Sunday, May 5, 2013

Allison's App

 And last part of Week 7, we're supposed to do a Heuristic Evaluation and Severity Rating on a Balsamiq prototype that belongs to someone we haven't evaluated yet. In my case, I can't evaluate Martin's since I evaluated his paper prototype back in Week 5.

We're also encouraged to choose someone, if we're a designer, who is a programmer to evaluate this week. So, I picked Allison.

(... Screencast-O-Matic took a bit for me to use since OSX 10.8 doesn't support Java. Apparently OSX 10.6 aka Snow Leopard, which I previously had, only needed to activate the plug-in from the browser versus me downloading it from the site entirely. Even after downloading the plug-in, it still didn't work so I went hunting for an add-on that did. Chalk up another reason for me to dislike Mountain Lion with all my being.)

Anyway, here's the video. Sorry for some redundancies. (9:19)

It wasn't till after I recorded that I realized the score screen was an accumulative score screen as if several rounds were already played.

Visibility of system status 
It wasn't till after I recorded that I realized the score screen was an accumulative score screen as if several rounds were already played. Perhaps have a Round #XX at the Score screen to indicate how far along they're in the game. (Severity Rating: 2)

Error prevention & Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors:
Clicking the 'X' goes back to home and seems to restart the game, but what if a user clicks it on accident? Ten rounds in, there's no way to prevent that. (Severity Rating: 3)

User control and freedom:
Kind of like the above concern except going back to a screen say changing names when already on Bid screen or changing bid when on Tricks. Just in case they realized an error after clicking to the next screen/accidentally clicked somewhere other than they intended. (Severity rating: 3)

Consistency and standards
Not really sure what "tricks" is. Is this scoring system only for one type of game? Because if one is keeping score for Scrabble, one only needs to add points once every round. (Severity Rating: 4)

Already Apps

Continuing with week 7, our next blog is supposed to be about two apps that are similar to what we've been planning and do a Heuristic Evaluation along with Severity Ratings on them, similar to what we did in week 5. Images shown are screencaps from my Motorola Droid 4.

Today in History by Mad Labs

v1.72 (left) & Version 1.04 (right) found in the Google Play Store.
A fairly simple app with basically three screens in the first version: Events, Births and Deaths, with the option to Save Offline. Two extra options were added to the newer version where the user can change the date and, from what I'm assuming, can refresh the data by choosing the Globe icon. There's no indication of what it does exactly besides bring up a "Loading..." window.
Aesthetic and minimalist design: Very clean and straight forward. I kind of like how the icons for the Events, Births, and Deaths disappeared in the second version, which frees up more screen space when the Options menu is chosen.
  • Frequency: Problem doesn't exist.
  • Impact: N/A
  • Persistence: N/A
  • Severity Rating: 0
Visibility of system status & Recognition rather than recall: The user can infer that the calender icon changes the date and is then notified that that is the function that changes it. Although the Globe icon next to it doesn't have anything describing its function.
  • Frequency: Rare, I guess if the user presses it.
  • Impact: The loading disappears pretty quickly, so it doesn't make too much of an impact.
  • Persistence: Once the user figures it whether or not the data is refreshed then it doesn't become a problem.
  • Severity Rating: 2, it leaves the user questioning what it does if nothing happens exactly if there's no data to load.

Today in history by Banjen Software

v1.6 found in the Google Play Store. From left to right, Main screen with options shown, Widget Settings screen, 4x1 widget (above widget).
Very similar to v1.72 of the previous app, except with widget extension. There is no option to change the date or to sort by Events, Births, and Deaths. Then again, it sticks to the name "TODAY in history", not whenever in history.

Aesthetic and minimalist design: The app itself is clean and easy to understand and allows customization for the widget. Although it would be nice to have the option to change the opacity of the widget background when the wallpaper of the phone is possibly busy (like mine kind of is in the location it's at).
  • Frequency: As often as the user uses the widget.
  • Impact: It's only an impact if the user uses the widget and has a busy phone wallpaper.
  • Persistence: Same as above.
  • Severity Rating: 1, the user has the option to use the widget or not, so they can rely on the app instead which is easier to read.