Eric's Chi-Leaders

Planning

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Hello everyone,

We’d like to provide you with an outline of what we are going to do during the next 3 weeks:

09/05:

next iteration:

  • Try to find a better way to access articles.
  • Don’t allow people to erase other people’s work.
  • Limit the number of colors. (or at least try to disable black so text remains readable)
  • Allow people to share their creations on facebook.

additional promotion:

  • Create a facebookgroup.
  • Post a daily picture on this facebook page.

goals:

  • Increasing the number of users to 200 before sunday 15/05.
  • Have 100 shares on facebook.
  • Make someone say our design is pretty! 😦

10/05 – 15/05:

Analyse new feedback and logging information to detect what problems we should tackle in the next iteration.

Compare popularity and use with the previous iteration to see if the changes resulted in any improvements.

Evaluate the goals we had set for ourselves and set new goals for the next iteration.

16/05:

next iteration

17/05 – 24/05:

Analyse new data and write a report.

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Written by chileaders

04/05/2011 at 22:37

Posted in Uncategorized

New version released!

with 7 comments

After an initial analysis of our survey we have concluded that almost more than 50% of the test subjects wanted a way of typing a comment for an article.
We have implemented this in a way where it is possible to put a text icon wherever you want on the article, when someone moves his/her mouse over this icon the typed comment becomes visible in a speech balloon.

Besides this we have added extra tooltips and it is now also possible to add articles from sporza.be and cobra.be!

Please test the new functionality on http://chileaders.ulyssis.be/
We are still looking for more test subjects for the survey, see our previous blog post.

Written by chileaders

22/04/2011 at 17:48

Posted in Uncategorized

First release and looking for more testers!

with 4 comments

edit: added post-it feature, tooltips and new links to add articles

We have released our first version of the news app on: http://chileaders.ulyssis.be/
As we speak we are doing a first public test with invited friends on facebook and encourage you to do the same.

While testing make sure you:
– add an article (this works only with deredactie.be, sporza.be and cobra.be links for now)
– make some adjustments with the pencil

– use the new post-it feature on an article

– use the eraser
– check if your adjustments were stored by the system correctly
– search for your account options

After testing please fill in our completely anonymous survey on:
http://FreeOnlineSurveys.com/rendersurvey.asp?sid=81zythhanri0hin905977

Important notes:
– the app is currently unavailable for IE users
– you need a facebook account to log in
– normally the test subject does not know it is our application (this is to make sure they are as objective as possible) so please be as objective and honest as you can be 😀

We’re looking forward to the answers and hope you’ll follow the evolution and extra functionality as it becomes available step by step.

Written by chileaders

21/04/2011 at 00:37

Posted in Uncategorized

Planning

with 2 comments

Writings on a Wall

We have finaly come up with a name for our application: Writings on a Wall (WOAW). We had a few other candidate names which were DefaceNews and NewsBrush. It was actualy a hard decision to make, in the end we solved it democratically by letting the developers vote.

We’d also like to present the planning we’ve layed out for this project:

Apr 10:
Implementation and first digital prototype of the software, this will be an Alpha release with the most fundamental functionality (adding an article from one of the supported newssites and writing on it). We’d also like to have all graphics of the UI elements done.

Apr 10 – Apr 24:
Alpha release gets tested. We hope to have at least 100 people to test our application during these 2 weeks. We will make a post with a link on our facebook wall. We have a bit over 300 (unique) friends if you add them up and we think at least 200 of them are active on facebook. We think at least half of those active people will follow our link, especially after other people have given some comments on it already. If getting attention of this many people via facebook proves ineffective after one week, we’ll have to take steps to achieve our goal of 100 people. We’ll try to convince people individualy to test our application via facebook chat and we’ll ask them why they did not click the link on our wall (maybe our wallpost wasn’t convincing enough in some way).

Of course letting people test our application is useless to us if we don’t know what they think of it. Therefore we’ll track every action they make. Important things we will look at are how long they stay, whether or not they come back (login via facebook) and the amount of articles they read/add/write on.

During this phase we’ll continue work on a beta version, seperate from the released alpha version, with more functionality built in (storing writings and viewing other people’s work) and hopefully also addressing a few of the issues we might stumble upon with the alpha tests.

Apr 25:
Beta version gets released. We’ll make a facebook group for our application to attract more people. For an initial influx of users we’ll be adding our friends to the group. By this time we’d also like to have a server ready to be able to save people’s drawings so they can see eachothers work. We’ve already purchased a Ulyssis account for this purpose.

In this stage we aim to:
– have at least 200 people using the application
– have the application be used more than 2 times in one week by at least one user
– have at least one article get completely vandalized (this would indicate people are having fun with our application)

The beta testing should take around 2 weeks during which we will finetune our application further preparing it for the real (final?) release.

May 10:
Official release. All functionality should be in it.

Workload estimates

> Connect app to facebook -> all
before alpha release, 10 hours
> Create Ulyssis account and forward bill to prof. Duval -> Siegfried
before sunday, 1 hour
> Create FaceBook page for our application and add friends -> Stijn + Joris
April 25 (beta release), 2 hours
> Create Graphical aspect of UI -> Stijn
April 10, 4 hours
> Further implementation of the application -> Brian (and others)
April 10, 25 hours
> Upload user test footage (paper version) to youtube -> Siegfried
April 10, 2 hours
> Interpret the results of the testing -> Joris (and others)
Alpha version: April 10 – April 25, 10 hours
Beta version: April 25 – May 10, 10 hours

Written by chileaders

08/04/2011 at 21:34

Posted in Uncategorized

Implementation issues v1

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Since the last blog post, yours truly have started implementing the application.
Doing so, we have run in to some small problems.

Duplicate Articles
As we stated in our previous report, we have worked on simplifying the system.
We have therefore chosen not to implement any overly complicated group settings.
Instead we left users the option to make their articles publicly available (everyone can draw on them) or private (only invited friends can draw on them). This results in the simpler “you can draw on anything you can read“-concept.
A new problem arises here: what do to with duplicate entries?
We hope to remedy this by informing a user of the duplicate content when he/she tries to upload an article and then take the user to this article and start drawing.

Readability Fix
In all our previous publication we have assumed that the user was to draw on top of the article.
in retrospect, this would make the article hidden underneath incomprehensible.
The proposed solution here is to make the users draw underneath the text.
We believe that extending this method to the pictures will take away much of the fun of the application.
Let’s be honest, most people will enjoy drawing silly mustaches on people a lot more than reading the articles.
Therefore we will make sure users are in fact able to draw on top of the pictures.

Displaying Pictures
We’ve had some problems with the mark-up of the article’s text when images are involved.
More specifically, we can’t get the text to wrap around the article’s main image.
There are a few possible solutions. These being:
– Displaying the image before the article in the center of the screen.
– Displaying the image at the bottom of the article, centered.
– Making a separate screen area specifically for displaying the image.
After a lot of consideration we decided to go with the latter approach.

Scrolling
During a previous round of implementing the software, we added scrollbars to the application’s main view.
After playing around with them a bit, we noticed they were not responsive enough.
Furthermore they are very hard to control with the touchpad of a laptop.
The big question is: how will this translate to use on for instance: an Ipad?
We are considering cutting the article up in multiple pages and providing a “next page“-button in the main article view. This would also allow the application to cope with multi-paged articles, as are common in scientific journals, in future versions of the software.

For the more tech-minded people: a blog post containing a more hands-on description will be available later.

Written by chileaders

05/04/2011 at 15:34

Further Evaluation (prep)

with 11 comments

The next part of our project will consist of creating a digital mock-up version of our interface.
With this mock-up we can conduct another round of usability testing.
The difference with last time is that we will be looking for more tangible data now.
We are especially interested in numerical representation of how satisfied the user is, how much time it took him/her to learn to work with our application, how many error messages they encountered, ….

Evaluation Goals
The most important goal of our new round of user-tests will be to find out if our previous adjustments have indeed made the interface and system more understandable overall.
One very important indicator of this is the amount of clicks users would need to make in order to accomplish their tasks.
If a user needs an exceptional large amount of clicks to perform a task, we can almost always assume that he/she has been looking around in the wrong places first, before actually finding out what to do.
Another red flag would be users staring at the screen for a prolonged period of ti;e, not really knowing what to do.
As with the previous indicator, we will log any such occurrence for further evaluation.

Audience
Our primary audience is “anyone using social media“. But since this is a very broad area to cover, we have decided to narrow it down to the 14-26 age range.
Finding people to test our application should not be too difficult. We can pretty much use everyone on campus, people in the streets and/or family members.

In order to conduct our tests uniformly, we have prepared a general workflow which we are going to use in all our experiments:

Evaluation guidelines:

1. Outline

The goal of this step is to inform the user about the goal of our application without steering them in a certain direction. We should try to be factual, and show no emotional investment in the application itself.
As our professor pointed out, some people might be kinder because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.
Friendly as that may be, we are looking to improve our applications and not our egos.
Perhaps test-subjects will be more candid if we only tell them we need to evaluate the application, and hide the fact that  we also made it.
Overall the initial spiel would sound something like this:
We have to evaluate a user interface for our CHI-course. It would be really cool if you could test the interface and then answer some questions for us. This applications goal is to allow users to read news-items and draw their remarks directly on top of the articles, much like graffiti.

2. First test phase

The user is asked to work their way down a list of routine actions.
We have to make sure that the assignments are described in a way that most people can understand them.
One way to achieving this could be to provide a little situational sketch to go along with each task.
For example: “You overheard your friends talking about a funny drawing they made on top of the Tsunami article. You decide to check it out.

Some thing we would like the users to try are:

  • Open an article
  • Write on top of an article
  • Modify topic preferences
  • Upload an article and invite friends to join
  • Search for articles regarding the Tsunami in japan
  • Add an article and make it public. Then remove one of the people that are drawing
  • Change your email settings

While the user is doing this, we will keep track of the time, the number (and types) of errors encountered and whether or not the user is going in loops.

3. Second test phase


At this point, the user has just finished his/her assignments. The interface and behavior of
the system should still be fresh in mind. This is a good time to ask them to fill in a short
questionnaire about their experience with our software. We have chosen for the Questionnaire
for User Interface Satisfaction – Chin et al, Maryland 1988.
We want to be able to correlate the type of user with their appreciation of the application or
identify problems specific for a certain demographic. Therefore, we will add some questions
asking the user’s age, amount of time spend in front of computers, the user’s educational
level, knowledge about social media, … .

User test Questionnaire

Live long and prosper,

Chileaders

edit: Blatantly forgot to write out the part about our audience and what we want to learn. Thanks to Kristof for pointing this out.

Written by chileaders

30/03/2011 at 12:51

Posted in Meeting, Men-At-Work

Usefulness: Connect to facebook

with one comment

As a lot of teams are planning to incorporate facebook into their applications at least in some way or another,
we started looking into how to achieve this.
We soon stumbled upon this useful blog,  explaining how to connect a remote application or website to facebook though the facebook apps-section.

http://ottopress.com/2010/how-to-setup-your-facebook-connect-application/

Kind regards and good luck in all your future endeavours,

Chileaders.

Written by chileaders

30/03/2011 at 11:52