Project Assignment 3 – Cognitive Walkthrough

You are required to attend all presentations and to provide feedback to each team.

Your team will prepare initial design documents for your cognitive walkthrough with the class and so that graduate students can perform their heuristic evaluations. Although you will have 20 minutes for your cognitive walkthrough, your walkthrough should last less than 10 minutes.

For the cognitive walk you will need a paper prototype and supporting design documents:

Paper Prototype

Your team should sketch all major views. The sketches can be neatly hand drawn or you may use drawing software, Flash or other software. The sketches can use sticky post-it notes to represent interacting components of the UI. All sketches and major views should be scanned so that they can be used in the slides for the cognitive walk through.

A good reference for paper prototyping is at Board of Innovation, Resources & Tools for Paper Prototyping.

Use Scenarios

Use scenarios are stories for the walkthrough and are verbal descriptions demonstrating the use of your app. They are descriptions of a single instance using the app. The use scenario also motivates the use by initially giving the context of the use.  Using the personas that your team has created, you should prepare two use scenarios, one for nominal task performance and the other illustrating error handling. The use scenarios should demonstrate the depth of your system, including the “help” components, meaning it should not be a trivial example of using the system. Try to demonstrate as much functionality as possible.

Barnum (Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set…Test! Morgan Kaufman, 2010) defines scenarios as stories about “the user in pursuit of a goal” (99). Although they will include tasks that users engage in with technology in pursuit of goals, their focus is on why users are using a product to complete certain tasks, not how they are doing so. Scenarios help designers to understand user motivation and possible sources of frustration and also why, and whether, they are likely to carry out the tasks that the designers envision.

Usability Goals and Concerns Lists

You should have two usability lists: usability goals and usability concerns. Usability goals are usability principles that you used to help guide your design. Usability concerns are potential usability problems that you hope you have designed for or uncertain if you have designed for it. If you use a bullet list, you should clearly describe each listed item in a few sentences succeeding the list.

CS4760 Collaboration

Before the cognitive walk through, your team should meet frequently to collaborate on the app design and prepare for the cognitive walkthrough.  Post the Design documents on your website, clearly indicating the authors of the front end design.

Meeting with Graduate Students

During the week prior to the cognitive walkthrough your team should meet with graduate students performing the heuristic evaluation. You should provide the graduate student with any additional documents they may need. This can include:

  1. The slides for your walkthrough
  2. More paper prototypes

The graduate will need a link to your walkthrough presentation slides so that they can use them for the heuristic evaluation. The graduate students will give you a link to their heuristic evaluation. Your website should include these links.

Cognitive Walkthrough

Prepare slides for your cognitive walk through and post them on your team website. You should prepare walkthroughs for two use scenarios (described above), but you may have time only to present one use case. The nominal task performance scenario should be presented first. Only if you have sufficient time will you present the use case demonstrating error handling. (The first use scenario should demonstrate nominal usage of the app and the second use scenario should demonstrate how your app handles errors.)

Your team should prepare slides for the cognitive walkthrough. Post the slides on the website, but bring your own laptop with the slides already downloaded for presenting. Do not waste time downloading slides during your presentation.

Outline for Walkthrough Slides

  1. Title slide with app name, team name and date (single slide)
  2. Title slide for cognitive walkthrough/Use Scenario Name (single slide giving the name of the usage)
  3. Description of users and environment (single slide)
  4. Use scenario description (single slide)
  5. Paper prototype views (sequential slides illustrating the use)
  6. Usability Concerns (single slide)

Format for Walkthrough

All members of the team should be present during the walkthrough.

One or two members of your team will conduct the walkthrough by demonstrating the interaction, action by action. This should take only 7 minutes.

After finishing the walkthrough, the conductors should pause to give evaluators time to respond by pointing out usability problems or giving design ideas. The evaluators are the rest of the class. This should take another 7 minutes.

Two member of your team will record the usability problems or design ideas. These notes should be posted on your website the evening of the walkthrough.