Exercise 8 - Mensch-Maschine-Interaktion 1 (MMI 1) 
Wintersemester 2008/09

Exercise 8 - MMI 1

Topic: Qualitative User Study

15. Summary

a) Write a summary (100-300 words) of the lectures on "Analyzing the Requirements" / "Designing Interactive Systems" (depending on which one you did already summarize).

b) If you were to design a new meeting-room reservation software for e.g. Siemens, which people (max. 6) would you invite to a focus group? Give reasons for your choices.

16. User Study

Your task is to conduct a qualitative user study of KA/PI, an addressbook application for desktop computers and mobile devices.

KA/PI is open-source and runs on Windows and Linux.  The user interface is optimized for mobile devices with a 640x480 VGA screen and a hardware keyboard (Sharp Zaurus). On a desktop computer the size can be adjusted arbitrarily.
The primary target group are power users that want the same application to be running on their PDA and on their desktop PC.
KA/PI on the PDA is operated with a stylus. A right-click on the touchscreen is done by keeping the stylus pressed down for about one second. These right-clicks are very inefficient, and thus seldomly used in KA/PI. Text is usually entered using the hardware keyboard. The keyboard is operated with two thumbs. Switching input between keyboard and touchscreen takes time and should be avoided. KA/PI shares some UI concepts with KO/PI, a calendar/todo application. As users ar probably using both KA/PI and KO/PI, the user interface should be consistent in between those two applications.

KA/PI's user interface has some usability problems. Find out a many as possible in a qualitative user study with at least three participants. Create at least four closed and one open tasks. Closed tasks might be e.g. "Add as much contact information as possible from a business card into KA/PI and note from where you know this person". Open tasks might be e.g. "Find out what types of information you can store in KA/PI."

Write a report including a short description of the task, the software, the participants, and the way you have done the evaluation.
Add all usability problems your test participants have encountered together with a severity rating and a suggestion for improvement. If it is difficult to precisely describe a problem with words, add an annotated screenshot. Please try to give constructive critique.

We plan to give the results to the developer of KA/PI. Please state in your report (last line) if you permit us to do this. This has no effect on grading.

Technical Information:

A recent version of KA/PI for Linux is installed in the CIP-Pool. Run /home/proj/mi_dm/kapi/kapi.sh for starting KA/PI. A file kopi.sh in the same directory can be used to start KO/PI. All information entered into KA/PI will be stored under $HOME/kdepim/...

If you want to evaluate KA/PI on a PDA, you can borrow a Sharp Zaurus SL-C1000 with installed KA/PI for one day. Please contact Raphael Wimmer.

You can import the file test_data_XX.vcf (XX = 40, 100, 400) from the program directory. It contains a number of randomly generated test persons. If you  want to generate your own test data you can use Barnum with Ross Burton's vCard modification.


Submit your solution via UniWorx.
Unless otherwise specified, all files have to be either Adobe PDF or UTF-8 plain text. All other files will be automatically deleted.
Please put all files belonging to one sub-task of this assignment into a sub-folder inside the ZIP file.
UniWorx will tell you about missing files. Some files may be marked as "unerwartet" - this is ok.


Do not use any other directory layout.

Deadline: Monday, 22.12.2008, 09:00 (UTC+1)