We concentrated on the interface of the message window. First, it should be easy to handle, of course. It should provide an uncomplicated and plain interface, where you can figure out the functions fast and remember them for the next time. It’s essential to spare symbols that confuses the user or that are barely necessary by themselves. So we searched for some design ideas to answer the questions:
Phrasing your goals as questions is a good way to guide the process. These are both quite valuable and relevant questions. I'm unclear who I is in the first question, the designer or the user. EDIT: Thank you. I and We are the designer.
Könntet ihr die Ideenfindung in den Prozess einordnen? Wann und warum habt ihr das gemacht? Es sieht wie Lösungsideen für Probleme aus, die nach der Nutzerfoschung festgestellt wurden. Sollte der Abschnitt hier drinnen sein, weil im Arbeitsbuch ein solcher Abschnitt ist: In dem Arbeitsbuch ging es um erste Ideen, zu denen man forschen könnte (tut mir leid, wenn das nicht klar war, schreibt mir gerne dazu, dann kann ich es verbessern)
EDIT: We came up with this ideas after using ChatSecure for the first time. We wanted to improve the interface before our user interviews according to the question: How do we communicate security?
We searched for possible symbols that provide security and tried out some designs to improve the current look of the chat. Examples had been locks and shields in many variations. We also tried out various colors to make clear the differences between functions.
We discussed our ideas and criticized them. The different colors are feedback from the group.
Green: the group liked the idea
Blue: neutral / comments
Red: problems of the idea
I like that you started with very quick and raw sketches! I think its important to generate lots of ideas in the beginning, so doing rough sketches is important. I would like to see more sketches with all sorts of ideas from small makeovers to radical new ideas. Its also possible to do quick user tests with very rough sketches. EDIT: Sorry, but we didn't make more sketches that time.
For our interviews, we tried to choose open questions that don’t require a yes or no, but longer answers. So we would find out more about what our test subjects like or not.
Main questions have been:
A good set of questions. They should be tighter, more targetted. Like instead of "would you want to improve something?" say it very directly: "what would you improve?" or "What do you like about the app's interface?"
We interviewed ten people of these courses of studies below. Since we all studies something similar we had an easy access to them.
Warum habt ihr Studierende ausgewählt? (es ist auch o.k. Personen auszuwählen, weil man einfachen Zugang hat – solange ihr schreibt, warum, z.B, weil auch diese einen Chat-Client benutzen und ihr so mehr Erfahrung im Interviewen sammeln könnt…)
EDIT: For no particular reason. Our friends are mostly students from our courses, that's why.
Ideally, a user study would be made up of people who use the software in ways that are directly relevant to what you are trying to achieve. Of course, its not always possible to spend the time to find the perfect users, so finding willing candidates is still valuable as long as you take into account the experience and possible bias of the people who actually participate in your user study.
|Number||Age class||Course of studies|
|7||20-25||Computer Science and Media|
|8||20-25||Computer Science and Media|
|9||20-25||Media Arts/Media Design|
The preparatioin was quite easy for me, because I’ve already known the test subjects. It was fast done to find a fixed date. During the interviews II realized that I sometimes had to look between the lines to filter what my interview partner really thinks. So I got the most usable answers by questioning their answers (“Why do you think so?”) or ask a question like “So, do you think it’s like…?” I used pen and paper, I haven’t had audio equipment, but the written answers had been useful.
Before the interviews I prepared a list of questions. This was helpful, to keep the focus in the talks and don't ask yes or no questions. I also used pen and paper or the computer to make notes while the interview. I made short notes, because they are written down quickly. After the interview I've formulate this notes and add more informations.
Before doing the interview I looked up our last topic and / or problems of the course. Based on these information I made some notes and put them into possible questions. Afterwards I arranged them to fit a better order for the talk. Because writing, asking and thinking is to much at the same time, i decided to use a audio recorder with the permission of the test subjects. This made it possible to keep the talk running. In my opinion it's more polite to concentrate on the interview partner instead writing everything down. This way of interviewing enables you rewind the whole interview and maybe check for a certain aspect as often as you wish. After all things were done I wrote down the findings for documentation and share purpose.
Taking notes during the process is a good way to remember key details. Having a video of the process is very useful for going back and getting a feeling for what the user was doing. By focusing on the video on the device and not the user, it can make the user less self-conscious.
She does care some about security because she adds "as long as". A good follow up question would be about how much usability she would give up to guarantee that the "as long as" never happens. Or perhaps, if there were two apps that were both easy to use, would she prefer the more secure one?
It would also be useful to find out how much she extra is willing to work to understand an app if it provides security.
EDIT: I even asked both, 1 and 3, that question! Both didn't have any ideas, so I asked them if it would be okay to be asked a question in the app that she and her partner have set up before. It was an effort, both agreed it wouldn't bother them and they would use such a chat.
Did he have specific concerns about the third party, or was he saying that that part of the app's interface was confusing?
EDIT: It's just circuitous to register on a third party. It had nothing to do with the interface.
Yes, the "network effect" is a big hurdle in getting people to use a new app. Having a sense of where the tipping point is where this user would switch to a more secure app would be quite useful when thinking about which part is most important to focus on first.
We searched for specific answers in the interviews and looked how it could help to spot a problem. Then we put all our results together and created an affinity diagram.
It was also interesting for us to find out that the main percentage of the users know about possible security issues:
Overall a good set of results from the interviews. These could be improved by getting more information on what the specific barriers to using different software are. All of the users seemed to care about security to some degree, but it sounds like some were willing to work more in order to be secure. Knowing what these users' key issues were would be very useful when figuring out what improvements are the highest priority in order to get more people to start using ChatSecure.
Warum habt ihr dieses Thema ("informing the user what is going on, if…") gewählt? Nutzerforschung? Vortest? Heuristik?
EDIT: To improve our prototype, we did a heuristic analysis to search for specific problems in the chat. This analysis is divided in ten subitems. We had been going through them all and found some problems which we wanted to take care of. For time reasons though, we couldn’t involve them all.
This prototype is for informing the user what is going on, if the message can't be encrypted.
When testing it, we found out that the colors had been irritating for our testperson.
"Testet" diesen Abschnitt nochmal mit folgender "Heuristik": 1) Gibt es einen Bezug von Text und Bild, der die Änderungen/Vorschläge im Design einfach verständlich und deutlich macht, wenn man noch nicht mit euren Ideen und eurer Forschung vertraut ist? 2) ist es klar auf welches Bild-Element sich der Text bezieht, wenn man kein Deutsch spricht?
To make the user keep an eye on the current security level, we added colour to the send button. This means the button has the same colour as the bar with the names of the contacts.
EDIT: So you know by clicking on the send button, whether the state is unsafe(red), safe(yellow) or safe and verified(green). You can also see the current status in the little lock above. But some test person told us, they don't look above by each sending of a message.
Providing feedback where the user actually looks when working is key. Its not always easy to tell that in advance, that's where user testing comes in. So you got come valuable information in your test here. One idea related to the coloring to consider: the app is called ChatSecure, so people expect secure messaging. That expectation can be represented in the app, so when the messages are secure, the app looks like a "normal" Android messaging app. Then use the color to represent when things are not secure. That could make the non-secure states stand out more.
A next question was how we could show that the message is not encrypted. This also included the problem how one could start encryption. Warum habt ihr dieses Thema ("informing the user what is going on, if…") gewählt? Nutzerforschung? Vortest? Heuristik? Logische begründung, denn… (eure Erklärung)
EDIT: As described above, some test persons told us, they want to be informed by sending if their message isn't save. This is another possibility to inform the user.
The idea was to show a litte exclamation mark sign beside the message on which one could touch. Then some actions should be possible. For example swipe left to send even if it is unsecure.
We discussed this idea in the group and decided that this would not be easy to understand. So we gave up this idea.
This would be a very valuable thing to have for people using ChatSecure in high risk situations, where it is important that they don't mistakenly send messages insecurely. An example is a journalist under surveillance from the state. But for many people, it would just annoy them. I wouldn't discard this idea so quickly, I think it could be made workable. And it would work a lot better than a popup once the user learns it.
We added a pop up, which appears when the user tries to start an insecure chat or to remind the user to verify himself and/or his contact person.
EDIT: The user have to choose, whether he will send the message unsafe or try a safe sending on another time. He also has the opportunity to save his response for all time. This can be changed in the settings.
If the message is secure (In the speechbubble in the middle picture is written: “start secure messaging”, because one problem was that user don’t know what OTR means.)
If the message is not secure, a pop-up comes out to tell the user what is going on and if he wants to continue or to cancel the message-sending:
We tested it and our testperson went through it without problems.
This is a good balance of familiar interface experience and quick to use regularly. Its not as flashy as the swipe, but seems like it would not get too annoying if you saw it regularly.
Because some of our test persons expressed concerns about the many buttons needed to start a secure chat and especially about their labels, we decided to bring everything to one switch.
We gave up this idea, because a switch is not much more easy as we thought. Since ChatSecure is a chat where people want to chat secure obviously, we thought it would be a better idea to start the security function automatically.
You are right, starting the secure session is too complicated. The on/off switch would be a nice representation, but because of technical constraints, I don't think it would be workable. We tried it and it was confusing people. The problem is the on/off widget cannot represent anything but on or off, and it takes a while for the OTR session to start. So that leaves the on/off switch in a confusing state while OTR is starting. OTR is neither on nor off. We still don't have a great answer for this problem, but it seems that a button with an icon that changes is the best bet. Then we can represent multiple states.
Starting OTR automatically all the time would also make things easier, but that also has technical limitations. OTR works by sending text messages, and if someone is using a program that does not include OTR, they'll see those odd OTR messages. Its not a huge problem, but it does freak some people out.
Schön, dass ihr eure Vortragsthemenund Erkenntnisse dazu nochmal zusammenfasst!
My topic had been security and usability of passwords. It was really interesting to inform myself about that. The gap between easy understanding (usability) and security of password-protected websites was one theme. In my presentantion I explained that system builder to think out of the perspective of the user.
However, what I liked the most in my research had been the studies about what passwords other people choose and how they choose them. I was quite surprised about how easy people's passwords can be encrypted and that hacker go social ways more than mathematical ones to crack them.
Its always surprising, but still, "social engineering" is still the main way people break into computer systems. Edward Snowden used a lot of social engineering techniques to get access to many of the documents that he leaked.
My presentation was about prototyping. It was interesting, how many types of prototypes are existing. There are many ways to test new ideas. You have to choose, which type of prototyp is the best for your product.
I find that rapid prototyping is essential to the process of making good user experiences. For most people, the design process works best when there are many iterations on the idea, so making more iterations as fast as possible means more ideas get explored.
My talk was about designing interfaces for secure or security based systems. The main statement of these paper was, that the most of the classical rules of design does not meet the requirements of such an interface. The authors based their thesis upon user tests with the e-mail encryption tool pgp. It was also interesting to read how a test should be organised and which aspects of the test subjects should be kept in mind. All in all it was a very interesting topic for me and i could recommend this paper to everyone.
Representing technical limitations to the user in a simple way will always be challenging. User testing has demonstrated itself to be a great method for finding out how well ideas and designs map to real experience.
Ich habe mich sehr gefreut, eure Dokumentation zu lesen. Leider endet sie etwas abrupt. Es würde bei mir als Leser und vermutlich auch unseren Mentoren einen sehr guten letzten Eindruck hinterlassen, wenn hier noch eine Zusammenfassung der wichtigsten Erkenntnisse und Vorschläge zu lesen wäre; Sinnigerweise mit einer Übersicht in Bild- oder Grafikform (siehe Mail)
I also want to see more. I think you had a lot of good design ideas, but there was not a lot of information outside that to back up the designs.
From our research, we got a lot of information about the requirements and the possible use of a chat application. The most important features people wanted to be part of such an application where group chat functionality, image transfer, smileys and an easy to use but appealing interface. People often want to plan parties in a chat, so the group function could be necessary and image transfer is also an important factor of communication for our interviewed students. For our prototypes, we concentrated to improve the interface. Here is a graphical summary of our proposals.