Carnegie Mellon University HCII | 2006 MHCI Capstone Projects

User Control and Freedom

"The most significant change from the previous interface to this one is that it was implemented in Java, which is what the final solution will be implemented in."

The Interface

The most significant change from the previous interface to this one is that it was implemented in Java, which is what the final solution will be implemented in. Most of the widgets and layout were copied to match the director prototype as closely as possible.

* The “Delete Group” label and trash can icon were replaced with a “Delete Group” button.

* The “Add Group” button was replaced with an “Add Group” tab, which shows up at the end of the queue of group tabs.

* An “X” has been added to each image in the media groups.

* The Media Library is now controlled by a button as opposed to a sliding drawer.

* Groups can be renamed by double tapping, although there is no specific interface element that explicitly indicates this.

What we wanted to find out

Through this user test we wanted to test if users could understand and successfully interact with the changes introduced in this interface. We also wanted to find out if all of the interactions previously performed by users on paper and Director prototypes would still be successfully performed on this high fidelity prototype. On a higher level, we wanted to find out how users would approach performing tasks in this interface with less guidance.

The Task

We gave two users a short scenario, and simply asked them to prepare and teach a lesson. They had the freedom to perform whichever subtasks they felt necessary, in whatever order they wanted to. After the task, we asked users follow up questions and did some participatory design.

What We Learned

* Users often forgot to dismiss the tablet’s on screen keyboard, and it sometimes blocked important parts of the interface, leaving users unaware of some functionality.
* Users associated the station drop down’s arrow with the Media Library.
* Users occasionally forgot how to dismiss the Media Library.
* Users could easily distinguish images at their current size, except for charts, which they made big on the secondary display in order to preview.
* The scrollbars were not very noticeable to users and they had trouble manipulating them with the stylus.
* Users choose which images to present based on the age group of students they have.
* It took one user a few tries to realize she had to drag images not to the tabs, but to the space below them.
* Users were able to rearrange and delete images, as well as delete groups easily. One user was unable to rename a group.
* Users were able to show images easily from the Media Library and from their groups, by tapping images and using the next and previous buttons.
* Users sometimes had difficulties tapping with the stylus, as if it shifted position it was registered as a drag instead.
* Users were very impressed by the functionality provided and the look and feel of the application.


User Control and Freedom Highlights

Tested the actual Java application

We gave instructors the high-level goal of preparing and presenting, and let them determine their own sub-tasks

Instructors loved the concepts and functionality - high "Wow factor"

Lots of tweaks to make: button sizes, locations, labelling, etc.