Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Media Art & Design
Interface Design / Prof. Dr. Jens Geelhaar

IFD:Designing For Action/Vera, Mischa, Max

very cool demo. Please write a brief description and paste the interview results too. --JanD 14:37, 3 December 2010 (CET)

Contents

Vera

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Concept

Which problem did you identify?

The Addon should be a help for Researching. We want to give the user the possibility for further usage of citations, links and other important things in a virtual clipboard. There are many student, which use external programms like text editor, word, citavi, to save any informations. But this is a very complicated way to save informations.

Why are current systems unable to solve this problem?

There is a program named Zotero, which try to solve problem. But I think this is not program for beginners. The folder system is not the easiest and zotero has less methaphors. It's cover too much space of the window.

What research findings led you to your first concept?

I asked 5 Students about their handling with internet while investigating. They are students from history, sport, theology, computer science and german language. For all students the internet is an important place. The reasons for this are laziness and the big information flow on the internet. Most time they use google, google books and wikipedia for researching. The Students save the collected information with extern programms, but also saving whole HTML[[HTML|Hypertext Markup Language]] pages or print them are common kinds of saving informations. They all have an unbelievable fear of the loss of information. For the Students, it is important that they can see the working area all time. Another important thing is, that they want tidyness, because this saves time. They want to use keywords which help to faster find previously saved informations. The addon should automatically identify the original author and the actual date while saving a citation. The possibility of making additional notes should be provided by the addon, because uses want to write down some possible thoughts which may occure during research. How students will interact the GUIGraphical User Interface? The most common kind of interaction is the shortcut. Also the rightclick with the mouse is a very important. Drag and drop isn't very common, but sometime they use it (mostly in cases when no other kind of interaction is provided by the application). 4 in 5 student don't care about sharing the investigation results or other thing related to that. One student use googledocs to share.

In 140 characters, what is the essence of your project/solution?

  • should be a help for students
  • save everything usefull
  • no look to the metadata - save automatically
  • further work - export to odt, doc or pdf

Implementation

How did you ensure that a beginner can use your solution?

I use many methaphors and many standards. The user can choose between add with drag & drop, contextmenu or shortcut and he can delete with a click or del. He can add topics with a simple click on plus and delete with a click or drag & drop on the recycle bin. The user can feel secure, because he has a undo button and a redo button

What makes your solution more useful or efficient than current products?

In my product I used Methaphors and that make it easier to use it. I think the register card System is easier to use than the difficult folder structur in zotero.

(Essential: Sketches and/or Video to illustrate the interaction)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q06OaWyCJ9Y

User tests

How did you test your design?

I have testes my concept with 4 diffenrent stundents. Two tested a paperprototype, to see if they notice the buttons. The other two were tested with a quick-and-dirty programmed html-css-javascript-Prototype to test Drag & Drop and the contextmenu per rightclick. One of the student has no own computer but she has surly understand drag & drop and the contextmenu. The other testperson also understood the used techniques. Except drag & drop, the paperprototype was well-understood.

What new problems did you identify?

There are a few things, which I have to change in my concept, namely hide buttons behind the registercard and set the active registercard as highlighted. Otherwise I'm realy satisfied with the testing results. After the test I asked the tester "What can I do for the programm, so that you are more satisfied?" One answer was: "It would be more helpfull for me, when I can sync my collected Informations with other computers."The last answer is a really good idea we have to think about.

What did you change following your user tests?

If you follow the link, you can see the improved concept

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDah-O3g2Wg

Mischa Max

Which problem did you identify?

Bookmarks only save a reference to a webpage. For the user most of the time a only a certain information on the Page is interesting.

Users

The Users we focused on are students, searching for relevant content on the net, they want to use in academic context.

Why are current systems unable to solve this problem?

There are some systems having an similar idea, but most of them do not integrate into the users work flow well.


What research findings led you to your first concept?

In our research we found out that users first collect a much information before selecting the relevant one, in a later step. To enable users to save information fast and later review it with an good overview. An other finding was that many users save the hole webpage as they fear that it will not be available later, so we decided that this should at least be an option to the user.


In 140 characters, what is the essence of your project/solution?

Saving relevant bits of information (url and metadata) with context and comments.

Implementation

Visulization of Concept here stopmotion.mp4

How did you ensure that a beginner can use your solution?

We used the metaphor of the Index card to make it more usable.

What makes your solution more useful or efficient than current products?

The Design!

How did you test your design?

We did a paper prototype.

What new problems did you identify?

Users don't feel comfortable with a Design that uses one "Index Card" per bit of information.

What did you change following your user tests?

The design was changed so that there is one "Index Card" per page.

Mentor Comments

James Kalbach

Concept

  • You have a focused project and goal with this UIUser Interface, but you've not expressed it clearly or succinctly in your problem statement. The ability to communicate intent is as important as having good ideas about a UIUser Interface. Try re-wording it into a sentence or two to include who, what, where, when, and why.
  • Are there any related solution other than Zotero? I'll bet there are. See the Scrapbook add-on for Firefox, for starters. You also have some similarities with MS OneNote.
  • Thank you for the detailed review of the research. I'd still like to see some high-level conclusions pulled in a list. What are the top 3-5 things you learned from the research?

Implementation

  • I like your use of metaphors. This could go a long way to making your idea understandable and useful.
  • One problem with such add-ons is that people may not have the left panel open. Did you discover that users might not open your tool if it's closed by default?
  • Thank you for your video. It really helps to explain your project and ideas.

User tests

  • Good summary of the user tests. It seems you've reacted to your findings appropriately.

Overall, this is a focused project that really feels like it's intended for a specific target group. The use of metaphors is great (but that could also backfire--you have to be careful when you over-use metaphors). The video is excellent and shows you put a lot of time and thought into this.

Great job.

Cennydd Bowles

I like the focus of what you're tackling - it's a tighter problem than just 'bookmarking', and this often means you can be more confident about your solution. I can attest that managing citations and references is still very much an unsolved problem!

Your research mentions lots of user requirements. It would be useful to explain how you learned these - did participants simply ask for these explicitly, or did you draw these requirements out by prompting them and interpreting their answers?

The prototypes show a number of different ways to use the system; drag and drop, contextual menu etc. This allows flexibility but (counter-intuitively) can actually make systems harder to use if the user isn't sure which route they should use for which operation. Which methods do you think users will rely on the most? Which methods would they use the least? Are those methods still valuable if most people avoid them?

A bit more information on your paper prototyping would be useful, but it looks like you've responded well to your testing, and your solution shows some promise.

Eric Reiss

I'm delighted to see your prototype in action; the demo I saw in Weimar only hinted at what you folks were doing. Well done - I really enjoyed the video.

My concern is still with the scalability of this "spiral notebook" metaphor. Although the individual pages can be limitlessly long, the problem is the actual NUMBER of pages. In truth, although the metaphor is nice, you are basically creating an hierarchical filing system - folders and pages. The key to your project, as I see it, is your ability to tag and file individual content elements rather than pages. You've come a long way, but I'm not convinced that this would solve my personal bookmarking problems (hundreds of bookmarks in 70+ folders). However, if I were to decide to collect content related to a specific client/project on which I was working, this solution might work; one notebook per project, much the way the drawing program Penultimate works on the iPad.

But all in all, Vera, congratulations to you and your team on a VERY solid project!


thanks for feedback

I set the focus on students. A big result of researching and tests was, that students needs a place where they organize their researching results. Students complain often about disorder on their working place. The system should lead the students to a tidy kind of work.

The important things from researching results

students use external programms to save information afraid to lose important information all users want tidyness

I think drag & drop is very common. But many students use the touchpad on their laptops... and this people mostly don't like drag & drop. Many students have said to me, that they more frequently use shortcuts for copy and paste. But they can't learn so fast using shortcuts. And thats the reason for my opinion. The contextmenu is the best alternative to drag & drop.