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JUS Tables of Contents: 010203040506070809

Journal of Usability Studies 8

Editors:Joe Dumas; Marilyn Tremaine; Bill Albert
Publisher:User Experience Professionals' Association
Standard No:ISSN 1931-3357
Links:Journal Home Page | Table of Contents
  1. JUS 2012-11 Volume 8 Issue 1
  2. JUS 2013-02 Volume 8 Issue 2
  3. JUS 2013-05 Volume 8 Issue 3
  4. JUS 2013-08 Volume 8 Issue 4

JUS 2012-11 Volume 8 Issue 1

JUS Review

The First Seven Years of the JUS BIBPDF 1-10
  Joseph Dumas; Dinara Saparova

Invited Essay

Stick to the Knitting BIBPDF 11-15
  Steve Portigal

Peer-reviewed Article

Reverse Engineering of Content to Find Usability Problems: A Healthcare Case Study BIBAHTMLPDF 16-28
  Shadi Ghajar-Khosravi; Flora Wan; Samir Gupta; Mark Chignell
For tools that involve the creation of an artifact or document, reverse engineering potentially provides an interesting alternative to task-based usability testing. In this case study, participants were shown an artifact and asked to recreate it using a software tool. Would the reverse engineering testing method be as successful as traditional task-based methods in uncovering usability problems? Would test participants be comfortable using the method? Participants used both reverse engineering and task-based approaches to usability testing in counterbalanced order. Using an online tool for developing asthma action plans, the reverse engineering method uncovered more usability problems than the traditional task-based usability testing method. The 12 test participants had a positive attitude towards the reverse engineering method although it took them longer to perform their tasks and they faced a greater number of issues. Both the longer task time and the greater number of problems uncovered were likely caused by the greater attention to detail that reverse engineering requires of participants. This case study demonstrates that reverse engineering may be a useful alternative to pre-defining the tasks for the participant when carrying out a usability test.

JUS 2013-02 Volume 8 Issue 2

Invited Essay

SUS: A Retrospective BIBPDF 29-40
  John Brooke

Peer-reviewed Article

Use of Card Sorting for Online Course Site Organization Within an Integrated Science Curriculum BIBAHTMLPDF 41-54
  Alison Doubleday
This study provides an application of card sorting to address challenges resulting from curricular change. Card sorting and scenario-based usability testing were used to determine the organization of online course sites for a systems-based, integrated science curriculum. The newly implemented curriculum eliminates discipline-based boundaries and focuses on simultaneous investigation of the biochemistry, histology, anatomy, and physiology of organ systems. Two cohorts of students were recruited. A cohort of second-year students familiar with the traditional, discipline-based curriculum participated in a card sort to establish the initial site organization prior to implementation of the new curriculum. A second cohort consisting of first-year students participated in a card sorting activity after exposure to the new curriculum. Scenario-based usability testing demonstrated that all participants were able to successfully navigate the modified course sites. A think-aloud protocol was employed during both card sorts to better understand participant perceptions of content and content organization. Differences in results between the two cohorts, with regard to content organization, suggest that an iterative approach to card sorting is beneficial in site construction and modification. Although the initial card sort allowed the faculty to develop a course site structure that could function well within the new curriculum, the second card sort provided insight into unanticipated navigational issues and allowed for modifications to site organization before the development of significant problems. Results suggest that repeated use of card sorting may be an effective means of creating course sites that are more focused and can more specifically meet user needs.

JUS 2013-05 Volume 8 Issue 3

Invited Essay

Five Agile UX Myths BIBPDF 55-60
  Diana DeMarco Brown

Peer-reviewed Article

RITE+Krug: A Combination of Usability Test Methods for Agile Design BIBAHTMLPDF 61-68
  Jennifer (Jen) McGinn; Ana Ramírez Chang
As user experience professionals, we often face objections that there is not enough time or resources to conduct usability testing during development. With the proliferation of Agile methods being used by development teams to compress the software lifecycle, the focus on time becomes even more critical. To meet the challenges of Agile development, we combined aspects of two discount usability methods: the Rapid Iterative Test and Evaluation method (RITE) and the approach to usability testing taken by Steve Krug. In this paper, we describe why we combined the methods and which elements we incorporated from each. The impact of using this new RITE+Krug combination has been remarkable. Test sessions are getting between 12 and 15 observers on a regular basis. The development, design, product management, and usability teams are engaged and actively participating in the usability testing process. Each test takes only a few hours time from the stakeholders' schedules, because the testing and debriefing can be conducted and concluded in one to two days. As a result, we can conduct a RITE+Krug test every two weeks and can get feedback on more aspects of the product than ever before.
Card Sort Analysis Best Practices BIBAHTMLPDF 69-89
  Carol Righi; Janice James; Michael Beasley; Donald L. Day; Jean E. Fox; Jennifer Gieber; Chris Howe; Laconya Ruby
Information architecture is the practice of effectively organizing, structuring, and labeling the content of a website or application into a structure that enables efficient navigation. Card sorting is a research method that employs users' input to help derive an effective navigation structure. Whether a card sorting study is conducted using manual methods and tools, or online automated tools, those tools only assist the User Experience (UX) professional in creating usable, intuitive information architecture. As with most user research, the UX professional still has to make sense of the collected data and take the data one (or several) steps further. How do you interpret user input to determine what categories to create? What should those categories be named? Which content should they contain? Should the categories contain subcategories, and which content should they contain? Should you duplicate links across categories, and where should these duplicate links reside?
   Although a wealth of articles, books, and blogs by experts in the information architecture field discuss the card sorting technique, most do not answer these questions, nor do they address the step-by-step details of how to analyze the data to create a navigation structure. Attendees at card sorting workshops taught by the two primary authors (Righi and James) of this article invariably report that of all the elements of card sorting, they have the most difficulty taking the leap from the data they've gathered to constructing that final navigation structure.
   This article presents a set of best practices for analyzing card sorting data to derive an effective information architecture and navigation structure. It addresses methods of interpreting cluster analysis data matrixes and dendrograms generated by automated card sorting tools. And, it focuses on the details of making a decision about final categories and category labels. In short, it helps the UX professional make informed judgments when multiple interpretations of the data are possible.

JUS 2013-08 Volume 8 Issue 4

Introduction to the Special Issue

Special Issue of the Journal of Usability Studies: Designing Inclusive Systems BIBPDF 90-92
  Jonathan Lazar; Patrick Langdon; Ann Heylighen

Peer-reviewed Article

Development and Evaluation of Two Prototypes for Providing Weather Map Data to Blind Users Through Sonification BIBAHTMLPDF 93-110
  Jonathan Lazar; Suranjan Chakraborty; Dustin Carroll; Robert Weir; Bryan Sizemore; Haley Henderson
While most aspects of web accessibility are technically easy to solve, providing accessible equivalents of data visualizations for blind users remains a challenging problem. Previous attempts at accessible equivalents focused on sonification of population data. This paper describes the creation of two prototypes for providing real-time weather information in a sonified format for blind users. A structured requirements gathering using interviews and surveys led to the development of the first sonification prototype using both keyboard and touchscreen (with a tactile overlay) access to weather data on a PC and Mac. This prototype was evaluated for usability by five blind users. Based on the feedback from the usability evaluation, a second prototype on a new platform (Android tablet computer) was created. We discuss the development and evaluation process for the sonification prototypes, with a detailed description of the usability evaluations performed in the field. The studies show that when working at the intersection of users with disabilities and new technologies, it's important to be flexible and adjust quickly to get the most out of field studies.
A System in the Wild: Deploying a Two Player Arm Rehabilitation System for Children With Cerebral Palsy in a School Environment BIBAHTMLPDF 111-126
  Raymond Holt; Andrew Weightman; Justin Gallagher; Nick Preston; Martin Levesley; Mark Mon-Williams; Bipinchandra Bhakta
This paper outlines a system for arm rehabilitation for children with upper-limb hemiplegia resulting from cerebral palsy. Our research team designed a two-player, interactive (competitive or collaborative) computer play therapy system that provided powered assistance to children while they played specially designed games that promoted arm exercises. We designed the system for a school environment. To assess the feasibility of deploying the system in a school environment, the research team enlisted the help of teachers and staff in nine schools. Once the system was set up, it was used to deliver therapy without supervision from the research team. Ultimately, the system was found to be suitable for use in schools. However, the overriding need for schools to focus on academic activities meant that children could not use the system enough to achieve the amount of use desired for therapeutic benefit. In this paper, we identify the key challenges encountered during this study. For example, there was a marked reluctance to report system issues (which could have been fixed) that prevented children from using the system. We also discuss future implications of deploying similar studies with this type of system.
Inclusive Design Advisor: Understanding the Design Practice Before Developing Inclusivity Tools BIBAHTMLPDF 127-143
  Emilene Zitkus; Patrick Langdon; P. John Clarkson
This paper describes an exploratory study investigating ways to accommodate inclusive design techniques and tools within industrial design practices. The approach of our research is that by making only small changes in design features, designers end up with more inclusive products.
   Our research group examined how to enable designers to make design decisions toward more accessible products by observing and interviewing 20 experienced industrial designers. We also designed an inclusive design advisor tool that provided suggestions that designers could use to make more inclusively designed products. We asked the designers about their opinions of available inclusive design techniques and tools and their tendency to use those techniques and tools. We then presented our designers with the interactive design advisor tool built in Google SketchUp. Although the tool was in the very early stages of development, it exemplified an interactive way to supply designers with information about inclusivity. Through using the tool, designers were encouraged to talk about pros and cons of the tool. We also asked the designers to provide more detailed information about their current practices. The results confirm that tools, such as guidelines, user testing, and physical simulations, all have limitations that restrict their adoption by designers. Also, inclusive design advisors, such as the tool developed in Google SketchUp, could be accepted by the design community if the tool is tailored for each design domain and the tools that they use. Additionally, the designers highlighted that they would consider inclusivity if it is part of the design requirements. Moreover, they underlined the need for supplying inclusivity information to clients -- who commission the project and who own the final product.