Usability Report Heuristic evaluation (Nielsen Heuristics)

Document type: KP-Lab internal document
Product name and version: Shared Space Application M 24 release (stable)
Organisers of the test: Erlijn van Genuchten
Date of the test: Not known
Date of the report: 30.05.2008
Editor: Merja Bauters
Contact name(s): Erlijn van Genuchten and Crina Damsa;

Executive Summary

This report presents an expert evaluation on the Shared Space Application release M 24 (stable) using Nielsen’s heuristics. The actual procedure of the evaluation is unknown.
The conductor of the test is a research master student at Department of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, in Utrecht University. Her background is in Computer Sciences.
Before the expert evaluation she had been using Shared Space Spplication her self, therefore, she had deeper knowledge on the purpose and possible domain usages of the application, as well as, about the state of art of the release.

The results can be summarised as:

Improvements should be made concerning consistency between different parts of the tools and standards to conform other tools. A major improvement should be made in the rapidity of loading.
* In the Gantt chart, a subtask is indented and indicted with a number. It would be clearer to label it each subtask with for example 1a, 1b, etc. and, 1a1 etc. at a deeper level.

  • In the community view, it is indicated which users of the current space are offline. This is not always indicated correctly, because when a status is changed, this is not changed in the interface.
  • When a processes is activated, the tool is loading. It is not possible to stop the action by for example pressing a cancel button. When a user is waiting and thinks it takes too long, he or she should be able to cancel the process and go on with another task.
  • The colors used to indicate selected and unselected items should be reconsidered.
  • The consistency among objects should be improved.
    • For example, in the SSpA network a selected Shared Space Application is colored red, whereas a Shared Space Application is yellow if the mouse is going over an unselected space. It would be more consistent to change yellow into orange, because other buttons also become orange if they are clickable. If a space is deselected by clicking once on a selected space, it would also be more consistent to make it blank instead of yellow, because it becomes a selectable object once more. The same colors should also be used for selecting arrows.
    • The loading is indicated in several ways: by disabling the screen and providing a message, by providing a loading bar without message, and a clocklike appearance of the mouse. It would be better to choose one of these options and apply it consistently.
    • In other tools, e.g. like Blackboard, the help, user preferences, and user management buttons are next to the login/logout button. Therefore, I would advise reconsideration of these buttons.
  • It would be useful to for example, quickly switch between the process, content, and community view. For example, when a Shared Space Application is selected, it should be it can possible to move it by using the arrow keys. (Note: accelerations do exist in the form short cuts and right click, that this was not noticed may be a visibility problem of them)
  • Improve the visibility of the dates limiting the timeline.
  • The different icons in the right upper corner indicating the process, content, and community view are not explained by the help function.
  • The online documentation should be more extensive.
  • One point of consideration is whether the help function should be deactivated after clicking on an object, because a user may want to be informed about multiple objects of the interface.

This page is a category under: usability and under Category Of Feedback Testing Data


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