Analytical and Empirical Method
How to conduct heuristic evaluation? 5 Advantages5 Disadvantages6 Empirical Method (Usability Testing)7 What is Usability Testing? 7 How to conduct a usability testing? 7 Advantages of Usability Testing8 Disadvantages of Usability Testing9 Conclusion10 Task 211 Introduction11 Description of the problem11 Description of the difficulties11 Conclusion:14 References:15 Task 1 Introduction There are 4 ways mostly to evaluate user interface.Heuristic Evaluation (heuristically) by just looking at the interface and passing judgement according to one’s own view. Cognitive Walkthrough (analytical method) by some analysis procedure, Pluralistic Walkthroughs (empirically) by experiments with trial users, Feature, Consistency & Standards Inspection (automatically),by a programmed procedure.
For this assignment I have choose the usability testing for empirical method where else for analytical method I have choose heuristic method.  Analytical Method (Heuristic usability) What is heuristic? Heuristic evaluation is a discount usability engineering method for quick, cheap, and easy evaluation of a user interface design. ”  In heuristic evaluation the usability issues covered are effectiveness and efficiency but do not considered the satisfaction. Quantitative Data is not collected. this method also can be conducted remotely also can be used on any system. Several evaluators independently evaluate the interface & come up with potential usability problems. It is important that there be several of these evaluators and that the evaluations be done independently.Nielsen’s experience indicates that around 5 evaluators usually results in about 75% of the overall usability problems being discovered. Heuristic Usability Principals Here I am going to explain more and have a closer look at what condition are needed to evaluate interfaces. Basically the evaluation is easier than design. The principles are the basic points that drive design and drive evaluation as well. The principals are: 1. Visibility of system status The application should always keep user on track and well known on which section of the application they are.This can avoid confusion and user can get the information easily without consuming more time. 2. Match between system and the real world. The relationship between two things, in most cases the mapping from digital world to real world. Metaphors and analogies 3. User control and freedom User should be informed what the system is doing and is the user on the right track, does it work the way it is suppose to work. This can prevent the user to do their activity correctly on path without having to redo all again. The application also should support undo and redo.The system should confirm with the user before take any action on the application, so user can exit immediately from new actions that risk them. 4. Consistency and standards An application should have a standard platform convention like the symmetry of the interface. Is it symmetrical? (Left-Right, Top-Bottom, Center). This includes also the wording to access the application example for navigation bar. The “Home” button should be same for all pages. It should not been changed to other type of looks (symbol or font) at other page when user access to it. 5.Error prevention The text message for error prevention should convey a message to user while they are currently on the application and risky to faulty. User can understand what the error message is about and prevent the faulty happen before they proceed to the next step. 6. Recognition rather than recall Using symbols that make user feel ease to recognize, remember and think what is the use of the button. The colour contrast also effect attention and focus where the user has been explored on the application. It also is to make user more focus and remember what they did.User also might convey the color for pink … it’s a girl and blue … it’s a boy. This would not affect user memory load. 7. Flexibility and efficiency of use This refers to the perceived and actual properties of the “thing” that determine just how the “thing” could be used for new user that never been using that application. The appearance of the “thing” tells them how to use it. If the system is understandable, neither expert nor inexperienced can easily use the application. 8. Aesthetic and minimalist design The application should display the important and description for the point it is focusing on.The application should not display unnecessary information which will only cause the information traffic on the application. A special consideration for standards graphics and design are enough to make user comfortable when using the application. 9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors The error text must not be too long or too short. It should be simple and precisely organized to make sure the user understand the faulty they have done and they can correct the error based on the solution given in the error message. 10. Help and documentationThere might be possibilities that user don’t need any help and documentation while or after using an application, but there is the chances for user to document the information and get the help if there are lost. This should be considered to ensure user get fully access and satisfied after exit the application. The application must make the user easy to find the information they are looking for focusing on their task and help should provide the step they should pursue. How to conduct heuristic evaluation? Heuristic evaluation by Nielson is a method used by researchers to find usability problems in interfaces designed for use by public.The heuristic evaluation process starts from questions a small number of users, called evaluators, to complete a set of pre-programmed tasks usually related with using the interface. As summary basically the evaluation will be : * Obtain the service of 4, 5 or 6 usability experts, questions a set of pre-programmed tasks usually related with using the interface. * Each expert will perform an independent evaluation, answer question related to interface * Give experts a heuristics inspection guide, is followed from Nielsen’s ten usability principles (Nielsen, Jakob 1994). Collect the individual evaluations, which are answered in subsequent iterative sketch of the interface for better simplicity of use and significant knowledge.* Bring the experts together and do a group heuristic evaluation. (Optional) Advantages Quick and relatively inexpensive feedback to designers can be provided by this method. Response can be obtained early in the design process. Conveying the correct heuristic can help suggest the best corrective measures to designers. * Cheaper comparative to other assessment method. * Spontaneous and simple to encourage potential evaluators to use the method * No advance planning required Formal usability training is not required for evaluators. Professional computer programmers and computer science students are used in Nielsen and Molich * Can be used early in the growth process * Quicker revolve time than laboratory testing Disadvantages Applying heuristics effectively need a good knowledge and skill. Usability experts sometime hard to find and can be pricey. Multiple evaluators are recommended and results must be aggregated. Minor issues and fewer major issues can be detected through these evaluations. * Evaluators maybe just have the understanding of usability design principles, but not for usability experts.Usability experts would recognize more issues than non-experts, experts are the people who have the skill with the type of interface being evaluated, they can identified the most issues was according to Nielson. * The results from multiple evaluators must be aggregated. This is because the evaluator only can detect few issues, but if the issues combined the more precise result outcome they can gain. * Heuristic evaluations only identify lesser usability issues compare to and other discount methods may not identify as many usability issues as other usability engineering methods, for example, usability testing. Complex interfaces may not scale well for heuristic reviews. Evaluators may not find the major or serious problem the interface had if the interfaces are complex. * All the issues identified may not willingly suggest solutions for the usability issues * The evaluators are just pretend to be the user but they are not the real user. * The entire problem identified may not be the actual problem in real interface. Empirical Method (Usability Testing) What is Usability Testing? We need to use usability testing method to produce tasks professionally, efficiently and pleasingly for the user benefit.It is better to produce a pre-programme application to ensure so that any important issues can identify. Usability testing can be done at any stages of the design process. Usability testing is not an alternative for a human centred design process and appropriate techniques such as walkthroughs also can be use. Test host or the user who is going to represent for usability testing session should attend. The attendance should be at least one observer one developer and one business representative. Observers should strictly be in a separate observation room.Density of the system, the number of intended users, and budgetary constraints should be considered when doing the session. Even one test session is better than none, but if its more it will tend to discover the majority of important issues. There are two major factor should be considered when conducting a usability testing. The first is to ensure that the best possible method for testing is used. The second major consideration is to ensure that an iterative approach is used. How to conduct a usability testing? To prepare for a usability test we must identify delegate tasks.Ideally, these should derive from scenarios or use cases developed earlier in the design process. Have a clear definition of when a task is complete. We also must prepare a test schedule, book the required room, and identify representative users and invite them to attend. We will need the following materials: • A formal script so that all participants are treated in the same way. • A pre-evaluation questionnaire to check that your participants match the required profile. • A list of tasks, together with criteria for measuring whether they have been successfully completed. Logging sheets to record timing, events, participant actions, concerns and comments. The guidelines should be followed: • Run a pilot test. • Ensure that participants have the option to abandon any tasks which they are unable to complete. • Do not prompt participants unless it is clearly necessary to do so. • Record events in as much detail as possible to the level of keystrokes and mouse clicks if necessary. • If there are observers, ensure that they do not interrupt in any way. Observers formally prior to test. • Be sensitive to the fact that developers may be upset by what they observe or what you report.Advantages of Usability Testing The advantages of usability testing are : * Reply direct from the board audience to spot the project group * Private conversation can be done by testing the issue to see how users response to the different options being discussed * Problem and possible difficulties are stated clearly before the product is launched. The business advantages of usability testing can be seen at the end of the project: * Probability of usage and frequent usage increase * Risk of the product fault is reduce * Users are able to get what they expect, which makes business meeting its targets achievable.Benefits of using usability testing are : * Reduce maintenance costs, increase user fulfilment, and save on development effort cost. * Relevance feedback helps to increase the quality experience. * Measures activities, not preference. Users like to insist what they want, but by observing and measuring behaviour, we can understand what the best for their needs and support is. * Get a competitive benefit. User with no experience can give negative impact to a website. A systematic website is expected by users, especially when the competitors of websites developer are a lot now. Focus to the major needs and the aim of the application. Disadvantages of Usability Testing Usability testing provides many benefits, but there are the disadvantages in using this methodology, which should be noted. Firstly, testing is not 100% representative of the real life scenario. Also, usability testing is mainly qualitative, so does not provide the large samples of response that a questionnaire may, but the response can be far more precise and understandable. It requires a certain level of knowledge and experience to apply the heuristics effectively. Trained usability experts are sometimes hard to find and can be expensive.Multiple evaluators are recommended and results must be aggregated. The evaluation may identify more minor issues and fewer major issues.  Conclusion Two common usability evaluation methods, heuristic evaluation and usability testing were analayse. Results found that heuristic evaluation performed by HCI experts revealed more general problems, while usability testing is a way to see how easy to use something is by testing it with real users. To provide the most effective and thorough usability evaluation results, a combination of usability evaluation techniques from both expert and system user perspectives is recommended. Task 2Introduction For task 2, I am going to evaluate a website from a bank which is OCBC bank. Description of the problem 1. The first problem i notice when I start to evaluate the website was the layout. the layout is merely merge to left side of the webpage. 2. The navigation bar size. It is too small. 3. The application do not provide “search” function for user to search information. 4. I didnt notice the login function,no idea where to login. The homepage there is no official login space. 5. No language selection option. 6. No register new user and login specific space at main page. 7. No sitemap to track location in application page. . The process option button and link appearance are not interesting and recognizable. 9. Once the user click any options from main page to proceed the next step,the application open new window. Description of the difficulties 1. User need to focus on the left side of the webpage whereelse it should be in the center for user to feel more comfortable when viewing webpage. The view is not standard as normal webpage. 2. The navigation bar font is too small and situated at the upper right corner of the webpage. It is not standard. These two diffrent navigation bar makes user confuse to choose which function to move in the application.Furthermore,when user click to login page,another window open and it does not have a standard navigation bar as the previous page. User will feel confuse,with diffrent thing appears. 3. The login function is not standard. There are several option to login to application. It suppose to have a official login space then allows user to choose the service they want to involve. the login space looks like advertistment and not noticable. 4. Language. User supposed can select the language they are prefereable for. But this application dont allow user to choose the language they understand.If the user dont understand,how they want to use the application. There is just the selection list of country only but not for language. 5. The application does not provide sitemap to track location of user that use the application at current time. Sitemap used to make user easy to navigate along the pages gone through. user can eesayly get back to the pages prevoiously without wasting time to find pages that they want. 6. The hyperlink should be as buttons or symbol button to make user easy to recognize and remember the direction to use the application for the next visit. . Once the user click any options from main page to proceed the next step,the application open new window.User cannot go back to the previous page because no“back”function at the web page neither at the browser. If user want go back,user must exit the new window and restore the main page again. If user did some errors user need to repeat all the steps again. Heuristic and explanation 1. The small and not standard navigation bar is link to consistency and standards. * It suppose to gathered and user should select from a line of navigation bar. when user click to login page,another window open and it does not have a standard navigation bar as the previous page. * User feels a diffrent environment,diffrent situation word. 2. The no option for language is match between system and real world. * The system should speaks user language,word or phrase which familliar with the user. This will make user more comfortable and understand what they are doing. 3. Layout of the web which go to left side is a aesthetic and minimalist design. * User should not wonder the blank space of the webpage. It should be used to put any related information. 4.No sitemap for user location is equal with flexibility and efficiency of use. * Sitemap can help the inexperience user to go back to previous page they were to make sure they are on the correct path to do their job. 5. Error prevention which dont have “back” button,is link with user control and freedom. * This sytem dont allow users to go back. It do no support undo and redo. * User need to navigate away from the page directly and go back to main page and access again the application. 6. Uninteresting link and button to continue using the application is a recognition rather than recall heuristic. The links navigation dont give the user idea when they first see the webpage. User need to read the links and then click to continue. * The link should suppose to be icons so that whenever the user come for next visit,they will recognize the buttons and save their memory load and time. Summary A heuristic evaluation is a usability inspection helps to identify usability problems in the user interface (UI) design, As I find in the OCBC Bank website, it specifically involves me examine the interface and judge its compliance with recognized usability principles (the “heuristics”).I independently examine a user interface and judge its compliance with a set of usability principles. The result of this analysis is a list of potential usability issues or problems. The usability principles, also referred to as usability heuristics, are taken from published lists. Ideally, each potential usability problem is assigned to one or more heuristics to help facilitate fixing the problem. As more evaluators are involved, more true problems are found.But as from my view, I can list out only these usability problems and I also have stated the reasons and why it is a problem to me and also what is lacking at the webpage.