HCI Exercise 1

(INB.05021UF Human-Computer Interaction 3VU SS 2018)

Exercise 1: Heuristic Evaluation Plan (HE Plan)

First of all, read the sections in the lecture notes on heuristic evaluation and usability testing.

Let me say that again. For the first client meeting, we are assuming you have been attending the lectures and know all about heuristic evaluations and thinking aloud tests.

You will have to explain what these techniques are to your client at the first client meeting. If you have not been attending the lectures, you must read the lecture notes and catch up before the first client meeting.

1 Plan Your Heuristic Evaluation


2 Write the HE Plan

Write a short plan for the heuristic evaluation:

  1. Some title information indicating the group number, the title/topic of the evaluation, and the name of each group member.

  2. A description of the methodology behind a Heuristic Evaluation, in your own words.

  3. User profiles describing which groups of users you think are supposed to be addressed by the web site. Describe the goals and typical tasks for each user group.

  4. The names, characteristics, and environment of each evaluator.

  5. Each evaluator should plan to use a different web browser to inspect the web site. Two of the evaluators should use a mobile web browser on a mobile device (= smartphone or tablet, running Android, iOS, or Windows Phone). The other evaluator(s) should each use a different PC web browser on a PC (= desktop or laptop, running Windows, MacOS, or Unix). You must use real devices and not an emulator or simulator.

    If you are using a mobile browser and your web site suggests you should go to the mobile version of the site, then do so. Do not download and install any native apps.

  6. In an attempt to reflect real usage patterns, plan to use an ad blocker on at least one of the mobile browsers and one of the desktop browsers.

    If you find a problem which may be due to blocked content, turn the ad blocker off temporarily to see whether the problem persists. If the problem then goes away, document it as a problem apparently caused by the ad blocker.

  7. Explain how you will make make screen video recordings on the various platforms you have chosen to evaluate. See my guide to session capture on various platforms. You should plan to record your voice (with a live commentary while you work) as well as what happens on screen.

    On touch devices, see if your recording software can turn on display of touch events.

    The screen recording should be at most at FullHD resolution (1920×1080 or 1080×1920 pixels). If your device has higher resolution than FullHD, please plan to adjust the settings or make the browser window smaller. Use a good microphone where possible, and make a test recording to make sure everything is working and the audio can be heard.

    Our preferred video format is MP4 (H.264 video and AAC audio) format. If your device/software can record in that format natively, that will be perfect. Otherwise, you will have to look at converting your video clips after extraction.

  8. Explain how you will extract video clips and still frames (screenshots) from the screen capture videos. If a finding is interactive in nature, it is usually better illustrated with a video clip. In other cases, a static screenshot (still frame) is often sufficient.

    Since the original screen recording will use a lossy codec anyway, it is reasonable to extract any still frames as JPEG (.jpg) format (at the same resolution and with a reasonably high quality setting where available).

    For the heuristic evaluation, you will not be handing in the full screen capture video of every evaluator, only the extracted video clips and still frames (screenshots).

  9. Adapt and include the materials you will be using:

    • Create one plain text log file for each evaluator, by copying the skeleton log file log-ee.txt from the materials (or log-ee-de.txt if you are working in German). The log files should be named log-EE.txt, where EE are the initials of the evaluator in lower case. Take care to preserve the character encoding of the log files as UTF-8.

      If your name is Keith Andrews, then your initials in lower case are "ka". If two evaluators in your team both have the same initials, then assign one of them a variant, for example Ken Anderson might be assigned "kn". Please do not use any special characters, umlauts, or spaces in the file names.

    • Adapt the example spreadsheet helist.xls for your evaluation:

      • Enter the initials of your evaluators (yourselves) in the appropriate columns of the two tabs "Problems" and "Positives".

      Analogously if you are using the German spreadsheet helist-de.xls.

For the HE Plan:

3 Prepare Your HE Plan Directory

4 Upload Your HE Plan to Sapphire