Some thoughts about the other presentations

26 May

We had a very nice afternoon listening to the presentations of all our fellow students in the chikul13 course. The professor invited some extra (external) people to listen along which made it even more pleasant.

Starting with team LPG, we were in for 5 hours of presentations. And unlike what we expected, these 5 hours were over in a flash.

General remarks

Our biggest remark is that most groups made a ‘trip report.’ By this we mean that they began with their paper prototype, and than discussed their development iteration by iteration. But this does not seem the best approach to us. We discussed some aspects of the app throughout the entire development, making it more clear to the listeners (we think).

Another issue with the iteration by iteration approach is that is boring to listen to, especially when even the smallest issue is discussed for every iteration. We had a hard time paying attention during this phase of every presentation.

The movies shown by the groups were nice looking and way more fancy that the video we made. They would do a great job as promo video. But we think not all of them worked that well as demo video. The catchy promo video’s do not always give a clear view of how to use the app. For the demo in our presentation, we chose for a very basic video that showed the 2 main functionalities of our app. I think every attendant had a clear view of how to use our app after viewing the video, but correct me if i’m wrong! A live demo, like JeTS-CHI did,  is also a good way of presenting the app to the audience we think.

Individual feedback

CHInterest/Recotweet
The twitter style app is a nice idea and the marketing campaign seemed pretty original!

Hatchi/UAdvise
The theme of books, movies and TV Series is well integrated and seems really usable! The app has an inviting lay-out!

Team LPG/Xplorer
To us this felt like an elegant foursquare without all superfluous crap. This can be seen as an advantage, but as a disadvantage as well. Try to give the app a clear identity and find out who uses the app and why!

ChiMovez/LocSha
Unbeatalbe team in terms of programming/integration. To bad that this course has an other focus point.

Team S-chi/Tip-it
This applications seems usable and useful right away! The plug-in is a nice add-on to enhance the simplicity of an (already elegant) website.

Team TGV/ShareShark
The Ask/Search recommendations is a functionality that really distinguishes this app from all the rest!

Joris S./RX.fm
Obviouly the unlucky one of this course, but made the best of it with the limited time he had!

JeTS-chi/Recommend-Thing.com
The website makes good use of the large screen. This large screen fits the kind of application they choose well.

Some thoughts about the course

24 May

The CHI-course is officially over, and now is a good time to look back and discuss the most interesting aspects of this course.

*The lectures were quite intensive (5,5 hours long), but very diverse. There was a nice alternation between moments where you had to focus on your own work, and more open-ended group discussions. The course also incorporated inspiritational movies and short breaks so the wandering minds could reboot themselves.

*Each group had to do small presentations during some of the lectures. This was to ensure each group could reflect upon its own progress during the course and not just at the end.  Good about this way of working is the fact that each group learns from the other groups. Not so great was the fact that this sometimes ended up being very repetitive and long. Especially if your group wanted to spend its precious time on actually working on the assignment instead. A solution could be to split this up. For example, one week groups a, b and c have to do a presentatation. Next week, groups d, e and f and so on. This serves the same purposes but with less time needed.

* The total amount of study points (4) does certainly match with the workload. You have to spend around 4 * 30 = 120 hours to achieve the goals of this course.

* During the first lecture we already had to deepdive into the world of usability but we could barely swim. Within the hour each group had to come with an idea for an application. This is not enough time to come up with an idea that is original, stunning or just plain solid. Sure, those aren’t criteria for passing this course – but do you want to be the group with the boring application? Considering you will be working with same application the entire course, don’t just settle for the first idea that comes to mind. Take your brainstorm home, ponder, and rework your idea before the second lecture.

*This course isn’t about programming… except you totally need to program everything yourself! Make sure you know at least one mobile or website related programming language.

* Blogging is a nice way of reporting about the work you’ve done. In total, it takes up an equal amount of time and work than writing a report, but its a more informal and organic way of telling your experiences and progress. You can also follow the progress of other teams or ask for their input, a helpful tool for this course. Twittering and blogging was mostly useful during the beginning of the course though. Social activity went steeply downhill for a lot of students when reaching the end of the course.

* For our team, the badge-system was not a motivation or incentive at all. When time is scarce, you have to prioritize. Sorry Sven ;(

* The course is not really about the placement or color of specific UI widgets. Although it starts this way (you have to begin with something), the main goal of the course is more about drawing conclusions from how users interact with your application and what that means for its future development. What good is thinking about the fontsize of the text on a button if nobody actually uses the feature behind that button? Unfortunately, this was NOT clear during the first weeks of the course and some groups (including us) did exactly the goofy things as described in the previous sentence. Our advise: start the first lecture by saying this, and repeat every week!

* There’s a great atmosphere within the HCI-group is. The social distance between the students and the course team is small. Rather than becoming an informal unrespectful brawl of opinions, this social setting allowed more profound interactions. How you ever felt you wanted to ask a question but didn’t dare to raise your hand out of fear of asking something silly? Not in this course!

* People should certainly take this course if they are interested in the user-interaction of applications. They should also not be afraid to communicate with possible users and to ask for their thoughts. Its time for software-developers to come out of their isolated bubbles :)!

Slideshow

21 May

During the last CHI course, each group had to present their final results and the process that brought them there. Our slideshows can be downloaded here.

There were two interesting points of feedback we would like to bring up:

1) In the slides we state that we should find ways to increase the amount of votes people cast. Some students conformed this concern by saying the application felt more like a frituur-search engine rather than a frituur-recommending system.

2) We often got the feedback that it would be nice to expand this application to work for any kind of fastfood. Today we got an interesting perspective on that suggestion: it might be ok to just focus on frituren alone, but nothing about the app seems to be frituur specific. Either we should keep the application general and expand it other types of fastfood, or we could keep it focused but actually do something with that theme. For example, we could add a “bicky burger price comparison” tool.

If you happen to (dis)agree with the above feedback, feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts!

Frietleuven.be video!

16 May

We made a video in which we explain the core functionality of our web application. Watch it below and tell us what you think about it!

Overview of all testing iterations

9 May

During the contact session on last Tuesday. We we’re asked to give a short overview of all testing iterations we had done so far.

Feel free to take a look at the slides we used to support that presentation!

Dia1

Dia2

Dia3

Dia4

Dia5

Dia6

Dia7

Dia8

Dia9

Dia10

Iteration 4: Rating a frituur

8 May

Our app mainly consists of two parts:

  1. Searching a frituur that fits your needs
  2. Rating a frituur you visited

In the initial roll-out of the application, no frituur has yet been rated. That makes it difficult to make a well thought-out decision on which frituur to visit.

So for the further testing of the app, we decided to start with the second part of the application, rating a frituur. This we we could test the app and collect votes for the frituren at the same time.

Goal:
Do the users manage to vote on a frituur they think of in advance. As a side goal, we wanted to test the use of the word ‘stem’ on the button that leads to the rating page.

Method:

  • Effectiveness: We stand next to the people executing the test. We keep track of their behaviour and see how they (not) reach the voting page.
  • informal questionaire: After the test, we asked users to give comments on their experience with the app.

After having tested 17 people, we added 2 small questions:

    • We made a paper with 3×2 keyword. For each keyword, they had to choose which of the two they felt fits the app best.

keywords kiezen

  • During the informal questionaire, we explicitly asked users what they think about the use of the word ‘stem’

Rationale:

When we let users rate a frituur using the app, many people told us things like: “This app looks great!”,  “I find it clear and easy to use.” Those comments were all nice to hear, but they are hard to use as objective measure. That’s why we let the second part of users decide between two keywords. This way we could attempt to get objective results.

Only few people seem to  have problems with the use of the word ‘stem’ when we do not explicitly ask them their opinion. So we extended the informal questionnaire with this explicit question.

Who, What, When?:

27 people that were present in the computer science building on the campus. So they were mostly students compter science.
The first part of the test (without the keywords +  stem questions) was done by 17 users, the second part by 10.

We asked the test persons to rate the frituur they last visited in Leuven. If possible, they made use of their own mobile device.

Results:

Mainly, Users follow one of these flows to get to the profile page of a frituur:

  1. Search frituren in the neighbourhood > Scroll through the (extensive) list to find the desired frituur.
  2. Search frituur by name or street > select the desired frituur form the 1-3 leftovers.

For this test, most users used the second flow (16 agiants 11) but both ways are used frequently.

Every users managed to rate the frituur that he intended to rate at the start of the test. So that’s a great success!

Out of the first 17 users, only 2 users mentioned that ‘stem’ had electoral connotation for them. But when asked explicitly, 6/10 users said this to be the case. We assume users don’t think about what to expect from this button, and when the button takes them to a rating page, they immediately adapt to the situation. Although afterwards when they think about it, it sounds more logical to them there is no rating page.

We will change the text on the button form ‘stem’ to ‘geef je mening’ to get rid of this ever returning small issue.

Most of the first 17 users mentioned that they found the app easy to use, good looking and straightforward. The last 10 users had to choose keywords. None of them choose a word on the right side of the paper. All users chose the keyword on the left. One users had no opinion for the second pair of keywords. Another user left the choice between ‘eenvoudig’ and ‘complex’ undecided.

Other issues:

We only take into account issues that returned more than once here. We will not change the app to support  solutions. This because we do not have much time left for this course and they are not issues that concern a lot of users. Moreover, most of the issues talk about extending the functionality, rathter than lacks in the current functions.

  • We noticed the search function is very strict. It has no flexibility. St. Jacobsplein for example is not the same as Sint Jacobsplein. This caused users to not find their frituur from the first time.
  • It would be nice to have a picture or logo of the frituur on the profile page, in order to a point of reference, according to 2 people.
  • 2 people clicked on the arrows that indicate the sore on a profile page, to give a frituur an immediate positive rating.
  • 3 people found the concept of the app too little.
  • The app is less easy to use on slower smart phones, the loading of pages takes a while on devices that are less performant. This causes user to make clicks they did not intent.

Conclusion:

We were really flatterd by comments that we got. People were enthusiast about our app. Of course we cannot know whether that is genuine enthusiasm. We were also glad that users managed to rate the frituren in no time.

Visit Frietleuven.be!

7 May

Our App is online!

www.frietleuven.be

And remember: best results on a mobile device!

Notice that there is a ‘beoordeel onze app’ button on the homepage. Feel free to use it! You can also drop a note in the comments or send a tweet to one of our team members!

 

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