Selecting the right people for the right task. Well, in our case four people have to do it all.

UX Book Chapter 14 & 15

Hartson, R., & Pyla, P. S. (2012). The UX Book: Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience. Waltham, MA: Elsevier Science.

After reading the preparation and conducting usability testing session for rigorous empirical evaluation, something stand out to me. How should we selecting the right people for the right task, both the usability designers and usability participants.

Having a facilitator to help the session to go smooth. A prototype executor help individual task detail. A quantitative data collector to help record error number. task timing, and etc. A Qualitative data collector to record any observation or emotion data from the participant. And of course other supporting actors to help interact with participant for the specific task. Feel like this will be a room full of people. Seeing photos about the UX Lab at Bloomberg LP (pg. 517), the designers illuminate distraction by putting different people in different room to do observation, recording without the participant’s knowledge. And actually only a few people to interact with participant.

But in our class research group, four people are actually doing all the tasks during an usability testing session. We need to better understanding each team role match with the right team members. Maybe one person will have more than one team role. Also we can rotate team role to help each team member to learning different part in this process. Another thought, every usability testing session should be a learning process for the next, we will have to address different issues or problems, so that we can conduct a better session next time.

Picking the right usability participants should be a balance process. Although all participants should be potential user of our product, picking different knowledge level user is important, so the result can better reflect the general population of users.

Be prepare and pay attentions on the unexpected during the testing session, come up with better and more intuitive ways to gather user data, this is my advise. Practice makes perfect!

[Image thanks to]


When should we blog? Come cast your vote!

When do you do you blogging?
How to blog with an user-oriented approach , or a writer/designer oriented approach?
When do you think your blog post have a higher chance to be read?



It is important to design your blog post tailor to the reader’s needs both timing and right contents.

And after reading the midterm evaluation report from Dr. V., I realize blogging it did not come natural to me at first, I am still having trouble sometime.
Maybe this is your case, don’t give up, just keep at it. When you see other people read and benefit from your post, you will do better and better.

Here is my blogging calendar, feel free to add to your own calendar. Let us finish this semester strong, and more we can utilize what we learn in the future.

Again enjoy blogging!

RAA3: Culturability in Mobile Data Services

Boreum, C., Inseong, L., & Jinwoo, K. (2006). Culturability in Mobile Data Services: A Qualitative Study of the Relationship Between Cultural Characteristics and User-Experience Attributes. International Journal Of Human-Computer Interaction, 20(3), 171-203. doi:10.1207/s15327590ijhc2003_2

After reading this massive qualitative research articles, it gives a through of going through CGT 512 Class all over again. The research data and information can years to collect, and analyze all the data can take the same amount of time. But every part is well relate to article, researchers fellow a step by step approach give both the researchers and readers a good structure of the whole research. In this case, I am glad I can find an article which help me understand the whole process of usability testing and analyzing step by step, and the finding is promising.


Conduct qualitative study using usability testing and interviews and analyze the data in order to develop critical mobile design features across three different culture Korea, Japan, and Finland.


Grounded theory method is applied throughout the whole research. The researcher first did a test study on 5 participants, so they can better revise the research questions and process. During data gathering, researchers selected 24 participant from three different country Korea, Japan and Finland with only experience in their own country’s mobile device to conduct interviews using use case video clip along with different mobile user experience questions.


The data was carefully analyze with a like/dislike and mention by participant scale, and find relationship between during categories. Researchers focus on the culture dimension and user-experience attributes.


Many interesting finding after systematically analyze all the data, first of all the Korean participants show, high contextuality, high uncertainty avoidance, and collectivist inclinations. They want to connect with friend with different way of sharing, and they also like detail of content, more information the better.

The Japanese participant reveal they are tend to be high contextuality, high uncertainty avoidance, and fairly high individualism. They don’t like to share their interest with others. They tend to find content fit their own individual need instead the need of everyone else.

Compare to the Korean and Japanese participants, the Finnish participants have the opposite characteristic with low contextuality, individualism, and low uncertainty avoidance. The Finish participant like to explore new content, and they are proud to be unique and like to show it to others.

And this general model show the different relationship between the culture dimension and user-experience attributes. Personally, I think there can be a better way to visualize these information. How will you visualize these relationship?

Mapping, is it that difficult in life?

Which side should the computer in the computer lab? So many time I have use the computer in a public lab and mistakenly plug in my flash drive to the wrong computer. And realize I am wrong after 5 minutes because I can not find my flash drive folder. I was embarrassed about it. But after couple time, I wonder is this my own false or  can the design of the lab can do something to help me , a graduate student to better find my place. It is place the computer on the right the solution? How about the people who is left handed, will they want the computer on their left? Personally, if the computer monitor have USB port build-in or a extension cable for the USB cable can illuminate this mapping problem once for all. But if the cost is not allowed, we can use a screen -> arrow to indicate the locate of the main computer or just a sticker can be very helpful.

Other example of mapping problem I found is imagine when you try to find a class room for the first time, have you ever pass the door of the class room, then you realize you have passed and have to go back. This happen to my many time. Why can the room signs place before the room? I believe with a little through, we can design product that fit the user nature behavior.

What other real life story which you have encountered some of these usability issues? Next time we design something think about who will use it.

Information Architecture and more

Brinck, Gergle & Wood (2002). Usability for the Web: Designing Website that Work. Morgan Kaufman.

After last week post on contextual design and prototyping. Information Architecture seen to be the nature concept to master. How to organize the all the information in a website, this is a question we want to find out. In life we usually have different ways to start approach the same question, create a information architecture for a website are the same. Are we start to organize the information in designer’s way or a more user-centered way? The answer is the clear from the reading, website should put information to help the user do their job better instead of forcing the user to match designer’s mental model.

As soon as the user visit a website first time, the user will immediately form a mental model about what is this site about and how can I find what I need from it. The user will start getting frustrated if the site architecture is totally different than he or she expected. But many times website organize information like a site map, just put every possible information out there for the user to lost in it.

Card sorting is a very useful way to help website better organize information with user oriented goal. Interestingly bringing in both bottom up and top down approach can help find all the categories and find a better way to group each categories. But he top down close card sorting can be a great way to save cost and time.

And thinking of another way to organize information to help user better find important information. Tagging is a great way to use weighted content to allow designers and users understand information in a personal way. But tagging also can mean more than just important information, it can help user and designer to find predictable tend and relationship in a field or person. For example, the team evaluation we received from Dr. V. really help me to identify many strength and weakness in the class. Create your own beautiful word cloud in 

Help user to find what they need, eventually help designer to find their way to success. Think Google!

RAA #2: Incorporating culture in user-interface

Hisham, S., and Edwards, A. (2007). Incorporating culture in user-interface: a case study of older adults in Malaysia. Proceedings of Hypertext and hypermedia 2007, Manchester, UK, ACM, pp 145-14


This is a user-interface deign study on the Malaysian older adults, why and how they use computer application. In order to define design requirements to help encourage the usage and improve the user experience of the older adults.


There are too part of this study, the preliminary study randomly select seven adults to conduct interview, with questions address different background and level of computer literacy. The second field work part, researchers conduct more interviews. Six out of twelve participants was observed and told to use the think-aloud technic.

Main Find:

  1. Why
  • Most of the older adults use for work related tasks and connect with family and friend for convinence and less cost.
  • Most of the older adults have trouble use english user interface, they prefer in their first language
  1. How to improve user interface
    • Uses colorful graphics and moving picture
    • Not too much text
    • Graphic hyperlinks and button is easy to use than text hyperlink
    • Labelled icons are preferred to menus
    • Everyday word better receive than formal word
    • Malays older adult prefer Malays interface, Indian older adult prefer English interface
    • The existing icon are poor received by these user
    • A linear user-interface structure is better


We can apply user and language rule to interface to attract and encourage target culture to use computer. Improvement localisation can increase target group’s acceptance to the specific computer application

It always interesting to me to read research done on different countries and minority group, many time, these people are the people as a society should care for more instead of ignoring them.

Wireframes start from designer’s perspective vs. user’s perspective

In Class yesterday, we get to have hand on experience to create a wireframe for a iphone app.

In the beginning of the class, Dr. V. tries to encourage to find the relation between Engineering, Human Information Processing (HIP), and Experience-focus (phenomenological). One builds on the previous one, from only care about working advance to easy to use, and into pleasant to use.

It is interesting some group built their wireframe base the working functionality, some group are trying to create the app to be pleasant to use, and our group fall into the paradigm of HIP, created our app for ease to use, straight forward on what can the user do and do it efficiently. I still think many steps in our app are redundant, and illuminate them can create a better user-experience. For example, a student want to check his cumulative GPA, he or she should find it quickly instead of have to go through hurdles to get to it or 10 different ways to get to the same information. Although I am very impress to see some of the complex app wireframe in only two hours, often I heard what they can offer to the user instead of what do the user really want. And of course we will have to base on some research data to tell us what the user’s goal is.

Thank you all for the efforts put into this class project, it is very pleasant to explore, good experience-focus project, Dr. V.