Document type: KP-Lab internal document
Product name and version: M32 release of p-to-p chat and context-bound chat
Organisers of the test: METROPOLIA
Date of the test: 03.10. – 15.01.2009
Date of the report:17.01.2009
Editor:Merja Bauters
Contacts:Merja Bauters
Purpose/objectives of the test: Field trial usability test
Method 1:Usability observations from a course
Number and type of participants: 1
Tasks (if task are used): No specified tasks
Method 2:Group use, observations, self-documenting (6 participants)
Number and type of participants: 18-22 and Teachers (2), assistants (1) and students (3)
Tasks (if task are used): No specified tasks

Executive Summary

The present testing process aimed at examining the usability of the core functionalities of the both chats. Usability observations were made on the end-users activities during a course of “Semiotiikan metodologia” (semiotic methodology) in Helsinki University and self-documenting was taken when chatting by one of the participants.


Peer-to-peer chat
  • It was hard for the user to recognise the chat icon (the green dot) in the upper part of the shared space. Even when noticed the icon was not interpreted as representing chat.
  • Starting to chat with some by clicking the name was well understood. It also follows nicely the conventions of e.g., GTalk, Skype etc.
  • Noticing the “note-like-yellow” icon in the place of the chat icon (green dot) indicating that there is a message in the chat for you was also hard to notice. When seen some understood it was a message for them.
  • Sometimes the “buffer” was very long, i.e., the written text did not appear for the writer and/or for the receiver.
  • History tabs function did not come clear. Seems there is no way to get a chat into the history.
  • The online sign in the contact persons in the chat (green being on-line and red for being off-line) is not always consistent with the ones displayed in the Info Tab of “presence” awareness.

In general the possibility to chat raised a lot of fun. The students opened the chat and chatted just for fun as well as during lecturing (as they often do otherwise also if computers are available with Internet connection). No observation was made that the students would have chatted when on-line and in distributed placements, although at least 6 times the students were in the shared space in the same time as the observer.

Context-bound chat

  • Invoking the context-bound chat by right click was not apparent, only after knowing the right-click option was the possibility to start a chat from an object realised.
  • There seemed to be no way of selecting a member (inviting a member to chat with) when the chat has been opened.
  • The text appeared sometimes slowly into the screen, which in on-line chatting is somewhat annoying.
  • During the November the content item of the context-bound chat did not appear in the content view and was not linked to the content item/task from through which it was invoked – by middle of December this was fixed.
  • It was noted that the chat content item and a the link to the object from which the chat was started was important as feedback of what the chat is about, i.e., that it is related to an object.

In general, the possibility to chat was appreciated.

This page is a category under: usability and under Category Of Feedback Testing Data
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This page (revision-2) last changed on 18:24 25-Mar-2017 by merja.

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