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A Comparative Usability Evaluation of User Interfaces for Online Product Catalogs. Ewa Callahan Jürgen Koenemann Presented by: Xiaohong Bao. Introduction. A comparative study of the usability of hierarchical structure and Infozoom

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A comparative usability evaluation of user interfaces for online product catalogs
A Comparative Usability Evaluation of User Interfaces for Online Product Catalogs

Ewa Callahan Jürgen Koenemann

Presented by: Xiaohong Bao

ICS280 Information Visualization


Introduction
Introduction Online Product Catalogs

  • A comparative study of the usability of hierarchical structure and Infozoom

  • The increase in electronic commerce creates a need for Electronic Product Catalogs (EPC).

  • Navigation problems are the second most cited reason for not shopping online.

ICS280 Information Visualization


Introduction cont d
Introduction ---cont’d Online Product Catalogs

  • The most common catalog interfaces on the web are hierarchically organized catalogs.

  • Problems:

  • Confusing

  • Items in dropdown menus are not visible

  • Lengthy result pages force users to scroll

  • Solutions:

  • Recommendation approach

  • Interaction approach

ICS280 Information Visualization


Evaluation of existing online catalogs
Evaluation of existing online catalogs Online Product Catalogs

List of Websites Evaluated (Fall 1999)

1. www.autobytel.com 2. www.Auto.de

3. www.autoinfo.de 4. Automarkt

5. www.auto-shop.de 6. www.autosite.com

7. www.autotaal.nl 8. carpoint.msn.com

9. www.dadb.com 10. www.faircar.de

11. Lycos Decision Guide Cars 12. Mastercar.de

13. www.mobile.de 14. www.whatcar.co.uk

ICS280 Information Visualization


Evaluation results
Evaluation results Online Product Catalogs

ICS280 Information Visualization


Result analysis
Result analysis Online Product Catalogs

  • Database size

  • Searching mode

  • Attribute

  • Specifying ranges

  • Searching history

  • Result pages

  • Sorting search results

  • Item comparison

ICS280 Information Visualization


Infozoom introduction
Infozoom introduction Online Product Catalogs

  • Based on dynamic queries and fisheye techniques

  • Attributes as rows and objects as columns

  • Compressed mode and overview mode

  • Many ways of searching

  • Easy to compare, sort and re-order the results

ICS280 Information Visualization


Overview mode
Overview Mode Online Product Catalogs

ICS280 Information Visualization


Compressed mode
Compressed mode Online Product Catalogs

ICS280 Information Visualization


Usability study
Usability study Online Product Catalogs

  • From the feature comparison of Infozoom and the hierarchical interface, Infozoom should be more efficient

  • A comparative usability study to confirm it

ICS280 Information Visualization


Materials
Materials Online Product Catalogs

  • A database contains 1690 cars with over 20 attributes.

  • The hierarchical interface was implemented with forms in MS Access.

ICS280 Information Visualization


Hierarchical interface 1
Hierarchical interface-1 Online Product Catalogs

ICS280 Information Visualization


Hierarchical interface 2
Hierarchical interface-2 Online Product Catalogs

ICS280 Information Visualization


Hierarchical interface 3
Hierarchical interface-3 Online Product Catalogs

ICS280 Information Visualization


Participants
Participants Online Product Catalogs

  • Totally 26 participants

  • 15 male and 11 female

  • 13 aged 21~30; 9 aged 31~40; one teenager and one over 51

  • 16 use computers over 10h/week; 6 3~9 h/week; 4 less than 2h/week

ICS280 Information Visualization


Tasks
Tasks Online Product Catalogs

  • Find Attribute value for given Object

    T1: Does the Jaguar XJR have side airbags?

  • Find Database SubSet Attribute Value

    T2: How many different models does the Peugeot class 106 have?

    T4: How many cars have the following characteristics:

    convertible, 100-150 HP, front drive, and cost 40.000 DM or

    less?

  • For given Attribute(s) value(s) Find Object(s)

    T3: Which middle class car is the cheapest one in the database?

    T6: Which Funcar has the quickest acceleration?

ICS280 Information Visualization


Tasks cont d
Tasks-cont’d Online Product Catalogs

  • Compare Attribute Values for 2 Objects

    T5: Which car has better fuel consumption: the Audi A6 1.8 or the Volvo S70 2.0?

  • Find Database Attribute Value

    T7: How many cars are in this catalog?

  • Compare Attribute Values for Subset

    T8: What is the price range (from the cheapest to the most expensive model) for the Alfa Romeo 145 series?

    T9: Is the acceleration of the Mercedes-Benz S430 Automatic slow, normal, or quick for a car of its class?

ICS280 Information Visualization


Procedure
Procedure Online Product Catalogs

  • Introduce the purpose and upcoming tasks briefly

  • 5 minutes demo about Infozoom

  • Introduce 9 tasks. After each task, they answer 3 questions about the satisfaction, perception of the time needed, perceived efficiency

  • Summarizing their experience

ICS280 Information Visualization


Results
Results Online Product Catalogs

  • Accuracy

  • Completion time

    AVGIZ = 19.4 min / AVGHI = 27.7 min

  • Navigation

    Ease of use: IZ 5.5 / HI 4.9 over 7

    Efficiency: IZ 5.0 / HI 4.8

  • Satisfaction

    Comfortable: IZ 5.15 / HI 5.23

    Fun: IZ 6.3 / HI 5.0

    Overall satisfaction: IZ 6.38 / HI 5.38

ICS280 Information Visualization


Completion rate and accuracy
Completion rate and accuracy Online Product Catalogs

ICS280 Information Visualization


ICS280 Information Visualization Online Product Catalogs


ICS280 Information Visualization Online Product Catalogs


Observations
Observations Online Product Catalogs

  • Users’ strategies

  • Critical incidents --- breakdown and things that went especially well

  • Users’ comments

ICS280 Information Visualization


Hierarchical interface
Hierarchical interface Online Product Catalogs

  • Dislike look for desired information from main menu

  • Be lost on pages that looked like

  • Be annoyed by the long pull-down menus and lengthy result pages

  • Be confused about the default values and attributes visible

  • Be inpatient about no car matched

ICS280 Information Visualization


Infozoom interface
Infozoom Interface Online Product Catalogs

  • Feel overload at the first glance

  • Hard to choose appropriate search strategy at the beginning

  • Difficult to double-click on the small sectors if selecting objects on the screen

ICS280 Information Visualization


Conclusion
Conclusion Online Product Catalogs

  • Both EPC’s interfaces were rated highly, but Infozoom was rated higher in overall performance

  • Infozoom supports choice by attribute searching strategy better

  • Infozoom interface has easy learnability

ICS280 Information Visualization


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