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Applying the Usability Engineering Lifecycle in Tool Development. VT SENRG Will Humphries & Kim Gausepohl 12/04/07 2:50-3:20PM. Presentation Objectives. Share our experience integrating the usability engineering lifecycle into tool development Convince you that:

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applying the usability engineering lifecycle in tool development

Applying the Usability Engineering Lifecycle in Tool Development

VT SENRGWill Humphries & Kim Gausepohl

12/04/07 2:50-3:20PM

presentation objectives
Presentation Objectives
  • Share our experience integrating the usability engineering lifecycle into tool development
  • Convince you that:
    • The inclusion of usability engineering will improve the overall SAKAI user experience
    • You can do it too!

2

presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • VT SAKAI Background
  • Importance of Requirements Engineering
  • Usability Engineering Lifecycle
  • VT SENRG Project

3

vt sakai background
VT Sakai Background
  • Community Involvement
    • development
    • QA
  • Mellon Award
  • 2005 Pilot & 2006 Production
    • Usability complaints

4

situational analysis1
Situational Analysis
  • Immediate project needs:
  • Stakeholder group
  • Grad student: Usability
  • Grad student: Developer

6

requirements engineering
Requirements Engineering

Figure 1: Increase in cost to fix or change software throughout the lifecycle

Boehm, B. W. (1989). Verifying and validating software requirements and design specifications. In Software risk management (pp. 205-218): IEEE Press.

7

what is usability
What is Usability?
  • the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use.

ISO 9241-11 (1988) .

8

usability engineering lifecycle
Usability Engineering Lifecycle

Hix and Hartson (1993). Developing User Interfaces: Ensuring Usability Through Product and Process. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

9

senrg
SENRG
  • Sakai Electronic Notebook for Research and Groupwork
  • Motivation: Helpdesk requests
  • High level goals:
    • replacement for paper lab and classroom notebooks
    • improved collaboration

10

systems analysis
Systems Analysis
  • Stakeholder Group Formation
    • 7 faculty from science, engineering, and humanities domains
  • Ethnographic approaches
    • Interviews
    • Field Visits
  • Stakeholder meeting to determine high level requirements and priorities

11

interviews field visits
Interviews & Field Visits
  • Example Interview Questions
    • What is purpose of notebook?
    • How do you measure the quality of a notebook?
    • How do you manage notebooks?
    • Who is responsible for the notebook?
    • What complaints do you have about your current use of notebooks?
  • Field visits
    • Artifacts
    • Context of use
user interaction design
User Interaction Design
  • Screen Mock-ups
  • Individual stakeholder meetings
    • Obtain feedback on paper prototypes
    • Ask follow-up questions

13

prototype development
Prototype Development
  • Development in RSF
  • Interface development switched to XHTML
  • FCKEditor used for text entry
prototype
Prototype

Prototype screenshot here

I’m waiting on a build at the end of the weekend

17

evaluation
Evaluation
  • Interactive Prototype
  • 10 student participants
    • Engineering
  • Benchmark tasks
    • Critical incidents
    • Time to complete task
    • Comments
  • Qualitative survey for user satisfaction

18

evaluation results
Evaluation Results

Use evaluation to inform design

19

post test interview
Post-test Interview

Sampling of the negative

  • Feedback should be prominent at every stage to understand the task flow
  • Entering section name is not obvious
  • Use better labels

Sampling of the positive

  • It is not tough to use. Its better than Scholar
  • This system is much better than Scholar

20

what s next
What’s Next?
  • Design changes based on usability results
  • Development of high priority features informed by faculty feedback

21

lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Rapport with stakeholders is key
  • Stakeholder involvement creates “buy-in”
  • Conflicting requirements ~= conflicting stakeholders
  • Start recruiting participants early, especially students

22

contact information
Contact Information
  • Will Humphries
    • whumphri@vt.edu
  • Kim Gausepohl
    • kgausepo@vt.edu

23

references
References

Boehm, B. W. (1989). Verifying and validating software requirements and design specifications. In Software risk management (pp. 205-218): IEEE Press.

Hix and Hartson (1993). Developing User Interfaces: Ensuring Usability Through Product and Process. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

24