ahandrewh teaches IAT-334interface design

P2: Heuristics (due June 29)

Introduction

Assessing user interfaces using heuristics enables you to see issues or items in your own designs that you may not otherwise find.

In this project you will be using heuristic evaluations to assess the usability of the Canvas calendar feature.

This project is completed individually.

P2: Heuristics is worth 20% of your final grade.

Weekly instructions

This project spans multiple weeks. Please read the weekly instructions carefully.

From June 8 to June 15

This week is for planning your heuristic evaluation.

Please complete the following:

  1. Define two tasks for your heuristic evaluation. These are the tasks that those completing the evaluation will perform. Make sure the tasks are:
    • Important or typical tasks a user might do.
    • Realistic tasks a user might do.
    • Allow for enough variety in activity that your heuristic evaluation should be thorough.
  2. Select which heuristics are relevant. Working with Nielsen's heuristics and your tasks, determine which heuristics are relevant. Use at least four of the heuristics.
  3. Prepare a data sheet for collecting your evaluations. An example is given in the table below.
Task and location in taskHeuristic broken Description of usability problemVisual exampleSeverity ratingRecommendations

Name or description of task: Specific point in task problem occurred.

Name of heuristic broken.

Description of the problem that occurred.

Insert a screenshot (or screenshots) of the problem in action.

Assess the severity of the usability problem using the severity ratings for usability problems.

Make a recommendation based on the problem and severity.

Bring to your June 15 lab

A copy of the following:

  • Two clearly defined tasks for evaluation.
  • A set of selected heuristics.
  • An empty data sheet.

We will chat about your deliverables in-lab.

From June 15 to June 22

This week is for completing the heuristic evaluation.

  1. Working with your two tasks, selected heuristics, and data sheet complete the heuristic evaluation. Find 5-10 issues. An example of filling out the data sheet is provided in the table below.
Task and location in taskHeuristic broken Description of usability problemVisual exampleSeverity ratingRecommendations

"Adding a calendar item": Error occurred when selecting the 'More Options' button within the 'Edit Event' panel.

Visibility of system status.

Clicking on the 'More Options' button suggests that more options should appear, but instead the page refreshes and provides no indication to the user that it did anything.

The 'Edit Event' modal from Canvas with the 'More Options' button at the bottom next to the 'Submit' button

Clicking on 'More Options' in this modal resulted in the page refreshing back to the calendar view.

Usability catastrophe (4).

The action suggested by the button is not even performed as the page refreshes with no ability to edit the new event with 'More options'. The action should happen as described and ideally in the same 'Edit Event' panel to assist with efficiency of use.

  1. Once done the evaluation, select what you believe is your most important problem found. Be prepared to explain why you believe this to be the most important problem during critiques.
Bring to your June 22 lab

A copy of the following:

  • Your completed heuristic evaluation data sheet.
  • Your explanation for why one of the problems is most important.

We will chat about your deliverables in-lab.

From June 22 to June 29

This week is for completing a report on the heuristic problems.

  1. Assemble all project materials (from June 8 to June 29) into a document that is designed for easy and concise understanding. The document should include:
    • Background: A brief overview of what you were evaluating and why.
    • Methodology: Explain the tasks you chose, why you chose them, and the heuristics used in the evaluation.
    • Results: Summarize the findings of the evaluation. This should not be a direct copy of the data sheet and should instead focus on collecting and connecting issues.
    • Recommendations: Describe changes that should be made to correct the errors identified in the results and why they should be made.
  2. Write this document as if it is intended for a non-designer (such as management). The format (PDF, website, etc.) is of your choosing but should demonstrate a refined and well-designed document.

You are allowed to improve your earlier weekly deliverables for your final submission.

Final submission requirements (June 29)

The final submission for P2 is a collection of all weeks of the project into a document that is designed for easy and concise understanding by a non-designer (i.e. manager). The format (PDF, website, etc.) is of your choosing but should demonstrate a refined and well-designed document.

Your project submission is due to Canvas before your June 29 lab.

Please make sure double-check all your submitted files and URLs to ensure they can be opened. We want to avoid late or problematic submission penalties whenever possible.