Preparation of Walkthrough Documents (HU and CS students)
The CS4760 students will be presenting cognitive walkthroughs on Feb. 12 and 14. HU4628 team members should help research, plan, and prepare the documents needed for these walkthroughs. Once the walkthroughs have been planned, HU4628 students will shift to conducting a heuristic inspection of their team’s app based on paper prototype, walkthrough presentation, information from the meetings with the scientists, and any other information available to you and your team.
A paper prototype is a crucial step in the user-centered design process, because it results in a vision of how the app will look (interface design) and how it will work (functionality). Research for the paper prototype consists of discussions with the scientists (or subject-matter experts (SMEs)), task analysis, review of similar apps, and user research, including the development of scenarios and personas.
Your team should sketch all major views of the app. 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. If you use sketches, all major views should be scanned so that they can be used in the slides for the cognitive walkthrough.
A good reference for paper prototyping is at Board of Innovation, Resources & Tools for Paper Prototyping. This and other resources are linked on Canvas.
Personas and Use Scenarios
Use scenarios are verbal descriptions demonstrating the use of your app. They are “stories” or vivid 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 at least two use scenarios, one for nominal task performance and the other illustrating error handling. The use scenarios should demonstrate the depth of your system 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 whether and why they are likely to carry out the tasks that the designers envision.
The HU and CS sub-teams should have different use scenarios so that they can emphasize either the app functionality or the instructional and other content.
Usability Goals and Concerns Lists
You should compile 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 your design will mitigate (confirmed through testing).
If you use a bullet list, you should clearly describe each listed item in a few sentences succeeding the list.
The HU and CS sub-teams may have different usability goals and concerns that are associated with either the app’s functionality or the instructional and other content.
Meeting with Graduate Students
During the week prior to the cognitive walkthrough your teams should meet with graduate students performing the heuristic evaluation for your app. You should provide the graduate students with any additional documents they may need. This can include:
- The slides for your walkthrough
- Additional paper prototypes
The graduate students 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.
CS4760 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
- Title slide with app name, team name, and date (single slide)
- Title slide for cognitive walkthrough/Use Scenario Name (single slide giving the name of the usage)
- Description of users and environment (single slide)
- Use scenario description (single slide)
- Paper prototype views (sequential slides illustrating the use)
- Usability Goals and Concerns (single slide)
Format for CS 4760 Cognitive Walkthrough
- All CS 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.
Instructional and Other Content Design Plan and Heuristic Evaluation Report (HU Students)
Once the HU4628 and CS4760 students have prepared the cognitive walkthroughs to be delivered by CS4760 students during their class time.
Meanwhile, HU4628 team members should create two documents:
- A document outlining the design for the instructional and other content for their team’s app. Ideally, the help should be integrated into the app, so HU4628 team members should confer with the programmers to ensure such integration, so that you can demonstrate the proposed integration by means of the paper prototype. Post the Instructional and Other Content Design documents on your team’s website, clearly indicating the authors of the design document, by the due date in the syllabus
- Once the walkthrough has been presented, HU students will work on a heuristic evaluation, using relevant heuristics as discussed in class. This is similar, but not identical, to the heuristic evaluation completed by the CS5760 grad students.
Check the course calendar—this document production process includes interim deadlines, class instruction and workshop time, and peer reviews.
Presentation of Instructional and Other Content Design Plan and Heuristic Inspection Results
On February 21, you will present your instructional and other content plan and the results of your heuristic inspection. These presentations will be recorded and posted on the team website for use by the team and other project stakeholders. You should get some feedback that you can incorporate into the final documents.
The final report of instruction and other content design plan and heuristic inspection will be due in class on Monday, February 26. Submit a copy to Canvas for grading and post to your team’s website.
Feedback from Scientists
During the week of February 25, teams will meet with their scientists to review and get feedback on the walkthrough materials, heuristic inspection results, and design plan for help and other documentation.