M24 Shared Space Goaround Usability Test

Document type: KP-Lab Internal Document
Product name and version: Shared Space Application, M24
Organizers of the test: Tadhg Clancy
Date of the report: 11/05/08
Editor: Mary Nyamor
Contact name(s): Mary Nyamor; Maryn@evtek.fi

Executive Summary

The tested product: Shared Space Application Development Phase April 2008. The purpose of this test was to explore the functions of the Application in regards to Teamwork. The main method for the test was using the Application itself within one particular Shared Space called “teacher frank sand box”. Tadhg Clancy was the only participant.
Results:
  • Slow loading of site or Item Information if your Internet connection is in use.
  • When there is no Internet usage the site loads quickly and is responsive
  • Should not have to deselect and Item by clicking on it.
  • Unable to see if someone is online or not; or see what stat they are in (available, away, etc)
  • User management, links and wiki’s come up in their own window or tab, will not close the application suddenly or accidentally
  • Easily able to refine what one wants to see in regards to: documents, comments, wiki’s and such.
  • Works well with Firefox 3 Beta 5 with All-in-One-Gestures installed.

Introduction

The Shared Space Application is under development (current phase April 2008) and the Graphical User Interface or GUI of the application was tested for its usability. This application is aimed for people who are doing projects. When projects are commenced various different reports and material needed are usually placed in different locations that may be inaccessible for those doing the project. This application allows users to place all material in one location for the group. This is aimed for all different levels of projects, that is, school, university and work place projects.

Method

The method used was for him to go around the Shared Space “teacher frank sand box” and see how it could be developed or improved for Teamwork; to see what functions are good, bad or need improvement.
When using this application he likes things in general to be done in a certain way according to his own preferences and what other applications he has used in the past. He wants to be able to work as efficiently as possible where the application would enhance his workload and not interfere with it. Teamwork is only as good as the weakest link weather or not that would be an Individual or a certain Application.

Test Facility

The test took place in the participant's home.

Participant’s Computing Environment

  • OS: Vista Business SP1
  • RAM: Kingston SDRAM 2Gig
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA 7600GT 256MB RAM
  • Monitor: Mirai 22” widescreen, Resolution 160x1050
  • Browser: Firefox 3 Beta 5. Firefox window was set at about 70% of the width of the monitor.
  • Pluggings: All-In-One-Gestures, Download Status bar, Firebug Beta, Image Zoom, Linky, PDF Download, Adblock Filterset.G Updater, Adblock Plus, DOM Inspector

ProblemsSuggestionsRelated Graphical Elements
Selecting multiple items with the use of creating a box with the mouse of using the Ctrl button on the keyboardIt’s normal if one item is already selected that when you select another the first is automatically deselected. One does not want to click twice on every object to first select it then deselect it

Unable to deselect an item by clicking an a blank part of the screen Should not have to deselect an object by clicking on it again. Good to click on a blank part of the screen and the item is deselected.image to be placed
Members Status – Not conforming to AwarenessIt is better to have the member status seen straight away without having to click a number of buttons. Having a lay out as such in MSN messenger could be used.

Members Status - Awareness: cannot see if someone is a part of an open or closed Shared SpaceHave extra information in the members section indicating weather or not the Shared Space is an open space or notimage to be placed
Long loading time for the site or item infoI was only using half (>100KB free) my bandwidth and it took over a one minute to load. Also takes a long time for Info to appear on an item.image to be placed
Items are still highlighted in yellow if they have been deselected and one moves the mouse away quicklyShould not be happening once deselected the color should be gone

Results

For Clancy an application that enhances his workload allows him to work faster which gives the team more chances and opportunities to access what they need and modify everything that needs to be modified. If he can work faster then the team can work faster and productivity will increase.
Good parts of the site:
  • Highlighting is the same through out
  • Grant chart, everyone knows what needs to be done
  • Left side Controls menu is good, one can define what they wish to look at
  • Popup in the new window/tab
  • Arrows are good Figure 1, but could be enhanced a further by going more to where the mouse is dragged
  • Load time is good when there is no Net usage
  • All in one gestures is fine, no compatibility issues everything worked fine
  • Good Popup on the bottom RHS, could be improved so that the text is bigger and the background is different to the IU background as one could miss it.

Overall with these improvements and changes productivity could and would be improved which would in turn increase personal effectiveness and hence teamwork productiveness improves greatly

Functions in Shared-Space

Shared Space has many functions, but require a lot of time to use them. It is very easy to add different task to the application, also to adding content items (such as links and documents) is just as easy to do. But unfortunately once they are added it takes a number of seconds for this to take place. On average it took between 5-20 seconds for the loading bar to disappear and a further 5-10 seconds for the item to appear in the GUI itself. No user wants to wait about for 25 seconds for each and every item to be added and seen in the GUI. It takes away from the usability of the application and it also get to the user nerves. It should not take that long unless it is a large file.

It is also easy to add different links between the various items in the GUI but unfortunately one has to use the menu for it instead of right clicking. By right clicking the process is sped up. Adding comments also takes time, slightly shorter time then it takes to add content items and such. Also when viewing comments one cannot resize the comment window leaving you with the ability to see only one comment at a time.

Uploading items can take time but for some reason a .txt file was refused. It was a blank file but it should have able to upload it. A .doc was uploaded without any problems. But as was said earlier it takes time for the GUI to register it.

Conclusions

Increasing the response time, so tasks and such are on the GUI much quicker is paramount. Just about everything comes down to response time. Also one should be able to upload a .txt file as they can be the bread and butter of shorthand notes taken be the groups. It doesn’t take too much to copy and paste over to a .doc but it would take time, especially if there are a number of .txt files.




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

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