a clear argument for how you would address each usability concern. Assess whether the object-oriented design you developed for your prototype made it any easier to address these usability concerns.

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